100 years since the 19th Ammendment
Earlier this week, on August 18, we celebrated the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which granted women the right to vote in the United States. Our road to women’s suffrage was hard-won, but also complicated and deeply flawed. As White women like Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton marched the streets with banners and billboards, Black women in the Jim Crow South who fought for women’s rights found themselves disenfranchised for another half century.
Thus, in this centennial year, we especially commit to remembering and honoring the contributions of Black women like Mary Church Terrell, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Sojourner Truth. We also commemorate countless other women of color like Luisa Capetillo, Jovita Idár, and Mabel Ping-Hua Lee—all of whom made heroic impacts in the fight for gender and racial equality in the years before and since the passage of the 19th Amendment. Even today, voter suppression efforts disproportionately affect women of color, exemplifying the impact of the intersecting forces of racism and sexism in our society. And yet, we see women of color leading the most persistent efforts to hold our country to its democratic ideals through community organizing, running for office, and registering voters. Their efforts continue to guide us along on an imperfect and unfinished journey to achieve equity and social justice through full participation in our democracy.
In this long battle to get equal access to the ballot box, the security of voting rights continues to face a grave threat today. Rollbacks to early voting, unjust voter purges, strict voter photo ID laws, and the peril facing our US Postal Service system continue to target women, young people, and people of color seeking to exercise their right to vote.
Progress towards a more perfect Union is often messy, and we have an opportunity to shape our own narrative this upcoming 2020 election.
USFVotes Campus Team
Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good
If you are ready to shape the future in a way that is more just, inclusive, and equitable, you can do so now by registering to vote and making sure you are prepared for Tuesday, Nov. 3. Go to bit.ly/usfvotes for more information, reach out to us if you have questions at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow us on Twitter or Instagram @usfvotes.