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Los Angeles Unified Board of Education Commemorates 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage (4-23-19)

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Los Angeles Unified Board of Education Commemorates 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage

LOS ANGELES (April 23, 2019) – In recognition of the sacrifice, courage and perseverance of women who fought for the right to vote, the Los Angeles Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. The resolution calls for a special celebration, “Remembering Women’s Suffrage Day,” on August 18, 2020.

School Board President Mónica García, sponsor of the resolution, said, “¡Las mujeres son campeonas! Women are champions! The year 2020 will be a year of celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement, and Los Angeles Unified is committed to ensuring that all of our students know the strength, courage and boldness of those who came before them. Let this commemoration spark a new joy and gratitude in the hearts of our activists, mothers, grandmothers, future leaders and all who embrace the fight for gender equity and respect for all!”

“Los Angeles Unified celebrates the diversity of this nation, and the past, present and ongoing contributions of women in this country,” said Superintendent Austin Beutner. “Los Angeles Unified is working hard to educate and inspire the next generation of leaders.”

The resolution encourages all Los Angeles Unified schools – as a special component of regular social studies academic programs – to uplift the study of women’s leadership, especially during the suffrage movement and in advocacy for the 19th Amendment. The resolution also calls for all schools to teach the history of the women’s suffrage movement including past and present advances in women’s rights in both the United States and around the world on the anniversary and throughout the school year.

Board Vice President Nick Melvoin, a co-sponsor, said, “At a time when many of our nation’s citizens’ voting rights are under attack, it’s important to remember the contributions of these bold and courageous women who fought for a voice in the civic process more than a century ago. I am thankful for all the brave and strong female leaders who continue to fight for equal rights—for women and for all people — here and around the world.”    

Board Member Kelly Gonez said, “I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of this resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote. The struggle for equal participation did not end with the 19th amendment but continues to this day. Women leaders are fighting for issues that matter to all of us, including paid family leave, equal pay, protection from domestic violence and real accountability to combat sexual harassment.”

Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III, said, “As a college-educated black man, I was old enough to vote in the 1960 Presidential Election, won by John F. Kennedy. I was not allowed to vote in the segregated South. Neither were black women permitted to cast ballots decades after the 19th Amendment was ratified. Because of these experiences, I believe every fight that expands the right to vote should certainly be celebrated.”

Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said, “It’s hard to believe that women in our country only secured the right to vote in some of our grandmothers’ lifetimes or that the act of voting was denied to certain women until the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As a retired Los Angeles Unified educator, bold, courageous and powerful women and girls have surrounded me since joining the District over 35 years ago. We have to make sure that our next generation of young women are taught the history of the women’s suffrage movement, are encouraged and supported in leadership roles and career paths not historically welcoming to women and that all forms of gender discrimination become history.”

Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic said, “We celebrate the contributions of women in all corners of our nation. We honor women’s voices, their abilities and their call for more representation and recognition. It is only fitting that next summer will be the 100th anniversary of Congress passing the 19th Amendment granting women nationwide the right to vote given that we have a record-breaking 112 women serving in Congress."

The many courageous women recognized in this monumental movement for social justice include Susan B. Anthony, Ella Baker, Grace Lee Boggs, Juanita Dominguez, Dolores Huerta, Yuri Kochiyama, Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Emma Tenayuca, Mary Church Terrell, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells and others.

Added Ana María García, president of the Los Angeles County Commission for Women, “Celebrating the Centennial of the 19th Amendment will further inspire and educate our children – especially our wonderful girls on how not only must we celebrate the victory of fighting for women’s right to vote but that we must exercise it. We must know that there is still much to do in the fight for gender equity. Educating our children about this fight is important and part of our duty.”

“We are committed to improving the outcomes of women and girls by bringing attention to gender imbalances and biases and to showcase our collective experiences as women and girls in Los Angeles County. We are honored to be with Los Angeles Unified today to help commemorate the 100th Anniversary of women’s suffrage and the recently passed resolution,” said Perla Hernandez Trumkul, a council member for the Los Angeles County Women and Girls Initiative Governing Board.

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