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"Amended," a podcast series produced by Humanities New York and hosted by Laura Free, travels from the 1800s through the present day to highlight the diverse and complex stories behind the quest for women’s suffrage. Amended in Action,” a collaboration between Humanities New York and WRVO Public Media, was created to compliment the podcast series, “Amended.” Host Michael Riecke introduces listeners to efforts underway in central New York and the Finger Lakes that challenge injustice, illuminate truth, and raise women’s voices.

'Amended' & 'Amended in Action' Episode 4

Simonair Yoho
Kafi Kafi Co.

Amended, Episode 4: Embers and Activism

On March 25, 1911, a fire swept through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City, claiming the lives of 146 workers. Most of the victims were young immigrant women from Eastern and Southern Europe. In the wake of the fire, a group of women labor activists fought to ensure that the tragedy led to concrete change. 

In this episode, host Laura Free speaks with Dr. Annelise Orleck, author of "Common Sense and a Little Fire," to learn about the women who agitated for better working conditions before and after the Triangle Fire. Rose Schneiderman, Pauline Newman, and Clara Lemlich had a shared vision for a more equitable society. Together, they organized unions, led strikes, and fought for labor legislation, combating sexist and classist attitudes every step of the way. To exercise their full political power, they needed to make an impact not just on the picket lines but also at the ballot box. They needed the right to vote.

Amended in Action, Episode 4: From Jamaica to Geneva: The Journey of Historian Janette Gayle 

Credit Dr. Janette Gayle
Dr. Janette Gayle in the classroom at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva.

Dr. Janette Gayle’s passion for teaching runs as deep as her continuing quest to uncover untold stories of New York’s African American and immigrant dressmakers in the early 1900s. “You don’t hear these women’s stories, but I know that they’re there, and if I just persevere, I will find them,” Gayle explains to host Michael Riecke in this episode of Amended In Action. Listeners will learn how coming of age in Jamaica during the politically tumultuous 1970s inspired her research and led her to Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva.