The Orange County Regional History Center has teamed with the League of Women Voters of Orange County to present the 2019 Brechner Speaker Series, highlighting the role of women as “warriors for democracy” – the League’s theme for a celebration of historic events that begins in 2019 and culminates with the centennial of the women’s right to vote in 2020.
“We launched this speaker series in 2017 to honor the legacy of Joseph Brechner, a potent voice for democracy in Central Florida,” says the History Center’s executive director, Michael Perkins, “so it’s especially fitting that we partner with the League – advocates for fair and open government whose goals align so closely with Mr. Brechner’s.”
The series begins February 3 with historian Patricia Farless of the University of Central Florida, speaking on “Suffragists and Abolitionists: Getting the Right to Vote.” On February 17, Leslie Kemp Poole of Rollins College presents “Women: Fighters for Florida’s Environment.” Poole, an environmental historian and League member, was featured January 15 on PBS in “The Swamp,” a documentary about the Everglades.
In the Brechner Series’ third installment, Mary Adkins of the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law will present “Making Modern Florida: How the Spirit of Reform Shaped a New Constitution.” This March 10 program spotlights the League’s eight-decade battle for fair districts and constitutional reform in Florida. The last Brechner event for 2019, titled “Warriors for Democracy: The Story of the Orange County League of Women Voters,” will feature a multimedia presentation with League speakers on April 14.
“May 2019 will mark the 80th birthday of the League of Women Voters of Orange County, and August 2020 will be the centennial of women’s right to vote,” notes Gloria Pickar, the local League’s co-president for 2018-2019. “Partnering with the History Center helps us to capture and share the story of the determined women and men who have fought for many years to empower voters and defend democracy in Central Florida and beyond.”
All Brechner Series programs are free and take place from 2 to 4 p.m. at the History Center.