This past Saturday marked Women’s Equality Day, a celebration of women’s suffrage. The Women’s City Club of New York was founded 100 years ago in anticipation of the ratification of the 19th Amendment as a space for women “to prepare for the full exercise of their influences when they shall have the vote.”
Since then, WCC has developed into a nonpartisan multi-issue activist organization that advocates for gender, economic, and racial justice for all so that New Yorkers can achieve economic stability, enjoy equal opportunity, and live in safe and secure communities.
The heartbreaking events of Charlottesville were a painful reminder that our country still has a long road ahead before we achieve true equality for all—for women, for people of color, for immigrants, for the poor, and for refugees.
There are still individuals and organizations that believe that not everyone should be afforded the same rights, simply based on the way they were born or for what they believe.
But they are far outnumbered by those who recognize that our society thrives when we lift each other up rather than tear each other down. Women’s Equality Day was a reminder that as women, we do have a voice.
We also have a responsibility to use that voice to continue to fight for equality. We must resist those who seek to suppress us, and use our platform to speak out for others, engage with our elected officials, and take to the streets to combat hatred and violence.
A proverb came to mind recently: “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”
Even when we are confronted with intolerance and discrimination in their most vile forms, as a community, we must continue to seed growth of tolerance, acceptance and equality, and fight for what is right across our nation.
Women’s City Club of New York