August 18, 2020 – Ratification of the 19th Amendment – Women’s Suffrage
The 19th Amendment prohibits state and federal governments from denying citizens the right to vote on the basis of gender. The women’s suffrage amendment was introduced in 1878 and on August 18, 1920 Tennessee joined other ratifying states to push the amendment over the required number of states for ratification. Eight days later, the Nineteenth Amendment was certified.
One hundred years later we celebrate that which now seems like common sense.
People Make Change
In the 1800s the U.S. Supreme Court struck down arguments for women’s suffrage, but public opinion about a woman’s right to vote changed during the early 1900’s as people saw women as key resources to the war effort. The National Woman’s Party and National American Woman Suffrage Association were relentless leaders in promoting gender equality. Leaders seized the moment and moved swiftly to act nationally after decades of grassroots seed sowing at state levels.
With the idea of inclusion, you may understand 19A to be a major step forward in bringing all humans to equal standing. But that was not the case one hundred years ago. African Americans, Asian American, Hispanic American and Native American women did not immediately enjoy the honors bestowed upon ‘women’ as a result of 19A.
Look in the Mirror
Does America look different, or are we looking at ourselves differently? Are we seeing humans, not just men? Are we celebrating our governing power by electing people who look like our future instead of our past? Are we willing to evolve as a community of people?
This is a special time for the world’s people. It is our moment for social change, just like 1920 was such a moment. Humans are awake. We are past grieving the loss of what was normal. We have moved beyond hopelessness, and we are energized and courageously laying out our plans. Just like those who came before us - 100 years ago.
Joy to Humanity
All the studies show that better results come from the diversity of inclusion. By including all humans in decision making about education, healthcare, environment and economy we bring joy to humanity.
Today let’s celebrate the ratification of 19A and honor the women, and men, who advanced the cause of inclusion. But let us not forget the struggle and sacrifice given for the idea of inclusivity.