What's Your Sign? Ephemera and Women’s Activism

by  HistoryConnects from the Virginia Museum of History & Culture

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Who decides what a progressive movement is? Can contemporary activism truly embrace intersectionality? This program explores over a century of women’s activism through ephemera found in the collections at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture. From protest signs to knit caps, students will learn how Virginia women fought against injustices in the Commonwealth. Students will also analyze the historiography, or how history is recorded, of protest movements. 

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About This Program


Point to Point: $125.00
Point to Point Premium: $125.00
By Request: $125.00
By Request Premium: $125.00


60 Minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Adult Learners College Public Library: Library Patrons, Library Staff

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Community Interests, Social Studies/History, Language Arts/English, Character Education, Literacy, Leadership

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Blue Jeans, etc...)

Booking Information

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We will not charge for programs cancelled within 48 hours The full fee will be charged to sites which cancel with less than 48 hours notice.

About This Provider

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HistoryConnects from the Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Richmond, VA
United States

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture is owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society—a private, non-profit organization. The historical society is the oldest cultural organization in Virginia, and one of the oldest and most distinguished history organizations in the nation. For use in its state history museum and its renowned research library, the historical society cares for a collection of nearly nine million items representing the ever-evolving story of Virginia.

HistoryConnects is an outreach education initiative by the Virginia Museum of History and Culture utilizing video and web conferencing to reach learners of all ages across the state of Virginia and around the world! HistoryConnects is made possible in part by the Hugh V. White, Jr., Outreach Education Fund.

Hailey Fenner

Program Details


1. This program begins with an introduction, brief discussion about the purpose of program (to use ephemeral items to analyze women’s rights movements), and explanation of key terms & movements.
2. We then discuss 3 stages of movements (Suffrage, Liberation, and the current movement) using the ephemera associated with each.
3. Throughout the program students will engage in primary source analysis.
4. Time is allowed for questions and answers.


The student will be able to answer the following essential questions:
-What does ephemera tell us about the past? How are these different from permanent items?
-How do we define progressivity and inclusivity in regards to women’s rights movements? Who decides when to use those labels? How do we measure success in regards to women’s rights movements?

Standards Alignment

State Standards

(VUS.8, 10, 13; APUSH CUL-3.0, Key Concepts 8.2, 8.3, and 9.2)

• VUS.8 The student will apply social science skills to understand how the nation grew and changed from the end of Reconstruction through the early twentieth century by
o e) evaluating and explaining the social and cultural impact of industrialization, including rapid urbanization; and
o f) evaluating and explaining the economic outcomes and the political, cultural and social developments of the Progressive Movement and the impact of its legislation
• VUS.10 The student will apply social science skills to understand key events during the 1920s and 1930s by
o a) analyzing how popular culture evolved and challenged traditional values
• VUS.13 The student will apply social science skills to understand the social, political, and cultural movements and changes in the United States during the second half of the twentieth century by
o g) evaluating and explaining the changes that occurred in American culture.

• CUL-3.0: Explain how ideas about women’s rights and gender roles have affected society and politics.
• Key Concept 8.2 — New movements for civil rights and liberal efforts to expand the role of government generated a range of political and cultural responses
o Feminist and gay and lesbian activists mobilized behind claims for legal, economic, and social equality
• Key Concept 8.3 — Postwar economic and demographic changes had far-reaching consequences for American society, politics, and culture.
• Key Concept 9.2 — Moving into the 21st century, the nation experienced significant technological, economic, and demographic changes.
o Intense political and cultural debates continued over issues such as immigration policy, diversity, gender roles, and family structure