TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) is pleased to announce New Jersey Women Vote: The 19th Amendment at 100, a multi-faceted programming initiative marking 100 years of women’s suffrage in the United States. The centennial of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, will occur on August 26, 2020; New Jersey ratified the Amendment on February 9, 1920.
In collaboration with the non-profit Alice Paul Institute, the NJHC gathered over sixty-five partners representing history and cultural organizations, women’s groups, government agencies, libraries, and higher education institutions to participate in NJ Women Vote and plan a year-long series of events, programs, and projects for 2020. Not all women found easy access to the polls following the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, nor were all women represented in the suffrage movement. As such, the vision of NJ Women Vote is to mark the centennial of women’s suffrage while acknowledging its inequities and the challenges New Jersey women of all backgrounds have faced and continue to confront from 1920 to the present day.
“New Jersey played a vital role in the fight for suffrage,” said New Jersey Historical Commission Executive Director Sara Cureton, “Suffrage marches occurred in many communities and Alice Paul, a native of Mt. Laurel, was a key suffragist leader and co-author of the Equal Rights Amendment. There are also many women in New Jersey who worked tirelessly for suffrage and equal rights and whose stories are too often left untold. We seek to change this in 2020.”
NJ Women Vote’s plans to mark the centennial include a series of teachers’ workshops to provide training and teaching resources about suffrage, a speakers’ bureau that will make humanities scholars available to organizations statewide for dialogue surrounding topics in women’s civic life, a bicycle slow roll to sites along the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail, a Women’s Equality Day celebration in Trenton, and a recreation of women’s suffrage march in New Brunswick in the fall of 2020 aimed at highlighting the centennial and encouraging voter registration and participation.
The public is encouraged to follow NJ Women Vote on social media @NJWomenVote100 and visit DiscoverNJHistory.org for more information about upcoming programs and events. The New Jersey Historical Commission will also share updates about the initiative through our History.NJ.Gov and social media sites (listed below).
The New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) is a state agency dedicated to the advancement of public knowledge and preservation of New Jersey history. Established by law in 1967, its work is founded on the fundamental belief that an understanding of our shared heritage is essential to sustaining a cohesive and robust democracy.