Give Us The Ballot: A Panel on the History of Voter Suppression and the Importance of Fighting for Voter Access
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 5:00pm

Phi Alpha Theta


WED JAN 16th

Smith Memorial Student Union
1825 SW Broadway


Our panelists will discuss voter suppression techniques employed throughout the former Confederacy that were inextricably bound to the demise of Reconstruction and birth of domestic apartheid structures during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, as well as efforts to re-enfranchise Black voters in the 1960s and today. We will briefly discuss the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amendments to expand to language minorities, the history of “voting” Mexicans in 19th and early 20th century Texas, and the Voter Registration movement of the 1970s as well as suppression techniques in contemporary society. We will cap off the discussion with modern and local perspectives on the groundbreaking voter access policies which have led to Oregon becoming the easiest state in the nation to vote in, and how youth organizing throughout the country is leading to a better future for voter access. We still have much further to go, but if our victories have taught us anything, it is that our wildest dreams are possible (even if they take generations to come true).


Dr. Winston Grady-Willis is Director of the School of Gender, Race and Nations. The principal focus of his research has been contemporary Black freedom struggles, including nonviolent direct action, the Black Power movement and the reemergence of Black feminism. He is the author of Challenging U.S. Apartheid: Atlanta and Black Struggles for Human Rights (Duke University Press, 2006) and lead author of The Struggle Continues: Historical and Contemporary Issues in Africana Studies (Great River Learning, 2015).




Marc Rodriguez is Professor of History and Editor of the Pacific Historical Review at Portland State University. In 2012, he was awarded the NACCS Tejas Nonfiction Book Award, National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, Tejas Foco, for his book The Tejano Diaspora: Mexican Americanism and Ethnic Politics in Texas and Wisconsin (University of North Carolina Press, 2011). Dr. Rodriguez' most recent book, Rethinking the Chicano Movement (Routledge Press, 2015), is a synthetic history of the Mexican American civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s.




Samantha Gladu believes in addressing power inequities by building representative and progressive leadership. She got her start in Oregon politics after completing New Leadership Oregon in 2012, and has since worked on statewide and legislative district campaigns and as Chief of Staff to two Oregon legislators. With a degree in community development and a background of reproductive health advocacy, Samantha has worked on issues globally at the United Nations as a Planned Parenthood Global Youth Advocacy Fellow, regionally as board vice president for the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, and in both chambers of the legislature. She is the Executive Director of the Bus Project and also serves as a member of the NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon board of directors and was a founding board member and co-director of New Leaders Council Portland.