A centennial is something to celebrate! But it’s also a time to reflect: how did we get to where we are, what divisions have we suffered, and how can we move forward?
I was honored to host a panel discussing just these learning opportunities with the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Women’s Impact Network and the League of Women Voters on August 20, 2020.
Our panelists were former San Francisco City Attorney and founder of Renne Public Law Group Louise Renne; Senior Manager of Human Trafficking Outreach, Prevention and Education of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, Roxanne Alejandre; former President of the San Francisco League of Women Voters Leah Edwards; and Director of the California League of Women Voters Maxine Anderson. In addition to discussing the historical, social, and legal context of the Nineteenth Amendment, we discussed opportunities to honor the Nineteenth Amendment beyond exercising our right to vote.
The W Challenge, an initiative sponsored by San Francisco Assessor Carmen Chu, the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, and the San Francisco League of Women Voters, is an important local opportunity. In addition to hosting a celebratory panel with Carmen Chu and Mayor London Breed, the W Challenge has an informative page identifying 100 women leaders, many of them BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) who have been overlooked in the small space most U.S. history textbook give to this incredible movement. You can find that list here: wchallenge.org/100women. The W Challenge’s website also has links to help people confirm that they are registered to vote – an important first step in exercising the right.
We also discussed the New York Times’ coverage, including the impressive “Finish the Fight” video on YouTube (https://youtu.be/vBI6NCs3k1c), which dramatizes the stories of four women. KQED has also offered some good programming, including the “Unladylike2020: Unsung Women Who Changed America” program.
Even though we were unable to celebrate together in person, the discussion, and the exchange of inspirational stories and resources was incredibly moving.
Learn more about the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Women’s Impact Network and other committees at www.sfbar.org/basf-committees.
About the Author:
Rebecca A. Bers is a Deputy City Attorney in San Francisco, where she regularly litigates in state and federal court. She serves as Secretary on the Executive Committee of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Litigation Section, and on the Communications and Programs Committee for the Bar Association’s Women’s Impact Network – No Glass Ceiling 2.0 Committee.