The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNL, whose courses satisfy the needs for those 50 years or older who love to learn, is joining forces with Global Perspectives: The Winter Lecture Series and the League of Women Voters of Lincoln-Lancaster County to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The hosts will present the 2019 Fall Symposium, “Celebrating the 19th Amendment: Women’s Rights Here and Abroad,” on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Innovation Campus.
The event, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., costs $20 per person and includes lunch. The event is open to the public. Registration for the event is required. You do not need to be an OLLI member to attend.
The purpose of the symposium is to provide an educational event directed to participants, ages 55 and older, on a contemporary issue. The symposium is the centerpiece of OLLI’s fall terms.
Scholars to speak
The Oct. 19 program will feature scholars from the University of Nebraska and other institutions, as well as Nebraska women in elected office. Attendees will hear about the history of the struggles for women’s suffrage; the impact of women in elections over the past century, as well as women’s involvement in elective office; and the status of women’s rights on a global scale.
Keynote speaker will be Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, professor emeritus at the Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. She has written several books and articles on international women’s rights, and she was a consultant for the creation of UNL’s undergraduate program in human rights.
The program will also feature two other speakers: Leslie Working and Katrina Jagodinsky.
Working holds a Master of Arts in museum studies and another in U.S. history from UNL and she also completed her Ph.D. at UNL. Working's dissertation, "Having Been Born Locomotive ... Women, Mobility, Progress, and Activism," addresses the ways increasing mobility of 19th-century Americans impacted female activists’ ideas about women’s lives and how their assertion of women’s right of access to new technologies made travel to Western spaces a possibility for female reformers. She has taught at Ball State University, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Union College and UNL.
Jagodinsky is an associate professor of history at UNL and joined the Department in 2012. She is a legal historian examining marginalized peoples’ engagement with 19th-century legal regimes and competing jurisdictions throughout the North American West. Jagodinsky holds a Ph.D. in history (2011) and M.A. in American Indian Studies (2004) from the University of Arizona, and she earned her B.A. (2002) from Lawrence University. She spent a fellowship year at Southern Methodist University’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies before joining the UNL department.
In addition to the featured speakers at the Oct. 19 symposium, members of a panel will discuss various topics related to women in politics. They are:
DiAnna Schimek, representative for the 27th Nebraska legislative district from 1988 to 2008;
Anna Wishart, current state senator representing the 27th Nebraska legislative district since 2017; and
Lou Ann Linehan, current state senator representing the 39th Nebraska legislative district.
The panel moderator will be Charlyne Berens, emeritus professor at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at UNL and an OLLI at UNL member.
Contributing to awareness, solutions
“As is the case each year we present the fall symposium, we seek to provide valuable, in-depth information that results in a better-informed audience,” says Richard Dienstbier, emeritus professor of psychology at UNL and planning committee member. “The issues of unstable governments, economic difficulties, and conflicts between people of majority cultures and indigenous people will remain for years to come. We especially hope that in some way this symposium can contribute to awareness and useful solutions.”
“We hope that each year’s topic leads to even more community interest in the major issues confronting humanity in the 21st century,” Dienstbier added. “We especially value a local and global perspective, hoping that our audience feels more engaged with all of humanity as a result of our program.”
Other contemporary events
Other contemporary issues events for OLLI at UNL’s Fall Term 2, which begins in late October include:
* OLLI Movies that Matter uses the power of documentary films to educate, inform and create dialogue. The series of documentaries selected this coming year focus on important current and challenging social issues of our time. A moderator will introduce each film and facilitate discussion with local experts. OLLI Movies that Matter are free and open to the public. Although membership is not required, registration is required.
* “White Right: Meeting the Enemy,” Thursday, Oct. 10, 7-9 p.m. In this Emmy-winning documentary, acclaimed Muslim filmmaker Deeyah Khan travels to the U.S. from the U.K. to meet U.S. neo-Nazis and white nationalists face to face. Attending the now-infamous “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, she seeks to understand the personal and political motivations behind the resurgence of far-right extremism in America.
* “Out of Many, One: An Immigrant’s Story” and “Take 5: American Haze,” Thursday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m. The documentary “Out of Many, One” is a profile of the Citizenship Project, the New York Historical Society’s free program. The Citizenship Project assists green card holders in preparing for the USCIS Naturalization Exam, which tests knowledge of United States history and civics. “American Haze,” directed by Kiran Deol, an Indian-American comedian and filmmaker, offers a look at the most American thing of all: immigrants. Through the personal lens of Deol's own family story, viewers get a glimpse into the glories and gritty realities of the immigrant experience.
* ”Dark Money: Montana to Nebraska & Beyond” is a three-session course being offered in term 2. The course starts with the viewing of the movie “Dark Money,” which will be shown free to the public Monday, Oct. 8, 7-9 p.m. OLLI, the League of Women Voters and Common Cause Nebraska are sponsoring this course and movie event. The PBS POV documentary “Dark Money” is a political thriller which examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The film takes viewers to Montana — a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide — to follow a local journalist working to expose the real-life impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
What is OLLI?
The full-year membership fee remains at $75 (August 1-July 31) and most courses are $5 per session. Registration for term 2 OLLI courses will begin Tuesday, Oct. 8. The benefits of an OLLI membership include OLLI catalogs mailed to your home, some free programs, and discounts from partners.
OLLI is a membership-based lifelong learning program for adults 50 years and above. The program offers non-credit courses, events, travel opportunities and lectures. OLLI is all about the joy of learning.
Membership is required to take most courses and events. Some events and activities, such as the Oct. 19 symposium, are open to non-members.