Tomorrow, Women and Politics: Empowered to Vote, Empowered to Lead
, a new virtual exhibit, opens at the Western Reserve Historical Society. It traces the story of women’s role in the political sphere, and explores Ohio’s contributions to the suffrage movement, the fight for the 19th Amendment and “the birth and growth of the League of Women Voters as a force for good government and the election of northern Ohio women to positions of power on the local, state and national levels,” as it's put in a press release.
“The experiences and contributions of women, African-Americans, and immigrants are a focus of the Western Reserve Historical Society, and are the core message of the guest experience. Women and Politics will shed light on the pivotal, albeit sometimes forgotten role Northeast Ohio played in the fight for the 19th Amendment,” says Kelly Falcone-Hall, WRHS President & CEO, in a statement. “This exhibit will uphold our mission to inspire people to discover the unique American experience by exploring the rich history of our region.”
The exhibit marks the 100th anniversary of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland (LWVGC) and the adoption of the 19th Amendment in 1920 but begins before the Civil War when the phrase “all men are created equal” applied only to white men. At the time, white women and free women of color launched reform movements such as abolition and temperance that would set the stage for a broader battle that continued into the 1800s.
Once the 19th Amendment passed, Cleveland women won elections, transformed the system through the League of Women Voters and paved the way for others to become empowered.
The exhibit and an accompanying film profiles past and present heroes of Women’s Rights and is designed to be an “informative aspirational message to the next generation of Women’s Rights warriors.”
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