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An Unexpected Pilgrimage

"Pilgrimage: a long journey — especially one undertaken as a quest or for a votive purpose, as to pay homage."

Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906)

Travel opens the soul. Whether for work or play, stepping into fresh places and meeting new people often offers remarkable possibilities. For a researcher, travel presents vital opportunities to garner further insights into established facts, unlock answers which solve lingering mysteries, and occasionally reveal a few surprise discoveries. For a writer, travel provides a welcomed contrast to the many late nights focused in the minutia of the final work, and for a speaker with so many compelling subjects to share, travel permits a chance to directly reach and connect with the wider audiences you've created your work for. As a writer, researching and speaking on the unsung women throughout our animated past, this latest travel opportunity proved transformative.

Archival research into some rare animation content.

Revealing the story of our unsung women of animation to audiences at the Smithsonian Institute.

I often marvel at the places this remarkable journey has taken me. There's tremendous joy in speaking to new audiences and seeing my brimming book in the hands of eager readers, knowing that the vast world of remarkable women within animation is about to open to them, and these stories will forever change the way they see themselves, and how they view the world around them. Seeing this vivid impact firsthand is one of many wonderful bonuses experienced within these travel opportunities.

The next generation of animating talent from RIT — Rochester Institute of Technology!

Thanks to a recent speaking trek, a free day also presented an opportunity to explore multiple sites that have long held a fascination within my research. Indeed, I found myself on a rather unexpected pilgrimage...

Women's Rights National Historical Park — Seneca Falls, NY.

The home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton...

...and Susan B. Anthony's home.

The site commemorating Amelia Bloomer's introduction of Susan B. Anthony to Elizabeth Cady Stanton — the original architects behind the Women's Rights Movement within the U.S.

Wesleyan Chapel — the site of the First Women's Rights convention on July 19-20, 1848 — the official origins of what ultimately led to the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Stepping into the worlds of these remarkable women who worked to elevate all women from the shadows has expanded my view of the research I do, the final work that results, and the impact it all holds. The her-story of the remarkable women of animation stems directly from these indomitable women who began the cause of equal representation for women over 150 years ago. By knowing where we've come from, we can move forward stronger, with louder voices and renewed enlightenment, to fair equality within pay, representation, work opportunities, healthcare, housing and so much more!

An unexpected pilgrimage well worth taking!

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