By Lynn Yeakel
The year 2020 may seem far away right now, but in less than 1,000 days (804, to be exact), we will have reached the start of that year.
Why is 2020 so significant? It marks 100 years since American women – over half the population – won the right to vote through the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That represented the first step toward women’s equality in our nation.
It is the 19th Amendment milestone that sparked the Vision 2020 initiative almost a decade ago and that is now our focus as we plan the year-long national commemoration we are calling Vision 2020’s Women 100 celebration.
With two years remaining to solidify plans for 2020, we are stepping up the pace and welcoming new leadership to Vision 2020 to make this major national event happen. Just last week, we welcomed Alison Nolan to the team as Executive Director of Vision 2020, and we’re currently seeking a Program Director to work alongside her.
So what exactly is Vision 2020’s Women 100?
Women 100 will commemorate 100 years of women’s voting rights and illuminate the unfinished business of women’s equality in the U.S. Activities and events will fall under three themes: honoring the past, enriching the present, and shaping the future.
What does Vision 2020’s Women 100 have planned?
- An interactive and educational women’s equality exhibition will open in Philadelphia.
- On March 4, a series of Women 100 Leadership Forums will take place, bringing together high-profile thought leaders from across the nation to discuss the status and impact of 50-50 shared leadership among women and men.
- Vision 2020 will welcome hundreds of college students to Philadelphia from March 17-19 for a “Spring Breakthrough” to participate in discussions about gender equality and take their learnings back to campus and into the workplace.
- The Women 100 Road Rally – involving hundreds of race car drivers, cars, vans and buses – will travel from Seneca Falls, NY (the location of the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention) to Philadelphia from March 27-28.
- On Women’s Equality Day (August 26), the Vision 2020 HERstory Hunt – a women’s history scavenger hunt for youth and teens – will be held in National Parks across the country, followed by the Vision 2020 Toast to Tenacity™, honoring the suffragists through a unified salute and grape juice toast at 1:00 p.m. EDT. In Philadelphia, the toast will take place on Independence Mall. The goal is to have simultaneous toasts across the U.S.
- The Vision 2020 National Congress – a gathering of Delegates, Allies and leaders from around the country – will be held from September 16-18 in Philadelphia to coincide with Constitution Day on September 17. Following this Congress, Vision 2020 will release a national report and agenda to complete the unfinished business of women’s equality in the 21st Century. A major public celebration will take place during the Congress.
- Following the collective impact outreach of Vision 2020 Allies and Delegates to encourage 100% of eligible women to turn out to vote, an Election Day celebration will be held on November 3 to measure the results of those efforts.
Throughout the year 2020, we will be communicating on multiple levels to raise public awareness of this historic milestone.
What can you do to become involved?
There are several ways you can be part of Vision 2020’s Women 100.
On an individual level, we welcome participation on one or more of our many volunteer action teams. To become involved in that way, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also need financial support. Make a donation here!
At the corporate level, we are seeking sponsorships for the programs and activities outlined above. To learn about partnership opportunities, email us at email@example.com.
Join us in celebrating women’s leadership and accelerating the pace of progress towards gender equality in America!