Introducing Friends of the Institute

As a tribute to Senator Kennedy's 47-year career, gifts of $47 and up recognize you as a Friend of the Institute.

The Citizen's Senate


Senate Chamber

Throughout United States history, there have been key moments when citizens have compelled the U.S. Senate to act. The Institute brings these decisive moments to life in The Citizen’s Senate. This inspiring 20-minute program examines the context and importance of crucial turning points in American history, and reflects on their impact on our lives today.

The Citizen’s Senate features a short documentary film that blends narration, historic film footage, and archival images as well as live performances of speeches by Institute staff which immerse visitors in the drama and arguments surrounding an issue. Following the film and live performances, Institute staff facilitate reflection and discussion about the presentation’s core messages and themes.

Current topic

The Citizen’s Senate: Women’s Fight for Suffrage will examine the struggles and ultimate success of the final decade of the women’s suffrage movement, culminating with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. It will illustrate how women organized, lobbied, and protested the government during the years 1913 to 1920. It will also explore the politics inside of the suffrage movement, including the rivalries between suffrage organizations involved in the fight to secure women’s right to vote.

The Citizen’s Senate is made possible through the generosity of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation and Mass Humanities.


Don’t miss some of the most important moments in United States history. Get your tickets now.

Buy Tickets

The Citizen’s Senate is a program that takes place in the Institute’s Senate Chamber. It is not currently running.

The Institute is currently open for pre-scheduled groups only.

Watch the Program

View a recording of The Citizen’s Senate premier and a panel discussion about women’s suffrage.

Teaching Resource

Use this viewing guide and webquest to help students explore the women’s suffrage movement as told in The Citizen’s Senate: Women’s Fight for Suffrage and write a news article about the debate over expanding the right to vote.

The Citizen’s Senate Teaching Resource