New Mexico usually forges its own path when it comes to social change.
This was indeed true for the suffrage movement.
New Mexico PBS is producing a short-run podcast series on the women’s suffrage movement in New Mexico.
The four episodes called “New Mexico and The Vote” are tying in with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. The first will premiere on Tuesday, June 30. The remaining three will be released on Tuesdays for the next three weeks.
The idea for the podcast began to take shape in December. At the beginning of 2020, NMPBS was awarded a grant and Megan Kamerick began to do research.
Kamerick is the producer and host of the podcast.
“In this issue, the West was far ahead of its counterparts across the country,” Kamerick says. “In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the state wrote its first constitution and they did allow limited suffrage for women. They could vote in school elections.”
New Mexico offers an unusual opportunity to present stories of the vote, not only because of its history as a Western frontier state, but also as it had an existing political structure and culture long before it became part of the United States. Women’s clubs, made up mostly of Anglo Protestant women, began to organize around suffrage in New Mexico in the 1890s. But those early efforts did not include women of Native American or Mexican American ancestry. Yet, it was Hispanic women who would prove crucial in getting the 19th Amendment passed in New Mexico.
“These Hispano women were connected to lawmakers that were also Hispanos,” Kamerick explains. “This was the push that was needed to get movement forward.”
Kamerick spent months researching and doing interviews for the podcast. Working alongside Kevin McDonald, executive producer of Public Affairs Programming.
Kamerick will also be leading a virtual meeting at noon, Wednesday, July 1.
During the screening, clips from the American Experience documentary, “The Vote” will be shown.
Joining her in the virtual meeting will be:
• Sylvia Ramos Cruz, M.D. – Women’s Suffrage Historian.
• Martha Burk – Political Psychologist, Author of “Your Voice, Your Vote.”
• Pamelya Herndon – Lawyer and CEO of the KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change.
“New Mexico and The Vote” can listen to the podcast on Spotify, iTunes, or wherever they get their podcasts.
The series will also be available to stream at nmpbs.org.