Women’s Voices Rise in the Midwest

Her soprano voice lifted high and wide in the acoustically exquisite Sheldon Concert Hall. Christine Brewer gave lyrical life to the words of Susan B. Anthony in “We Cannot Retrace Our Steps,” from the 1947 opera centered around Anthony, “The Mother of Us All.” Did you know there was an opera created about Susan B. Anthony?

What a fitting way to honor this icon—the tenacious, determined, and relentless Susan B. Anthony—at a concert titled “Songs for Democracy 2024.” The sold-out crowd was enraptured by Brewer’s melodious voice.

Christine was followed by the concert soprano Angel Love, who, along with a trumpet and a double bass, created a musical rendition of Sojourner Truth’s famous 1851 speech, “Ain’t I a Woman.” This was a unique way to bring her voice to life.

The entire concert was held recently in St. Louis, as a fundraiser for the League of Women Voters of Metro Saint Louis, allowing this non-partisan century-old organization to continue raising its voice to protect and expand voting rights.

I feel the pulse of women’s voices all around me in the Midwest expanding, with women speaking up and singing out. Like a field of summer flowers suddenly coming into bloom, I am experiencing the outpouring of women’s voices all around me.

I recently participated in planning a fundraiser for the National Women’s Political Caucus of Saint Louis, where we raised a record amount of money to get women elected to offices representing our area. We fund them so their voices can be heard. Currently, women hold only 28.4% of the elected offices in the state legislature and no statewide offices.

The National Federation of Press Women recently held a National Convention in Saint Louis County, where journalists and communicators nationwide learned about St. Louis. The food tastings of our regional specialties and Dr. Jody Sowell of the Missouri Historical Society gave such a positive view of our incredible city. These women communicators were celebrated, honored, and encouraged to keep sharing their voices.

It is interesting to note that both of the above national organizations founded their first chapters in Missouri. The National Women’s Political Caucus was founded in 1971, and the St. Louis chapter was established the same year. The National Federation of Press Women was founded in 1937, and Missouri Press Women the same year! Both organizations use purple as their signature color. I am proud to be a member of both organizations.

Back to Susan B. Anthony. The 4th of July will be celebrated soon, and it is good to note that in 1876, the Centennial of the new nation was being celebrated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Susan strode to the speaking platform, uninvited, and presented the Vice President with the Declaration of Rights, a document demanding justice for women that she, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Matilda Gage had written. Susan and her colleagues then moved to the other side of Independence Square and held a rally with speeches and singing!

Susan’s words that day still ring true:

“We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever.”

I am headed to upstate New York after the 4th of July, for a retreat, and then a visit to the cradle of women’s rights activism: Auburn, Seneca Falls, Waterloo and Rochester, NY, then Akron, OH. I will revisit my favorite sites, discover new ones and learn new stories of women raising their voices.

Keep raising your voices, sisters!


Rebecca Now

**Save the Date** I’m excited to share that our new book: inHER Power inHER Wisdom: A Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Challenges and Growing Into Your Power” will be launching on August 13th!!!  Make sure to mark the date on your calendar…starting August 13th, we will be offering our book for the special rate of $1.99 USD (just for the first 24-48hrs).

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