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first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare By Brynna SentelTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS—A century ago, the 1919 Women’s Franchise League had an office at the Indiana Statehouse to brainstorm ideas to convince the General Assembly to ratify the 19thAmendment to the Constitution.Today, that room is used by the Legislative Services Agency for conferences and meetings and no one who passes by would know of its history in the fight for women to gain the right to vote.The Women’s Suffrage Commission wants to erect a plaque outside that room so the public and others who visit or work in the Statehouse understand its connection to history.“Now a days lobbyists don’t have offices in the Statehouse. They stand in the hallway so we thought it was neat that the legislature provided an office to that group,” said Laura Brown, special counsel to commission chair Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch.That plaque is among the many ideas and plans the Women’s Suffrage Commission has been working on to commemorate 100 years of women having the right to vote.Indiana’s General Assembly approved the 19th Amendment on Jan. 16, 1920 but final approval didn’t come until August when Tennessee became the 36th and final state needed to ratify it. On Aug. 26, 2020 women finally had the right to vote.The Indiana Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, created by Gov. Eric Holcomb, was tasked with creating a memorable 100-year anniversary celebration of women’s suffrage in the state of Indiana.“First and foremost, the plan is to develop activities related to the commemoration of the passage of the 19th Amendment and also to involve people and organizations and communities throughout the state,” Brown said. The commission members also want to create a legacy that elevates this historic milestone, she added.In early meetings, the commission split into three subcommittees including activities, legacy and partnership outreach and communications.Commission members met most recently on Nov. 19 for updates and learned that the activities committee is working on a poster to be mailed to every K-12 school in the state providing information about Indiana’s history of women’s suffrage. The goal is to incorporate that history into lesson plans.The Indiana State Museum also plans to host three educator workshops in the new year to help teachers use the information as well. Details are not yet available.The activities committee is planning an event for the anniversary of Indiana’s ratification vote—Jan. 16.“There’s just so many good things we could do,” Brown said, explaining that committee members are working to create and appropriate and meaningful legacy.The legacy committee has recently put out a call for proposals for an original artwork commemorating women’s suffrage in Indiana that will be displayed throughout the Statehouse and remain in the state of Indiana’s permanent public art collection.The partnership outreach and communications committee was tasked with getting the word out to the community.“We are encouraging communities, neighborhood associations, businesses, organizations county historians to celebrate the centennial in their own way that’s unique to their community” Brown said.More information about how to get involved can be found at indianasuffrage100.org.Brynna Sentel is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.last_img read more

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