Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation Becomes One of Only Two Organizations to Hold the Extraordinary Distinction of Being Chaired by All Six Living First Ladies
Today, the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation, which is tasked by the U.S. Congress in Public Law 116-217 with building a monument in Washington, D.C. to memorialize the early American movement for women’s equality, announced that all of the living First Ladies–Dr. Jill Biden, Mrs. Melania Trump, Mrs. Michelle Obama, Mrs. Laura Bush, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter–will serve together as Honorary Chairs of the organization. In their role as Honorary Chairs, the First Ladies will spearhead the Foundation’s efforts to ensure that the 36 million people who visit our National Mall each year experience a deeper and more inclusive American story.
This announcement comes on the heels of the recent unveiling of the Foundation’s Council of Advisors, which comprises the organization’s advisory body of nationally recognized leaders and experts in history, public art, and community engagement.
Today, fewer than 5% of statues in Washington, D.C. depict women.Tweet this
Quote from the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation
Executive Director, Anna Laymon: “The National Mall is where ‘we the people’ showcase our history. It is the land that holds our national memory. And yet, amongst our most iconic monuments and memorials, American women’s stories are missing. On our National Mall, which houses presidential monuments, war memorials, and tributes to civil rights heroes, no women from American history are memorialized. Every little girl who visits our Nation’s Capital is led to believe that she has had no role in building our democracy. This is our country’s chance to prioritize representation, and it is an honor to have the support of Dr. Biden, Mrs. Trump, Mrs. Obama, Mrs. Bush, Secretary Clinton, and Mrs. Carter as we endeavor to bring a more intersectional history to Washington, D.C.”
Quotes from the First Ladies
First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden: “From battle cries for justice to soft lullabies, women lead and dream our world forward each and every day. We have spoken up when no one else would, facing violence and ridicule, and deciding the course of history with grit, clarity, and courage. We have never been silent—but women have often been silenced, their stories too frequently untold. We must tell their stories and memorialize the women who led the single largest expansion of voting rights in American history and set precedents in protest, civic organization, and societal change. I’m honored to stand alongside fellow First Ladies as an Honorary Chair of the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation to tell a more complete story of America’s history and inspire future generations to continue building a better future for us all.”
Mrs. Melania Trump: “One of my fondest memories as First Lady was commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment in the White House and ensuring the diverse and moving stories of women’s fight for the right to vote were taught and told. It was a privilege to join President Trump in the Oval Office when he signed the legislation authorizing this vital and overdue monument and to lead the 19th Amendment Project, which called on young Americans to celebrate 100 years of Women’s Suffrage through artwork. I am honored to support the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation to secure a monument of enduring inspiration for women and future female leaders.”
Mrs. Michelle Obama: “The story of the early American movement for women’s rights is the story of democracy at work. It’s the story of entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, activist Alice Paul, journalist Ida B. Wells, and so many more remarkable women—each with different backgrounds, but bound by the belief that they mattered and that they deserved a voice in this country. It is my honor to serve alongside my fellow First Ladies as an Honorary Chair of the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation to ensure that our Nation’s Capital represents the incredible contributions women have made to American history.”
Mrs. Laura Bush: “I am thrilled that a women’s monument will finally have a prominent place in our Nation’s Capital. Our children and grandchildren must remember that American women were not handed their right to vote; they fought for and won their right to vote. This monument will serve as a permanent reminder that we should appreciate our rights and actively participate in our democracy. I hope all Americans will join the First Ladies as we support the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation’s historic effort.”
Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton: “The suffragists fought to ensure women would have an equal voice in our democracy. They paved the way for the strides women have made over the last century, and theirs is one of the most important stories in our nation’s journey toward a more perfect union. I am honored to join the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation and my fellow First Ladies in this effort to finally give due recognition to these brave women in the core of the commemorative heart of our Nation’s Capital.”
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
The Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation leads the effort to fund, design, develop, and construct the Women’s Suffrage National Monument, which will serve as a lasting legacy of the longest political movement in American history and honor the generations of women who lobbied, marched, picketed, and protested in their decades-long fight for equality. For more information visit www.womensmonument.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Amongst our most iconic monuments and memorials, American women’s stories are missing. Today, fewer than 5% of statues in our Nation’s Capital depict women. And we need your support. Like most monuments and memorials in Washington, D.C., the Women’s Suffrage National Monument will be funded in its entirety through private donations. Learn more about our movement, donate, and be a part of making history.