Power to the people
Talia Higgins views today’s radicalism through the lens of the women’s suffrage movement.
Only a century ago women won full voting rights, but not before parades, protests and civil unrest drew attention to their plight. As one of the nation’s first higher education institutions to offer the women’s and gender studies major, TU provided Talia Higgins with a premier program to study feminist history and theory. “Many tactics of women’s suffrage movement are similar to what we see today,” says Higgins.
As a recent intern at the Alice Paul Institute, a New Jersey-based nonprofit focused on the life and work of Alice Paul, a leader of the women’s suffrage movement, Higgins identifies and analyzes research sources on the institute’s website and assesses the effectiveness of the viewer’s virtual experience.
As a freshman, Higgins was hesitant about assuming too many responsibilities with sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi at TU, but she was supported by sorority sisters to help lead a number of initiatives. “I want to help erase the stigma that still surrounds sororities and help us be taken seriously as womens’ organizations,” explains Higgins, who served as vice president of social standards for the sorority.
She was also successful at bringing her sorority together with Towson Hillel for a Shabbat dinner. “The sorority leadership position pushes me out of my comfort zone,” says Higgins. “Together with my major, it pushes me out of my shell.”
Her studies at TU have highlighted the ongoing gap in women’s health and the human sexuality field. “Closing that gap in education is a huge mission of mine,” says Higgins. “I want to give women more of a voice and greater understanding of their bodies and their lives.”