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Secretary Gorbea Celebrates 100 Years of Women's Suffrage in Rhode Island

Providence, RI Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea hosted a ceremony today to recognize the 100th anniversary of Rhode Island's ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted American women the right to vote.

Secretary Gorbea was joined in the State House Library by prominent female leaders from across Rhode Island in the fields of government, business and community action.

She commemorated the centennial by announcing a suite of programs and activities that will be offered throughout Rhode Island in 2020 to increase civic literacy and engagement. Among them are new educator resources and a partnership with the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities entitled XIX: Shall Not Be Denied, which was developed to amplify programs, exhibitions, research and performances related to women's suffrage.

"The anniversary of the 19th Amendment is a powerful opportunity to engage Rhode Islanders, especially our youth, in important conversations about the complex history of the women's suffrage movement and how that history relates to their own civic engagement today," said Secretary Gorbea.

"The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities is proud to collaborate with the Rhode Island Department of State," said Elizabeth Francis, PhD, the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. "This an opportunity to engage with the history and achievements of the women's suffrage movement and connect that moment to the work that still remains to ensure equal access to voting and other rights."

The Rhode Island General Assembly ratified the 19th Amendment on January 6, 1920, on the first day of its legislative session by a vote of 89 to 3 in the House, and 38 to 1 in the Senate. By August of 1920, 36 states ratified the amendment, ensuring that the right to vote could not be denied based on gender.

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Related links

  • Department or agency: Office of the Secretary of State
  • Online: http://www.sos.ri.gov/
  • Release date: 01-06-2020

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