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'Herstoric' undertaking: Quigley keynotes Women's History Month meeting

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Wed, Mar 6th 2019 11:05 am

NYS Women Inc. celebrate 100 years fighting for women's rights

Medaille College's top academic figure will keynote Wednesday's meeting of the New York State Women Inc. Buffalo Niagara Chapter – an event steeped in women's rights history, from its location to its timing.

Dr. Lori V. Quigley, vice president for academic affairs at Medaille, will address the event at the Twentieth Century Club in Downtown Buffalo – considered one of the oldest private women's clubs in the country. As the club notes on its website, "The Twentieth Century Club reflects the growth of the national women's club movement and the increased influence of women generally in American life. It was officially designated among the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior in June of 2011."

The Buffalo-Niagara Chapter of New York State Women fosters the success of women in the workforce throughout Western New York, offering career advancement resources, work/life strategies, leadership development, and personal and professional connection.

Quigley's remarks coincide with both Women's History Month and observations of the 100th anniversary of Congress's passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote nationally. (The amendment was quickly ratified by the states, becoming part of the Constitution the following year.)

"The past century has been an era of remarkable advancement for women, but there are still so many challenges," Quigley said ahead of her planned remarks. "From the Seneca Falls Declaration to the battle for the 19th Amendment to modern debates about the wage gap, reproductive freedom and women working to advance other marginalized communities, the story of women and their fight for equality – what once was called 'herstory' – has been revolutionary. If the 20th century was 'the American Century,' then the fight for the rights of half of the American population is the most important story of that, and this, century."

Quigley noted part of her role at Medaille College was helping all students realize their potential.

"The slogan 'The Future is Female' first appeared in 1975, and I don't know if the future is male, female or genderless, but it has the potential to be strong and free," Quigley said. "At Medaille College and in academia in general, we teach women, men, people from every conceivable background, that they have value; that they don't have less value than anyone else. That's been the story of the women's rights movement since Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony began fighting for equality 170 years ago, and it's the story of every young woman who works to make her life better through education, through hard work, and through standing up for herself."

In addition to her role at Medaille, Quigley was a gubernatorial appointee to the New York State Minority Health Council under govs. David Paterson and Andrew Cuomo. In 2004, President George W. Bush appointed her to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, which she chaired until June 2010.

Quigley's remarks at the Twentieth Century Club, 595 Delaware Ave., kick off a program set to begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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