“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
These 28 words ignited 100 years of a fertile, yet thorny, evolution of democracy and inclusion. Formally ratified as the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution on August 18, 1920, the words provided most women with the right to vote nationwide.
Texas was the ninth of 36 states to ratify the amendment after more than 50 years of contentious debate. Before then, the predominantly Democratic one-party state legalized voting for women, but only in primary elections. Full legalized suffrage for Texas women would not come until June 28, 1919, a few weeks after Congress called for states to agree to the amendment. Even then, voting rights in Texas remained elusive for black women and women of other ethnicities then called “language minorities.” Racism in the form of white primary election laws and poll taxes continued to keep the state’s non-white women from voting. Voting rights for all would not inch toward reality until the passages of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the extension of the latter in 1975.
To mark the 100th anniversary in of women gaining the right to vote in 2020, we seek to partner with organizations to create a yearlong series of events to recognize the milestone. The goal is to collaborate and find effective, inspirational and authentic ways to create conversation, drive positive change and build strategies to advance gender equity.
Please join us on June 14, 2019 from 2:00 – 3:30pm at Communities Foundation of Texas to learn more about this new grant opportunity.