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August 26, 2020 marks the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the 19th Amendment extending the right to vote to women and the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders is marking the occasion with the release of a video celebrating the amendment and its impacts.
Titled “19 Powerful Women to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment”, the 30-minute video features women leaders from the County and State speaking about the amendment’s importance and impact, and the role of suffragists like Burlington County’s own Alice Paul, who was raised on her family’s farmstead in Mount Laurel.
“The amendment’s ratification was more than just a political victory. It was the culmination of a decades-long battle by women for not only full citizenship, but also equality,” said Burlington County Freeholder Director Felicia Hopson in the video’s introduction.
Speakers also discuss how Black women remained disenfranchised for another 45 years, as well as the still ongoing struggle to protect voting rights and achieve equality for all men and women, regardless of race, sex, religion or social class.
“While we still have a great deal of work to do in reaching the full participation of women in leadership at all levels of decision making – political, economic and public life – we must pause for a moment and look back at how far we’ve come,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy in her remarks.
Among the other speakers who participated are New Jersey Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego, Assemblywomen Carol Murphy and Jean Stanfield, Freeholder Linda Hynes, Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson, Alice Paul Institute Executive Director Lucienne Beard, Southern Burlington County NAACP President Crystal Charley-Sibley, and Malika Morris, chair of the County’s new Minority and Equality Rights Task Force.
The video was posted on the county’s Youtube page and shared on social media to commemorate the amendment’s 100th anniversary and Women’s Equality Day, which marks the date U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby officially certified the amendment’s ratification.
“Suffragists like Alice Paul faced taunts, threats, mobs and even imprisonment. Through their courage and perseverance, they helped secured for women their long-denied political voice,” Director Hopson said. “Our Freeholder Board decided we wanted to honor these women and celebrate their historic achievement. The question became ‘How can we safely do that during this ongoing pandemic? The answer became this video. We recorded messages from 19 New Jersey women we believe epitomize what Alice Paul and the suffragists fought for.”
Freeholder Linda Hynes said she hoped the video would serve as inspiration for future women leaders.
“My message on this 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment is simple: we must support, we must mentor, we must inspire,” Hynes said. “Our next generation is our future, so we must do all we can to preserve their future.”
The full video is posted on Burlington County’s YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPM5FCmOCjw.
A complete list of speakers on the video is as follows:
Dawn Marie Addiego, New Jersey Senator
Lucienne Beard, Executive Director Alice Paul Institute
Meghan Campbell, Palmyra Police Chief
Crystal Charley-Sibley, Southern Burlington County NAACP President
Eve Cullinan, Burlington County Administrator
Carole Johnson, New Jersey Commissioner of Human Services
Karen Henderson, Burlington County League of Women Voters
Linda Hynes, Burlington County Freeholder
Felicia Hopson, Burlington County Freeholder Director
Lorene Moore, Burlington County Institute of Technology/Special Services School District Board of Education member
Malika Morris, Burlington County Minority and Equality Rights Task Force Chair
Carol Murphy, New Jersey Assembly member
Tammy Murphy, First Lady, State of New Jersey
Mary Ann O’Brien, Burlington County Surrogate
Jean Stanfield, New Jersey Assembly member
Millie Scholtz, retired Burlington County Warden
Joanne Schwartz, Burlington County Clerk
Jaclyn Veasy, Evesham Mayor
Tiffani Worthy, Willingboro Mayor