March 1 marks the start of Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the unique experiences and successes of women throughout the past. And you might not realize it, but every Woman’s History Month has a theme. Last year, in honor of the centennial of the passage of the 19th amendment — which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex — the theme was “Valiant Women of the Vote.” A tough act to follow; so much that organizers have decided that instead of one-upping last year’s theme, Women’s History Month 2021 will continue with that same concept.
That’s right, due to the pandemic, 2021 National Women’s History Month will “capture the spirit of these challenging times… by extending the annual theme for 2021 to ‘Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced,’” the National Women’s History Alliance website states.
For anyone following last year’s planned events to celebrate the 19th amendment, you know that most of those were canceled or curtailed due to the pandemic. But the National Women’s History Alliance believes the historic anniversary still deserves its due, so the centennial celebrations will continue through 2021. And to kick off the ongoing festivities, partner organization 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative has loads of resources to help people dig into the women’s suffrage movement including quizzes, centennial crossword puzzles, deeper dive reading recommendations (such as African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850–1920 by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn), and biographical articles on the movement’s leaders including Mary McLeod Bethune and Olympia Brown.
As for the event calendar, the National Women’s History Museum has two March activities you can attend virtually:
On March 8, tune in for a virtual viewing of And She Could Be Next, a miniseries about political leaders Stacey Abrams (GA), Rashida Tlaib (MI), Lucy McBath (GA), Veronica Escobar (TX), Maria Elena Durazo (CA), and Bushra Amiwala (IL). To sign up, click here.
On March 11, the National Portrait Gallery will look at the lives of abolitionist Sojourner Truth, American gay liberation and transgender rights activist Sylvia Rivera, and pilot Bessie Coleman for a discussion on social justice that you can register to attend here.
To find out about more Women’s History Month events, visit nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org.