This month is the Centennial of the 19th Amendment and Women’s Equality Day commemorating women’s right to vote and the suffragists that made it possible. So many women fought for this right, including women of color who did not benefit from the law until much later.
And the fight for voting rights is not over. Still today we see voter suppression in the shape of stricter voter ID requirements, dropping early voting, closing polling places, and redrawing election districts.
Thanks to our foremothers who fought for our rights we have voices that can and will be heard, and it’s important we use them. Here are six ways to honor their legacies and fight for a better tomorrow.
Support women in politics
100 years after women got the right to vote, women, especially women of color, are still underrepresented from school boards to Congress. It’s time to change that, and you can help. Encourage women to run for office, support organizations that increase representation, and stay connected to your local community and who is running for public office in the area!
This should come as no surprise. It is imperative that all of us that are able to vote to use our privilege to help shape the future of our country to be more equitable. Make sure you are registered here!
Help rewrite history
The suffrage movement has a lot of forgotten history, including many of the leading activists of color who participated in making voting a reality. History should not forget the women who, despite being excluded and left behind, continued to rally and support the 19th Amendment and voting rights for all.
PBS featured some of these unsung heroes in their film, “The Vote” which you can watch for free and you can read more about the women of color who fought for us all here.
Talk to your Representatives about voter suppression
Voter suppression is alive and well in 2020, things like dropping early voting, strict ID laws, and this year’s USPS delays will also impact Americans- especially Black people, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities- and limit their ability to exercise their right to vote.
You can help by staying up to date on legislation that is in the works and ways to take action through organizations like ACLU and Let America Vote. For existing bills, like the “Delivering for America Act”, which aims to restore the USPS, contact your representatives to let them know your thoughts.
(You can also contribute to reducing voter suppression with this swanky tool, which allows you to donate to specific districts and help people register to vote.)
Wear your commitment
We’d be remiss not to toot our own horn a tiny bit in this list, especially because we are incredibly proud of our Centennial Collection which donates to protect voter rights, helps more women run for office, and supports the next generation of feminist leaders. Wear your commitment to change and growth as a daily reminder of your conviction and your general bad-assery.
Help reinstate the Voting Rights Act
In 1965 the Voting Rights Act removed significant barriers to voting for people of color. However, in 2013 SCOTUS eliminated a key provision limiting the effectiveness of the legislation. We can not have equal voting rights until we renew the VRA’s protections.