IWPA 2020

Inspiring Women in Public Administration 2020

Keynote event:  Interview between Sarah Smarsh and Jim McLean

Sarah Smarsh

Conference Keynote Event:     

Sarah Smarsh - journalist and author of Heartland and She Come By It Natural.

Interviewed by:

Jim McLean - NPR Contributor and Creator/Producer of My Fellow Kansans podcast

Cost:  $49.00* | $20.00 for students

*Scholarships and financial assistance are available for anyone not able to pay, please contact Ruth DeWitt, rdewitt@ku.edu for more information.  

Sponsorships allow us to bring speakers and networking events to women in public service.  They also allow us to fund student seats and pay for those who otherwise couldn't join us.  If you are interested in sponsoring our event, click below.

Join us via Zoom for our 2020 virtual conference!  This year’s theme for the Inspiring Women in Public Administration conference is “100 Years of Women's Empowerment and Counting.” The ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920 was a hard-won struggle to gain voting rights for women, and yet, it left many promises unfulfilled.  It took the next century to gain franchise rights for women of color and Native women, and it took until the 1980s before all women, including women in rural areas or women in poverty, achieved voting parity with men.  Now we will look to the future as we continue organizing and working to achieve equality.  


We are thrilled to announce our keynote event - an interview between journalist and author of Heartland, Sarah Smarsh, and NPR contributor and creator/producer of My Fellow Kansans podcast, Jim McLean!  Sarah's new book, She Come by it Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women who Lived Her Songs, adds the voices of women in poverty and those who might reject the stereotype of "feminism" to the conversation about the work women have before them to advance political, economic, and financial equality. 


After the keynote, we'll host a panel discussion about the history of the 19th amendment, the role racism played before and after its passage, the difference between the Equal Rights Amendment and the Suffrage movements, what enfranchisement looks like today, and the challenges that still remain for women in democracy.  

  • Moderated by Joan Wagnon, League of Women Voters of Kansas 
  • Historian and KU archivist of the African American Experience Collection at the Spencer Research Library Deborah Dandridge 
  • Associate Professor at the William Allen White KU School of Journalism, Dr. Terri Finneman



Schedule of events (all times are central time): 

Time: Activity
8:30-9:00 AM Coffee, conversation, and networking
9:00 AM Welcome, tips for a maximum zoom experience, introductions
9:15 AM Keynote event:  Interview with Sarah Smarsh by Jim McLean
10:15 AM  Break
10:30 AM 19th amendment panel discussion
11:30 AM Breakout networking and small group reactions
11:45 AM Small groups report out
NOON Lunch break
1:00 PM Organizing meeting for continuing the work
2:00 PM Conference wrap up and adjournment


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