Professor of Women’s Studies and President of the National Women’s Hall of Fame Betty Bayer is getting out the vote for the Partners in Preservation nationwide voting campaign. The public may vote once a day for up to five Main Street projects at voteyourmainstreet.org.
The Hall is vying for $150,000 in grants through the annual initiative, which awards up to $2 million to sites across the country that played historically significant roles in advancing diversity, equality and inclusion. Located in Seneca Falls, N.Y., the birthplace of the Women’s Rights Movement in America and the location of the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1848, the Hall must finish in the top 10 sites to earn the grant.
“This is huge. Our ranking is precarious so we are reaching out in media and social media,” Bayer told the Finger Lakes Times. “We have T-shirts, buttons and stickers to encourage voters. Our open house at the Hall on Oct. 20 from 1 to 4 p.m. will encourage people to come in and vote and bring friends and family too.”
The Hall could be granted an additional $10,000 if it receives the most new voters during the week of Oct. 8. Through the competition the public may also enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Washington, D.C. at the close of the campaign. Winners will be announced on Oct. 29.
The grants would contribute to renovations as the Hall prepares to occupy its new home at the 1844 Seneca Knitting Mill, where it will continue to preserve and disseminate the stories of successful and important women throughout U.S. history.
Bayer is an expert on the intersections of women’s history, psychology, science, religion and spirituality. She has explored the abolitionist and women’s rights movements, and their common history in central New York. Recognized for her outstanding teaching, Bayer received the Colleges’ Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in 2004 and the Community Service Award in 2009. She has served as the chair of the Women’s Studies Program since 2001 and directed the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men from 2002 to 2009.
A former senior fellow at the Martin Marty Center for the Study of Religion at the University of Chicago, Bayer earned her Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. in psychology from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.