Organizing Committee

Century of Action celebrates 100 years of Oregon women’s right to vote and advances the understanding of women’s citizenship in Oregon’s history.

Century of Action: Oregon Women Vote, 1912–2012 is a project of the Oregon Women’s History Consortium (OWHC), a new organization formed to lead the centennial celebration of woman suffrage and to promote women’s history beyond 2012. As a small organization, the Consortium’s board members also serve as the steering committee for Century of Action. Century of Action is also advised by several Oregon women leaders. (See Advisory Board below.)

Starting a new non-profit organization requires legal counsel, and we have greatly benefited from pro bono legal work donated by Tonkon Torp, LLP, and lawyer Christine Uri.

As we have worked to get started, the Northwest History Network, a non-profit consortium of regional historians, archivists, librarians and other professionals, has provided essential support. NHN has served as the incubator for our project and assisted us with grant applications, supplied administrative backup and volunteer work, and given enthusiastic public exposure to the project. NHN is committed to expanding the understanding of history and culture through collaboration, professional development & support, and public engagement. Century of Action is grateful for the support of the NHN Board of Directors, especially Mary-Margaret Wheeler-Weber, Director of NHN, who has served as the liaison to Century of Action, and Andrew Bryans, NHN Treasurer,  who has provided essential administrative support. For more information on NHN please visit their website at

Oregon Women’s History Consortium Board of Directors:

Eliza Canty-Jones, President, is Editor of the Oregon Historical Quarterly. She earned an MA in Pacific Northwest and public history from Portland State University and a BA in English literature from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where she was a founding co-editor of the journal SlackWater: Oral Folk History of Southern Maryland. Canty-Jones has researched and written about World War II conscientious objectors who formed an art school at a Civilian Public Service camp on the Oregon Coast, and she conducted extensive oral history interviews with one woman who chose to live and work with the conscripted men. She has been published in the Oregon Historical Quarterly and 1859, Oregon’s Magazine, and she serves on the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, and the Board of Directors for People’s Food Co-op, PSU Friends of History, and the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission. 

Janice Dilg, Treasurer, is an independent historian from Portland, Oregon. She holds an MA in history from Portland State University and has been the Project Director for Century of Action: Oregon Women Vote, 1912–2012 since 2008. Dilg’s article in the Spring 2009 issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly, “For Working Women in Oregon”: Caroline Gleason/Sister Miriam Theresa and Oregon’s Minimum Wage Law,” was part of that publication’s Statehood Sesquicentennial Series. Since 2006, she has taught the Portland State University Senior Capstone, Monumental Women, a course that documents women’s civic contributions to Portland online and through walking tours. Her most recent public history projects include: the US District Court of Oregon Historical Society Oral History Project, historical displays for the Martha Washington Hotel, Pittock Mansion Society oral history project, and historian for the Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard Gateway and Heritage Markers.

Kimberly Jensen, Vice-President, received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in women’s and U.S. history and is Professor of History and Gender Studies at Western Oregon University. Jensen is the author of Oregon’s Doctor to the World: Esther Pohl Lovejoy and a Life in Activism (University of Washington Press, 2012), Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War (University of Illinois Press, 2008), and co-editor, with Erika Kuhlman, of Women and Transnational Activism in Historical Perspective (Republic of Letters, 2010). Her recent articles include “‘Neither Head Nor Tail to the Campaign’: Esther Pohl Lovejoy and the Oregon Woman Suffrage Victory of 1912” in the Fall 2007 issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly, and “Revolutions in the Machinery: Oregon Women and Citizenship in Sesquicentennial Perspective” in the Fall 2009 issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly. Jensen is a member of the editorial boards of the Oregon Historical Quarterly and the Oregon Encyclopedia Project and serves as a commissioner on the statewide Oregon Heritage Commission.

Linda Long, Secretary, is a Manuscripts Librarian at the University of Oregon Special Collections. She has worked extensively with the Oregon Women’s Political History collections at University of Oregon (all unprocessed!) and to develop UO’s manuscript collections relating to the lesbian land community in Oregon, until now underrepresented (or not represented at all) in manuscripts repositories in the state.

Judith Margles is Executive Director of the Oregon Jewish Museum. A native Canadian, Margles apprenticed at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto before attending graduate school at New York University. For ten years, she served as Curator at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. She has consulted on exhibit projects for many institutions in the Portland area, including the First Unitarian Church, Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, Fair Housing Council of Oregon, Linfield College of Nursing, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Humanities, and the American Jewish Committee. Margles serves on the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition and on the boards of the Old Town History Project. She is the current Chair of the Council of American Jewish Museums, a post she will hold until 2012.

Donna Maddux considers public service a personal calling, spurred largely by growing up in a home that twice a year also served as a community polling place.  She vividly recalls joining her mother, the local judge of elections, on every election-day and the sense of community and significance that involvement in the elections process imparted.  Donna cut her teeth in full-time public service as a member of the first class of AmeriCorps in 1994, working in public schools, on environmental projects, and delivering vital services to those in need.  In 2006, Donna made her first contested run for elected office, winning a seat on the then all-male Tualatin City Council.  Because of Donna’s commitment to bringing the role of women in history to life, in 2010 she played Tualatin’s first woman Principal Bea Cole in HerStory, a production of the Tualatin Historical Society which told the story of 17 strong women who shaped Tualatin’s history.  In her day job, Donna continues her commitment to public service as a prosecutor with the Oregon Department of Justice, prosecuting criminals and training law enforcement across the state.  After earning her B.A. in Political Science, and an M.A. in Higher Education, Donna later earned a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School and currently serves on their Alumni Board.

Nicole Nathan has specialized in collections management and development, as well as exhibit production, working with museums and institutions in Oregon and Washington.  Her experience with collections includes over 15 years of working with the artistic, ethnographic and historical objects of the Northwest.  She has served as staff and adviser to such institutions as Coeur d’Alene’s Old Mission State Park (ID), Oregon Nikkei Endowment, Museum of Contemporary Craft (OR), the High Desert Museum (OR), Uintah County Museums (UT), and the State of Wyoming Museum and Archives.  Her exhibit experience has included projects with the Pike Place Market Foundation (WA), Experience Music Project (WA), and the High Desert Museum (OR).  Nicole also served as a member of the Deschutes County Historic Landmarks Commission in Bend, OR, a Certified Local Government addressing land use and historic preservation issues. Nicole is the current Chair of the Registrars Committee – Western Region, and serves on the board of the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition (MCCC). She received her M.A. in Museum Studies from the University of Washington and her B.A. in Anthropology from Linfield College.

Nova Newcomer grew up in Portland, Oregon, and received a public high school education, yet managed to graduate high school never learning the name of Betty Roberts. When she learned about the upcoming celebration of 100 years of women’s suffrage in Oregon, she wanted to help ensure that the next 100 years of students and Oregonians know the names of women leaders who brought important change to our state. A strategic communication consultant, Nova has worked in various capacities for local non-profits as well as small and large businesses. Nova has previously worked internationally with sportswear company Adidas Group and recently for Portland Energy Conservation, Inc. Spurred by her commitment to public service, Nova is currently doing what she loves best — providing people with tools to communicate better about important policy issues and helping women develop their leadership potential. Nova also leads the outreach efforts for the Center for Women, Politics & Policy, working to increase community support for the Center’s leadership development programs for college women and teen girls and its expanding research and teaching offerings. Nova’s work has been featured in several industry publications, and she is a requested speaker at communication events. She is a huge Trailblazer fan (from birth), loves baseball, and lives in North Portland with her husband Peat and son Elliott.


OWHC Advisors:

Hon. Norma Paulus, co-chair
Norma Paulus was born in Nebraska and settled with her family outside Burns, Oregon, as a child. She was President of her senior class at Burns High School, where she excelled as a student and had a particular passion for Latin courses. Paulus could not attend college, but with the help of her teachers, was employed by the Harney County District Attorney. She later worked as a secretary for the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, and with the urging and support of court justices, attended Willamette Law School. She graduated in 1962 and passed the bar easily that year. Her first political work was on the Marion-Polk Boundary Commission, by appointment from Gov. Tom McCall. She was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1970 and served there from 1971 to 1975. In 1976, she was the first Oregon woman elected to a statewide office, as Secretary of State, a position she held from 1977 to 1985; Paulus also served as Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1990 to 1999.

Hon. Barbara Roberts, co-chair
Barbara Roberts was elected Oregon’s first woman Governor in 1990, becoming one of the first ten female governors in America. She had held public office for twenty-four years, including serving as Oregon House Majority Leader and Oregon Secretary of State. A native Oregonian and descendant of Oregon Trail pioneers, Roberts is a published author, active public speaker, mother of two sons, and grandmother. Roberts began her public service as an unpaid legislative advocate for disabled children and has served on dozens of non-profit boards, including Oregon Hospice, the Childrens Relief Nursery, 1000 Friends of Oregon, the National Human Rights Campaign, and Population Action International in Washington DC. Following her time as Governor, Roberts spent a decade in higher education administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the Hatfield School at Portland State University. She has just completed the manuscript for her autobiography that is expected to be released in 2011 by Oregon State University Press. Roberts’s first book, Death Without Denial, Grief Without Apology, was published in 2002..

Hon. Betty Roberts: In Memoriam
Betty Cantrell Roberts is a former politician and former judge in the U.S. state of Oregon. She was the 83rd Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, the highest state court in Oregon. She was the first woman on the Oregon Supreme Court and had also been the first woman on the Oregon Court of Appeals Roberts served from 1982 to 1986 on the high court and from 1977 to 1982 on the Court of Appeals. A native of Kansas and raised in Texas, Roberts had previously been elected to both chambers of the Oregon Legislative Assembly, but lost bids for the governor’s office and the U.S. Senate, both in 1974. She was married three times, including to Keith Skelton and Frank Roberts, whom she served with in the legislature. Her book, With Grit and By Grace: Breaking Trails in Politics and Law, A Memoir, written with Gail Wells, was published by Oregon State University Press in 2008.

Dr. Melody Rose
Melody Rose (Ph.D. 1997, Cornell University) is Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Instruction at Portland State University. She is also the Founder and Director of The Center for Women, Politics & Policy. The Center houses NEW Leadership Oregon and Teens Lead, public service leadership training programs for college- and high school-aged women in Oregon. Her research is focused on the descriptive and substantive representation of women in American government, and she has authored a number of award-winning books, articles, and chapters on the presidency, social policy, women and politics, and elections. Her third book, Hillary Clinton’s Race for the White House: Gender Politics and the Media on the Campaign Trail (with Regina Lawrence) was published in 2009 by Lynne Rienner Publishers. Before moving into academic administration, Rose was Professor and Chair of the Political Science Division. She is a regular political analyst on local, state, and national media on matters of elections, voting, party systems, and women’s political action.

Christine Uri
As a business attorney at Tonkon Torp LLP, Christine helps innovative emerging and mid-sized privately held businesses actualize their business purpose.  She has particular expertise in corporate governance, legal compliance, risk management and the execution of strategic transactions.  Prior to joining Tonkon Torp, Christine was a judicial clerk for The Honorable Joseph R. Goodwin, U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia. She also interned with Goulston & Storrs in Boston, Massachusetts and with the San Juan County Prosecutor’s Office in Washington State.  At Boston College School of Law, Christine served as Editor-in-Chief of the Uniform Commercial Code Reporter-Digest.  Christine devotes considerable time and energy to civic endeavors that promote the development and education of women and girls.  In addition to being a member of the Board of Advisors, she serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of Girls, Inc. of Northwest Oregon, a nonprofit organization that inspires girls, ages 8-18, to be Strong, Smart and Bold. Christine is a graduate of the 2009 class of Leadership Portland, a Portland Business Alliance program that develops the next generation of community leaders.