Women In Public Office: Who Paved The Way For A 2018 Surge?

Apr 6, 2018

A record number of women are running for public office this year for positions ranging from state legislators to governors and members of Congress. Whether or not they will be elected still remains uncertain, but their attempts could counteract staggering statistics: for every one woman who holds office as a governor, member of congress or state legislator in the United States today, there are three men, according to analysis from The Washington Post.

A collection of oral histories from the Southern Oral History Program highlights some of the women who have paved the way in North Carolina, including Isabella Cannon, the first woman mayor of Raleigh and Annie Brown Kennedy, the first black woman to serve in the North Carolina General Assembly. These interviews will be featured at a conference organized by the UNC School of Government to strengthen the leadership skills of women interested in public service.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Rachel Seidman, director of the program, about the stories of women trailblazers from their archive. They are joined by Margaret Henderson, a lecturer at the UNC School of Government who works on the school’s ongoing project Engaging Women in Public Service. Henderson will lead the event “Engaging Women in Public Service: Building Your Leadership Muscle” on June 8, 2018 in Winston-Salem.