Beyond the Ballot | WYPR

Beyond the Ballot

  • Hosted by Sheri Parks

(ARCHIVE) In 2020 we celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote. To commemorate this milestone, the law firm of Gallagher Evelius & Jones is proud to present "Beyond the Ballot," a series highlighting the accomplishments and contributions of Maryland women since winning the right to vote.

At Gallagher, we value a diverse and inclusive team. Women have played key roles in our firm for decades. "Beyond the Ballot" reflects the values on which our firm was founded and by which we serve people and organizations every day — striving for excellence, compassion and respect for individuals, and dedication to the communities where we live and work.

These stories of exceptional women are intended to inform and inspire others to recognize and realize their own achievements and contributions.

Dr. Rosalyn Terborg-Penn

Mar 29, 2019

Through her scholarship and teaching career, Dr. Rosalyn Terborg-Penn chronicled the work of African-American suffragists, whose contributions had largely been ignored or erased in the official histories of the movement.

Nancy Grace Roman

Mar 14, 2019

In her quest to become an astronomer, Nancy Grace Roman had to overcome misconceptions about the intelligence, capabilities and proper role of women in society and academia. She went on to become an executive at NASA, where she became known as the “Mother of the Hubble” Space Telescope.

Virginia Hall

Mar 1, 2019
CIA handout

The Nazis called her “the most dangerous of all Allied spies” in Occupied France and called for her elimination. But Virginia Hall of Parkton, an amputee known as “the Lady Who Limps,” outran the Gestapo and helped secure victory for the Free French Forces in World War II. 

Still Pond, Maryland

Feb 14, 2019

More than fruit and honey came from the farms of Still Pond, Maryland in the 1900s. The town charter, written in 1908, guaranteed women the right to vote a dozen years before the 19th Amendment was ratified.

Sandi Timmins

Jan 24, 2019
House of Ruth

To Sandi Timmins, equality for women includes the right to be free from domestic violence – and defending that right is everyone’s duty. As executive director of House of Ruth Maryland, Timmins has increased outreach and built innovative training programs for communities, professions, employers and even past abusers. “As an agency, there is only so much we can do alone,” she says.

Gladys Noon Spellman

Dec 27, 2018

Early in her political career, Gladys Noon Spellman was praised by a male colleague… for “thinking like a man.” At first she thought it a compliment. Then she got angry. “I said, ‘Well, I guess today was an off–day for me. Tomorrow I’ll be myself, and do better’.”

Willa Bickham

Dec 12, 2018
Baltimore Sun

In the last 50 years there, Willa Bickham, her volunteers and supporters have fed more than one million people from Viva House in Southwest Baltimore. Yet, she feels like she’s the one who benefitted, the one who received beneficence. 

Rita C. Davidson

Nov 21, 2018
Jewish Women's Archive

The subject of this episode didn’t just break through one glass ceiling. She took care of three with intellect and determination. Rita C. Davidson was the first woman to serve Maryland’s cabinet. She was the first to serve on the intermediate appellate court. And she was the first to serve on our state’s highest course, fulfilling her life-long dream and serving our citizens to great ends.

Sally J. Michel

Nov 8, 2018
Baltimore Sun

Sally J. Michel, one of the greatest champions of Baltimore’s children, Baltimore’s environment, Baltimore’s everything, really. In this episode, we’ll explore her many contributions and achievements.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Oct 24, 2018

Eunice Kennedy Shriver opened the first Special Olympics game just seven weeks after her brother Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. Today, by one estimate, more than three million Special Olympic athletes from all 50 states and 181 countries around the world take part in year-round training for the games.

Bea Gaddy

Oct 18, 2018

Known as “The Mother Theresa of Baltimore,” Bea Gaddy was Maryland’s most inspirational heroes and surely the greatest champion and protector of the state’s hungry.

She is perhaps best remembered today for hosting free Thanksgiving dinners for the poor of Baltimore City.

Lucy Diggs Slowe

Sep 13, 2018
Howard University

In 1917,  Baltimore native Lucy Diggs Slowe won the first-ever championship match held by the newly established American Tennis Association, becoming the first African American woman to win a national championship in any sport.

Dr. Liebe Sokol Diamond

Aug 23, 2018

What does it take to be nationally renowned surgeon? A really big brain seems essential, and Dr. Liebe Sokol Diamond certainly had that. An unwavering devotion to caring for others is also critical, and she had that, too, seemingly in limitless supply.

Sarah Hemminger

Aug 9, 2018
The Daily Record

Sarah Hemminger is the chief executive and co-founder of an organization called Thread. Thread takes struggling students in the city’s public school system and builds volunteer families around them. The results have been extraordinary.

Jean Baker

Jul 12, 2018

Historian and Goucher College professor Jean Baker played a particularly important role in making a place for women in public eye.  The women's movement made her see that the crux of history didn't have to be kings and male prime ministers, that women and minorities have important stories to tell. 

Justice Fighter: Juanita Jackson Mitchell

Jun 27, 2018
Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame

Throughout her distinguished life and career, Juanita Jackson Mitchell fought for justice wherever she found injustice, drawing on a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy, intellect, and determination to make our world a more just and equitable place for all.

A Cleaner Earth: Rachel Carson

Jun 6, 2018
Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame

Rachel Carson changed our world for the better, quite literally, with her 1962 book “Silent Spring.” In it, she brought attention to the contamination of our environment through the use of pesticides.

America’s Beloved Poet: Lucille Clifton

May 24, 2018
Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame

In her work, Poet Lucille Clifton explored the African-American experience and exalted our human capacity to persevere. For her efforts, she won major awards and widespread appreciation, including the claim that no American poet was more beloved than she.

Dean of the Women: Barbara Mikulski

May 10, 2018
Maryland Women's Hall of Fame

Senator Barbara Mikulski served longer in Congress than any other woman in U.S. history. During her tenure, she came to be known as the Dean of Women not only blazing a trail in government but also for mentoring her colleagues. And she keeps on working for all us.

The Power of the Voting Booth: Victorine Adams

Apr 26, 2018
Maryland State Archives

If Baltimore’s black residents voted in greater numbers, political candidates would have to pay attention to them or risk losing at their hands, the great activist Victorine Adams recognized in the 1940s. So she went out and registered them by the thousands.

Continuing the Fight: Lavinia Margaret Engle

Apr 12, 2018
Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame

The ratification of suffrage did not mark the end of the fight for women’s voting rights, according to Lavinia Margaret Engle. Women needed to stay organized to overcome any obstacles they might face in exercising their new right, she believed. So she helped to establish the Maryland League of Women Voters and led the organization for more than a decade.