What's New

A Wonderful Video From A New Supporter!

We received this wonderful video from Leah Deasy, a a new supporter who writes:
Before visiting the Matilda Joslyn Gage house, I went to the website to find out information about Matilda.  I had never heard of her, and I did not have a vast background in women’s studies. After visiting the house, I felt compelled to create a visual and audio depiction of what Matilda Joslyn Gage stood for in her lifetime and still represents the struggles we have today.
I am a full-time assistant professor of reading at SUNY Jefferson and serve as the chair of the Committee on Developmental Education (CDE). I will earn my doctoral degree from St. John Fisher College this August (2016).

A Message From Our Executive Director About Orlando

We mourn with the rest of the world the murder of those innocents in Orlando at the LGBTQI+ nightclub Pulse on Saturday night.  This act which will be remembered in history as the most deadly mass murder in the United States since the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre when U.S. soldiers killed nearly 300 Lakota, mostly women and children, as they fled to safety.  

It is a moment when we face the decision of how to respond.  Do we respond to violence with more violence?  Do we act out against those who look like the murderer?  We at the Gage Center stand with the Portland Q. Center who say, “We come together with communities across the nation and world who unite against random acts of violence fueled by hate and bigotry, and we call on our community to rise against the inevitable tide of Islamophobia, blaming and hatred.

“Liberty must be ever guarded, “Matilda Joslyn Gage wrote in 1890. When she presented a flag to the soldiers from Fayetteville to carry into battle during the Civil War, she reminded them that “Until liberty is attained–the broadest, the deepest, the highest liberty for all–not one set alone, one clique alone, but for men and women, black and white, Irish, Germans, Americans, and Negroes, there can be no permanent peace.” 

In this moment of sorrow and disbelief and anger, let us remember these words and recommit ourselves to work for that universal liberty which must be created so that we may establish a world of permanent peace.  

Sally Roesch Wagner, Ph.D.

Executive Director

The Matilda Joslyn Gage Center for Social Justice Dialogue

Recent Visitors to the Center

We recently had a visit from a Texas writer who left us this note:
“Thank you so much for inviting us in and letting us explore the house. This really has been an invaluable experience in my journey across New York State and through the history of women’s rights in this country.”
We enjoyed having you, and good luck with your book, Sam Miller!

Can You Help Us Find the Answer?

A visitor posed this question. We’ll send an Underground Railroad book to anyone who can help us find the answer!

“Do we know what the ratio of sexes and ages were of freedom takers on the Underground Railroad?”

Email foundation@matildajoslyngage.org if you know!

Current Center Hours

Hello friends! The Gage Center has new hours. We are currently open 10am to 2pm Mondays and Saturdays. We may be available Wednesdays Thursdays and Fridays, just be sure to call ahead to see if we are in! Our hours will be changing based on docent and volunteer availability, so keep checking back.

Girl Ambassador Graduation

all Our 2015-2016 Girl Ambassadors gathered together at the Gage Museum on Sunday, April 24th for a final meeting and graduation ceremony. There were hugs and tears of joy as each girl recounted what an incredible impact the program has had. Mirren Galway, a junior at FM high school and GA mentor, shared the following speech to the crowd of Girl Ambassadors, parents, and Gage supporters:

“When I was in middle school, I thoroughly and completely believed that I would be an architect. The idea of building things caught my attention and caused an excitement in me that I thought could not be replaced because it required creativity, and problem solving, and creation… what could be better? I was right. I did want to build and create, but not in the way that I had originally thought. What I was wrong about was what I wanted to build. I thought it was buildings and houses for people who needed a place to be safe and comfortable and effective, but instead I realized that what I truly wanted was to rebuild what existed within these buildings, within these people to promote a more equal society for every human being. I wanted to shake society from the ground up and remold it into an environment of equal opportunity. I did want to build a safe place for people to exist in, but I wanted to do it through words and actions rather than brick and mortar. This realization came entirely through the Girl Ambassadors program.

A little over 2 years ago, I received an email from my beloved freshman year English teacher suggesting a program to me. She said she thought it would be right up my alley, and that I had to try it out, and that any amount of work it required would be worth it.

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Sarah (Site Director) with mentors Kayla, Kristina, and Mirren

When I applied to the girl ambassadors program I had no idea what to expect and knew very little about it. To be completely honest, I didn’t know very much about myself yet either. I think my English teacher knew me better than myself in that first year of high school. I’d always had passions and a confident voice but I never knew how I wanted to direct these thoughts into something productive. When I surprised myself and made it into this program, I immediately fell in love with it and everything about it. From the initial tour of the Gage house that we’re now sitting in, to the trip to Washington DC, to being accepted as a mentor this year, I’ve loved every second of it.

I think that we sometimes get too caught up in the idea of being able to jump in and out of different things, especially in High School where we are taught that extracurriculars are the key to success and to take on as much as we can handle while still being productive. We flutter in and out, before moving on to something new or just becoming understandably distracted by life and its many requirements. For the past two years though, this museum has become a second home for me. It is a constant in the ever changing events that make up the life of a young adult. This is a place where I have come to feel most comfortable, and open, and able to express my thoughts, ideas, and passions. I have found a voice here that could have otherwise been left covered all of my life.

This program, and Gage herself, have taught me to have trust in my beliefs but to be always open to new ideas and thoughts. They have taught me to be confident and strong but to respect others’ ideas as well. They have taught me that there are always exceptions to the rules and that we can not truly reach equality until every human being has the same opportunities, justice, and liberty. As I move on to college and beyond I will always remember that Gage’s legacy lives on in all of us and we can not forget to continue spreading her beliefs no matter what we do in order to achieve this equality for all. We would not be where we are today without her and others like her, and I would not be anywhere near where I am without this program. Thank you all so much for allowing me to have this opportunity and for sharing it with me every step of the way. We’ve shared incredible discussions, dialogues, laughs, and memories and this program is something I will never forget.

Thank you everyone and thank you Sarah for making this opportunity so incredible for all of us.”

Equality In Student Government

Read how the Girl Ambassadors program inspired Meg Parker to fight for equality in student government!

11091272_1568494096765063_2938397051124237261_nIn the spring of my junior year, a friend of mine approached me with an idea.  She suggested that we gather a group of our fellow classmates to run for student office for the following school year.  I agreed, having always been interested in holding a position in my high school’s student government.  As we began to think about which classmates we should ask to run with us, we decided we wanted to form a cohesive collection of students that could work well together, but also a group that represented a wide variety of social backgrounds – people from different groups of friends.  At first, we thought it might be difficult to come up with a slate of people that fit both criteria.  However, the more that I thought about it, the more that the Girl Ambassadors for Human Rights program came to mind.  The Girl Ambassadors are a perfect example of a group of girls from different backgrounds that have worked and thought incredibly well together and have become a tightly-knit, close group of friends.  Girl Ambassadors has taught me that it only takes shared values and an open mind to work well with anyone.  Using what I learned, my friend and I successfully formed a diverse student slate that won the election and, since the beginning of this school year, have been efficient in coming up with ideas and getting our work done.

– Meg Parker, Senior at Jamesville-Dewitt High School

What an evening!

The Women’s Rights room was packed last Thursday when a diverse group of men and women joined us for the Rethinking Masculinity workshop. We were so impressed with Jeremiah Thompson’s skillful facilitation, and inspired by the energy and insights of our guests. If you missed this event, stay tuned to our Facebook page as we may host a similar workshop later in the year.

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Timeline: Make Your Mark on the Gage House

We’re putting the final touches on the new Women’s Rights timeline, and we need your help! Join other Gage volunteers in assembling the timeline “year” plaques and then hang them on the wall. Is there a notable moment in history that we haven’t included? Tell one of our Girl Ambassadors and we may be able to add it to the timeline!

About the project: The timeline of notable events in both suffrage history and Gage’s life has been a centerpiece of the Women’s Rights Room since it was originally installed in 2011. It has now been redesigned to improve both its aesthetic appeal and its utility. A border of Gage burgundy will be painted around the room and a metal strip will be installed along the ceiling. The notable events – which previously were simple signs attached directly to the wall – will be mounted on plaques and attached with magnets to the metal strip. This way, we’ll be able to add, remove, and update the events and descriptions on the timeline with ease! We are so excited to see this project finally come together, and we hope you can be a part of it.

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*A very special thank you to volunteer Mary Ann Maggio and Lowe’s in Camillus for making this update possible.*

Redefining Masculinity

Join us this April for a special event on the topic of men and feminism. Jeremiah W. Thompson, instructor at Syracuse University, will lead a workshop based on his popular class, Rethinking Masculinity. In a world where we hear that “masculinity is in crisis,” Thompson seeks to challenge unhealthy models and offer new ones. Can men be feminists? What does it mean to “be a man” in the 21st century? Participants will delve into models of contemporary masculinity and explore how they define themselves within the current feminist movement. We’re excited to host this thought-provoking workshop!

Thursday, April 7th

7pm

A $10 donation is encouraged

Registration is recommended

To register, or for more information, please email our Site Director at foundation@matildajoslyngage.org

 

 

Event Tonight!

feliceJoin us at the Liverpool Library on March 10th at 7pm for a special presentation by Site Director Sarah Flick and Gage-portrayer Renee Noelle Felice. Click here for details.

This event is free and open to the public. 

Women of Distinction Awards

Women’s History Month is not just a time to commemorate the women of our past, but is also a time to honor the women of our present who have a positive impact on our lives. The Gage Foundation is pleased to host NYS Assemblymember Al Stirpe’s 4th Annual Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony. To nominate someone for the award or to learn more about the event please visit Stirpe’s website. The event will be held on April 16th at 11am.

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Bustle: The 3 Homes Of Suffragists You Need To Visit In New York State

58b0a160-ac23-0133-9881-0a6c20e5e327The Gage Center was profiled in Bustle as a must-visit Suffrage site. Read the full article here!

“The house is a far cry from the museum-like houses of Stanton and Anthony — in fact, you’re encouraged touch and experience portions of the house. Rather than keeping the entire house preserved the way it was when Gage was alive, it is mostly devoted to her work, each of the rooms representing a part of her life that she was passionate about. The Haudenosaunee Room is dedicated to the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk Nation, who adopted Gage in 1893. The Underground Railroad Room gives insight of how the house was used as a stop on the Underground Railroad, complete with secret passages and a broader history of the slave trade for context. Everywhere there is something to read, to touch, and try — and when you’re all finished, you get to head into the cheekiest gift shop of all time.”

– Emma Lord, Bustle

Closed Due To Weather

Due to inclement weather, we will be closed on Wednesday, January 13th. We will reopen on Thursday, January 14th at 11am.

 

Why I'm a Girl Ambassador

amelia gaNow that we’re at the midpoint of this year’s Girl Ambassadors for Human Rights program, we think it’s time for you to hear from our participants. Amelia Johnson, a senior at Liverpool High School, has returned to the program this year as a mentor. Below is a reflection she wrote about her experiences with Girl Ambassadors.

“I joined the Girl Ambassadors program during my junior year. My passion for women’s rights began when I joined the robotics team freshman year; dealing with adversity in STEM fields is a problem many women are facing today, including myself at the high school level. I wanted a place where I could talk with others who shared these challenges. Others who could encourage me and I could, in turn, encourage them. I wanted a place where I could affect change. This place for me became Matilda Joslyn Gage’s home. The Girl Ambassadors program welcomed me and taught me a lot my first year. I learned the rules of dialogue, and how to project my opinion without dismissing those of others. I learned about many more issues that women in the United States and abroad are facing today, beyond adversity in STEM. So many of the things I have learned from the Girl Ambassadors program are applicable in my everyday life. I have been encouraged to persevere in STEM; I am now the president of my school’s robotics team, and plan on attending college as an engineering major. When we were in Washington, DC, some of the NGO speakers shared ways in which we can pursue careers in human rights. They pointed out that these organizations hire more than just public policy and international relations graduates. They need people with all sorts of skills, such as accounting, graphic design, and even engineering. Because of the trip, I know that it’s possible to combine engineering and human rights work in my future career.

I am fortunate to return to Girl Ambassadors this year as a mentor. Not only am I now able to help the new ambassadors learn what I have learned from the program, I have the chance to practice my own leadership skills. We continue to forge new territory, both for this year’s Girl Ambassadors and those for years to come. This year, we are incorporating community service into our program in order to serve other humans (as the Girl Ambassadors for Human Rights). In addition, we are adding a public speaking component to the program. An ambassador for any cause needs to be able to voice her thoughts. This year we as mentors will continue to be ever more involved with the Gage Foundation, and look forward to encouraging each new Girl Ambassador, and all young women, to find her voice.”

– Amelia Johnson, GA Class of 2015

Holiday Hours

Please note, the Gage Museum will be closed to walk-ins between December 24th and January 6th. If you are interested in scheduling a tour, please email us at foundation@matildajoslyngage.org.

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Gage Receives National Coverage

12039391_838154746302348_675182883786590522_n C-SPAN Cities aired special coverage of Central  New York’s rich history on the weekend of  November 21st, 2015. This coverage included a  lengthy feature on Matilda Joslyn Gage,  including extensive interviews with Sarah Flick, the  Site Director, and Dave Kellogg, a board member.  Tara Matthie, a student at Keuka College and  intern at the Gage Center, reflects on the video:

“…I think the statement that really sums up the whole feature is,“If she believes in a cause then she acted on that belief no matter the cost.” One of the main focuses of the interview and tour was on Matilda’s courage to stand up for what she believed in. Even though people tried to silence her, she kept speaking out, because she believed in what she was saying.
Up until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of Matilda Gage, which is sadly typical of most people – even those who USAWstanton2live close to the house! The big question that I and nearly all our visitors inevitably ask is, “why hadn’t I learned about this courageous woman at school?” Simply put, it was because of that same courage. She was steadfast in her beliefs, and refused to make compromises that she believed would be detrimental to the movement. This video gives a great overview of her start, a handful of the obstacles she faced, some of her accomplishments and why we know so little of her. Everyone should watch it!”

Click here to watch the video.

#ShopLocal at Gage Gifts

mugWe’ve updated our gift shop just in time for the holiday season! Visit the house during our extended holiday hours and check out our selection of new inventory. Embrace and share your inner Matilda with our carefully curated selection of gift items, including:
– Tote Bagspower sweatshirt1
– Mugs
– Sweatshirts
– Holiday note cards
– Pins & Magnets
– Feminist Coloring Books

Holiday Hours:

11am – 6pm Tuesday – Friday
10am – 2pm Saturday

And now, you can shop our new inventory directly through Facebook! The checkout process is much smoother, and we can either ship to you or hold the items at the museum.

 

Thank you to the CNY Community Foundation for making our gift shop renovation possible!

There's still time!

donThis auction gala at the Wellington House is just a few days away, but there’s still time to purchase tickets! Below is a list of some of this year’s auction items, available exclusively at this event.  RSVP now!

  • Chef’s Table for 8 with wine pairings
  • Live Your Best Life!: 6 life-coaching sessions
  • Feminism & Football: Dinner at the Genesee Grande with Don McPherson
  • Gage Experience: custom tour and gift shop items
  • Museum Hopper: A collection of family memberships to area museums
  • Shaken, Not Stirred: A unique basket containing locally-sourced wine and spirits
  • and many more!

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Visitor Spotlight: Ordain Women

MatildaJoslynGage5Sometimes tours have as much an impression on us as they do on our guests. So it was with Ordain Women, an organization dedicated to achieving gender equality within the Mormon Church. “Some ask, ‘Why is Ordain Women so important? What’s so important focusing on the religious end of things?’ But if you don’t overcome that problem of having men and women seen as unequal spiritually, you never really get to the point where you can make progress.”

Ten of their members embarked on a trip through Upstate New York in an effort to learn more about American feminism, the abolishment of slavery, and early Mormonism. Along the way they stopped at the Susan B Anthony House, Harriet Tubman House, Seneca Falls, the Tenement Museum (NYC), and, of course, the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center. After learning about Susan B. Anthony at multiple sites, one woman remarked, “It seems like all of her friends were frenemies. She was a 19th century diva!” Regarding Gage, we heard an all-too-familiar refrain: Most had never heard of her, and were blown away by what they learned. “She was the queen of intersectionality, and was acutely aware of the suffering of others.” Rarely have we had the opportunity to host such an informed and inspired group of people. Throughout the tour they drew many parallels between Gage’s world and the current status of women in the Church of Latter Day Saints. And their favorite Gage quote?

“It is not religion that has opposed woman suffrage, because true religion believes in undoing the heavy burdens and letting the oppressed go free. But from the Church and from theology this reform has met opposition at every step.”

To listen to a podcast about the trip, go here and click US Women’s History Tour.

About Ordain Women:

Ordain Women believes women must be ordained in order for our faith to reflect the equity and expansiveness of (its) teachings…Based on the principle of thoughtful, faith-affirming strategic action, Ordain Women aspires to create a space for Mormon women to articulate issues of gender inequality they may be hesitant to raise alone. As a group we intend to put ourselves in the public eye and call attention to the need for the ordination of Mormon women to the priesthood.”
MJG6Why? Unlike many other religions, ALL males over the age of 12 are able to be ordained to the priesthood in the LDS/Mormon faith. The priesthood is both used in practices of spirituality like blessings and is also an organizational and administrative authority to carry out functioning of the worldwide church and the functions of local congregations. No women in the LDS church are permitted to be ordained to the priesthood and therefore are left out of being able to administer many spiritual practices such as providing blessings, and are unable to participate in leadership and administrative roles over men & women.

MatildaJoslynGage4Ordain Women’s theme for this year has been to, “Honor our Past, Envision our Future”. We decided to embark on a women’s history tour to learn about and honor parts of our history and we found that there is a wealth of history in upstate NY that was of particular interest to our group. We visited many sites of women from the suffragette & abolition movements. Mormonism was also founded upstate in Palmyra, New York. This information gave us a good historical foundation of some of the women’s movements and provided some perspective and context for some of the work we do today in continuing to further equality in our faith tradition.
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