Equality Day Event

Thurston County NOW will host “Women Vote NOW: Honoring Suffragists of Color Who Made a Difference."  By co-sponsoring this event, LWV-TC is joining others to celebrate the 2020 Centennial of the 19th Amendment, the right to vote for women earned on August 26, 1920.

This event will honor the suffragists of color who worked courageously to support abolition and suffrage. Theirs was an intersection (race and gender) fraught with danger and bravery.

The following information, which was provided by TC NOW, will give you a bit more background for reasons to attend this "free to the public" event.

Women in the US Couldn’t Vote – 100 years Ago Did you know that women in the US did not have the right to vote 100 years ago? On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving the right for women to vote. However, having that right did not achieve access and many Women of color had their voting privileges obstructed or simply did not gain them by statute until much later.

Did you ever wonder where early suffragists got the idea that women should have the same rights as men?  The Iroquois tribes (Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca) in the area gave women equal rights in their society.

Did you know that a black man rallied about 300 white women, who were attending the first Women’s Convention held in Seneca Falls, NY in July 1848, to fight for their right to vote?  Frederick Douglass, an eloquent speaker, told attendees to that if women were involved in the political sphere, the country could turn out to be a better place, and women and African Americans should both have the same rights to vote like white men did. His speech impacted the audience, and the resolution successfully passed.  

Several community groups* will honor early suffragists of color who worked courageously to support abolition and suffrage. These women of color faced an intersection (race and gender) that was fraught with danger and demanded their courage and brave action. 

The evening will feature video vignettes of several suffragists of color as well as excerpts of their writings/speeches. Speakers include Ava Underwood, Talauna Reed, Dr. Karen Johnson, and Cheryl Wapes’a Mayes.  A summary of important lessons learned from the Suffrage struggle itself will be offered.  A Call to Action Packet will be available so educators and youth leaders can access resources to learn more about suffrage.  We hope everyone can leave with ideas on what they themselves can do to secure our mutual goals of equality and democracy.


*Sponsors:  NOW of Thurston County, Zonta Club of South Puget Sound, Thurston County League of Women Voters, and Olympia Universal Unitarian Church.

August 26, 2019 at 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation
2315 Division St NW
Olympia, WA 98502
United States
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Sandra Herndon
Shelley Ferer Rose Eilts Carol Goss

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