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LEH voting rights series at Dupré Library to be televised, livestreamed

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A Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities grant will enable Edith Garland Dupré Library to host a community book reading and virtual discussion series on voting rights in the United States.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s library is one of 10 across the state to secure an LEH grant for “Who Gets to Vote? Conversations on Voting Rights in America.”

“More than 159 million voters cast ballots in the 2020 presidential election,” said Susan Richard, UL Lafayette’s interim dean of University Libraries. “With deepening civic engagement comes the need to better appreciate how Americans have secured the right to vote and, in many instances, have struggled to retain it.

“This series of book readings and discussions does just that, and Dupré Library and the University are happy to bring this vital and timely event to our community,” she added.

“Who Gets to Vote?” is part of the “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” initiative administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

University supporters for the series include the Department of History, the College of Liberal Arts and the NAACP campus chapter. Invitees include UL Lafayette College Republicans and College Democrats. Community supporters include the Lafayette League of Women Voters and the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

About the Series

Beginning Wednesday, March 10, and continuing for the next three weeks, participants will discuss one of four books during Zoom sessions facilitated by UL Lafayette faculty members.

The sessions have been filled, but those who were unable register have options to watch the discussions. Simulcasts will be broadcast on Dupré Library’s YouTube channel. Acadiana Open Channel will televise the discussions and livestream them on the AOC YouTube channel.

A schedule of the discussions, which will be held from 6:30-8 p.m., is below.

  • March 10: The Embattled Vote in America: From the Founding to the Present by Allan J. Lichtman.
  • March 17: Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All by Martha S. Jones.
  • March 24: One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy by Carol Anderson.
  • March 31: Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy by Gary May.

Dr. Pearson Cross, a professor of political science, will facilitate the discussion on March 10 and 24. Dr. Theodore Foster, an assistant professor of history, will moderate on March 17 and 31.

Themes that will be discussed include the expansion of voting rights since the country’s founding; the electoral process; women’s suffrage; and historic and contemporary voter suppression practices.

For More Information

More information about the series, books and access to discussion guides can be found on Dupré Library’s website. A research guide prepared by library staff members is also available here.

Visit the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities site for an overview of the grant.