The Arkansas Women’s History Institute invites people to visit sites across Arkansas associated with trailblazing women and stories of activism during Women’s History Month in March.
"The AWHI is a nonprofit organization founded in 1983 to encourage the study of Arkansas women’s history and to promote public awareness of the contributions women have made in the development of our state," AWHI President Amanda Whitley said. "The organization encourages the study of Arkansas women's history by scholars and the general public through sponsorship of exhibits, lectures and activities."
Due to the pandemic, AWHI decided to forego its in-person Women's History Month Festival and instead created a virtual activity for people to enjoy safely at home.
"The project planning committee saw this as an opportunity to expand our outreach by including sites associated with significant Arkansas women activists throughout the state," Whitley said. "Sites were chosen based on the committee's own knowledge and research interests along with assistance from the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas History, which allows users to browse entries by categories like 'women' and 'social change.' We made a concerted effort to include places throughout Arkansas highlighting the contributions of people of color and other underrepresented communities."
The map, available here, includes sites throughout the state, along with a brief explanation and photo of its significance. It includes locations like the childhood home of Maya Angelou, Files Cemetary in Hot Springs, multiple sites of school integration, the location of Susan B Anthony's visit to Arkansas on a speaking tour and many more.
"We hope that people will follow the 'Rightfully Hers' trail to learn about these often unheralded heroes, the worthy causes they supported and how their work influenced the development of the state we call home," Whitley said.
Participants who visit at least five of the 32 sites during Women’s History Month and submit photos from each site to the AWHI will receive a “Rightfully Hers” Trail button. Forms must be submitted by March 31, 2021.
AWHI also administers the annual Susie Pryor Award, named in honor of Susie Newton Pryor of Camden, for the best unpublished essay about Arkansas women, and encourages the study of women's history by Arkansas' secondary school students through its sponsorship of National History Day awards for projects about women's history.