HomeMAKERS: Women in Nevada History

MAKERS: Women in Nevada History


PREVIEW - In recognition of the 100th anniversary of Nevada’s woman suffrage (1914), WRIN partnered with Vegas PBS to educate our community about the extraordinary women who have improved the quality of life in the state. WRIN’s extensive research on Nevada women’s history formed the content and script. Three one-half hour programs debuted in October 2014 with additional profiles made available later. We are particularly pleased that the Clark County School District created a curriculum for our schools and included women in the state’s history.

EPISODE 1 - This episode begins in the early 1900s with women’s involvement in building Nevada’s communities, businesses, and education system. It highlights the successful campaign for women’s right to vote in Nevada (1914) six years before the federal amendment (1920) and contines through World War Two with the participation of women in the southern Nevada war industries. Featured MAKERS include: Anne Martin, Bird Wilson, Helen Stewart, Maude Frazier, and Magnesium Maggie. 

EPISODE 2 - This episode opens with the women workers in Las Vegas and their entry into gaming, construction, politics, and business. It highlights individual women who achieved significant success in their field, as well as the agents of change who participated in the legal transformations of women’s rights during the 1970s and 1980s. Featured MAKERS include: Claudine Williams, Nancy Houssels, Kitty Rodman, Lubertha Johnson, Sarann Preddy, Sue Wagner, Barbara Vucanovich, Linda Rivera, and many others. 

EPISODE 3 - This episode profiles a selection of today’s Nevada women of achievement from a variety of professional and political communities in southern Nevada. Profiles include Renee West, Barbara Buckley, Pat Mulroy, Rose McKinney-James, Carolyn Goodman, Rosemary Flores, and Tina Kunzer Murphy. Those featured in this episode are but a limited sample of the many successful women who represent the world of opportunities available to women today. 


15 videos on individual historical women featured in MAKERS

Kathleen Ja Sook Bergquist, J.D., Ph.D., Bamboo Bridges

The crime of human trafficking is a global issue, but Las Vegas plays a central role in that traffic. To help combat this tragedy, Dr. Bergquist was inspired to join with others to found Bamboo Bridges, a non-profit organization that views violence against women as a spectrum issue from dating violence to domestic violence to human trafficking. Their projects have included training advocates for Asian Pacific American (APA) victims of violence; educating community organizations, law enforcement and youth; and advocating for systemic change that will decrease the opportunities for women to be exploited.

Barbara Buckley, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada

Buckley has spent her career providing legal services to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford an attorney. She moved to Las Vegas in the 1980s, working as a hotel maid. After putting herself though college at UNLV and law school at the University of Arizona, Buckley became a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada in 1989. Hoping to make a bigger difference, she ran for a seat in the Nevada Assembly. She was elected Majority Floor Leader by her fellow Democrats and in 2007 was elected to be Speaker of the Assembly, the first woman to hold that role. She has continued to work at the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and since 1996 has been the Executive Director.

Rosita Castillo, Promotores De Salud

Raised in farm-laborer communities, Castillo grew up among organizations working to improve labor standards and health conditions in migrant laborer communities. She continues to work among the Latino communities to promote health issues to women and men of all ages, with reproductive health and anti-violence measures as a large area of concern. She recruits and trains Spanish-speaking health educators to work with her as volunteers.