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    Visionary Leader

    Social Reformer

    Women's Rights Advocate

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Do Everything 2021 – Virtual Program and Special Tours 

“Alone we can do little. Aggregated we become powerful.” – Frances Willard

Although the Frances Willard House Museum is best known as the private home of its most famous resident, the house was also a unique site for women’s work. This year the Frances Willard House Museum is exploring Willard’s Do Everything leadership model by looking closely at the way women activists like Willard accomplished their work through connection, collaboration, and organization. The 2021 theme is taken from a quote by Willard:

“Alone we can do little. Separated, we are the units of weakness; 
but aggregated we become batteries of power. 
Agitate, educate, organize – these are the deathless watchwords of success.”

Two upcoming Museum events – one virtual, one on-site – will dig into the history and significance of women’s work at the Willard House – the original site of Do Everything leadership.

On Sunday, September 26 at 4pm CT, join us for a virtual exploration of the Willard House’s office spaces. Rare nineteenth-century photographs from our collections will be placed alongside images of the recently restored rooms. We will discuss what it means to interpret – and currently work in – a historic women’s workplace, as well as how Willard’s Do Everything approach can be applied today. RSVP for this free online program here. A Zoom link will be sent shortly before the event to everyone who registers.


Then, on Tuesday September 28 – Frances Willard’s birthday – experience the office spaces first hand by taking a special Do Everything tour.Tours will be held at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm and are available by reservation only. For more information and to schedule a tour, visit our online reservation form or call 847-328-7500.


Truth Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells

An Award Winning Community History Project of the Frances Willard House Museum and Archives

In the 1890s, Woman’s Christian Temperance Union President Frances Willard and journalist and activist Ida B. Wells fought a war of words in the international press over Willard’s lack of public support for Wells’ anti-lynching campaign. Wells called Willard’s moral leadership into question and demanded that Willard and the WCTU join her anti-lynching campaign. Under Willard’s leadership, the WCTU eventually passed resolutions opposing lynching, but Willard’s language and actions complicate her legacy.

Truth Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells is a community history project that explores this conflict. The project includes a digital exhibit of original archival sources, community conversations, and public programs. The goal of the project is to uncover the full truth of the conflict, and explore its many meanings and ramifications for our world today. To visit the website, click here.

In 2020, the Truth Telling project received Honorable Mention for Outstanding Public History Project from the National Council on Public History. To view the online award ceremony video click below.

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