TRENTON, NJ – To mark Women’s Equality Day on August 26, the New Jersey Historical Commission announces that New Jersey First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy will serve alongside Secretary of State Tahesha Way as co-chairs of NJ 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.
Planning for the centennial of women’s suffrage in New Jersey began in early 2018. The New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the New Jersey Department of State, collaborated with the non-profit Alice Paul Institute to gather over sixty-five partners representing history and cultural organizations, women’s groups, government agencies, libraries, and higher education institutions and start planning for a year-long series of events, programs, and projects in 2020.
The resulting partnership, NJ Women Vote, seeks 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.
“I could not be prouder of New Jersey’s historical role in the fight for women’s suffrage,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “The stories of far too many women have gone unheard, and their fight continues to this day. I look forward to the vital work that NJ Women Vote will do to bring the movement into the 21st century and bring so many inspiring stories into the light.”
“As a woman serving as New Jersey Secretary of State, I am honored to co-lead our state’s effort to recognize the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage,” said Secretary Way. “While women of color were prevented from exercising this fundamental right for decades following the ratification of the 19th Amendment, it was nonetheless a monumental step forward. Its enactment strengthened our nation by opening doors for women to participate more broadly in public life and service. And throughout the next year, I look forward to NJ Women Vote's celebration of this centennial anniversary as an opportunity to increase civic engagement and voter participation across New Jersey.”
Just over a century ago, women in New Jersey could not vote. Even after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, factors such as race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status kept many women from the polls. In 2020, we will mark the history of women’s suffrage while advocating for increased civic engagement and voter participation for all in New Jersey.
NJ Women Vote kicked off the centennial this 2019 with a series of professional development workshops for NJ teachers focused on the history of women’s suffrage. Plans for 2020 include a women and civic life speakers’ bureau, a voter registration table campaign, a bicycle slow roll to sites along the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail, a Women’s Equality Day celebration in Trenton, and a recreated women’s suffrage march in New Brunswick on September 26, 2020.
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. Contact NJWomenVote100@gmail.com with any questions and to join the email list.
About the New Jersey Historical Commission
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.