Today’s Solutions: September 25, 2022

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment in the middle of an election cycle, you may be asking yourself how to celebrate and further educate yourself of voting equality. Here are five ways to celebrate the legacy of the 19th Amendment. 

  1. Learn about the Suffragette movement. The Seneca Falls Convention, put on by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott led to the creation of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1980. In 1913, the day before President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, NAWSA organized a march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, that brought out 5,000 women and catalyzed the movement. 
  2. Know who was left out. Although the 19th Amendment granted white women the right to vote, Native Americans were not considered citizens in 1920 and could not vote until 1924, immigrants could not vote until 1952, and Black Americans could not vote everywhere until 1965. The traditional narrative of the Suffragette movement also leaves out the role of critical Black suffragettes like Mary Church Terrell who advocated for the voting rights of all women, not just white women.
  3. Include friends and family in your learning. The World Economic Forum found that greater gender equality has been linked to better education, health, a higher per capita income, and faster and more inclusive economic growth. Encourage your friends and family to learn about gender equality and disenfranchisement challenges that still exist in this country today. 
  4. Check your voter registration status. The right of all citizens to vote was not always a right. Even if you choose not to cast a ballot, register to vote to leave yourself the option. Check that your registration is up to date with your current address and preferences. 
  5. Encourage friends and family to vote. Studies have found that countries with empowered voters tend to have lower rates of poverty and inequality. Encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to exercise their right to participate in democracy. Many of us may be disillusioned with our political system and prospects right now, but voting is the most direct way to have a say in future leaders and legislation. 
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