As we continue to celebrate women’s accomplishments and look toward the future of progress and make change, this campaign is trying to make dollars…$20 bills to be exact with the face of a woman from our history…or should I say herstory.
Women on 20’s campaign, founded by Barbara Ortiz Howard, hopes to change the face of the $20 bill by year 2020, ousting Andrew Jackson’s 87-year reign and replacing him with an impactful woman in herstory. More than 150,000 people have cast their ballot in the primary for selecting their top three replacements. This total far surpasses the number of 100,000 to receive a formal response from the White House.
Rosa Parks: Known as the “first lady of civil rights” when she refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. She challenged the current culture of racial segregation in public spaces. Her bravery that ultimately led to her arrest began a Montgomery bus boycott. She was bold. She was insistent. She made change. And though we have a lot to do in the realm of equality in all respects, we’re a helluva lot better for her contributions to herstory.
Clara Barton: Known as the “angel of the battlefield.” Her steadfastness and willingness to lend a hand on the front lines of the Civil War was jaw dropping then and now. Not to mention, she founded the American Red Cross, an organization the assists millions every year in disaster ridden areas.
Eleanor Roosevelt: This spunky former First Lady made her voice heard beyond her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Fire Side Chats”— often she didn’t agree with his views. My kind of woman! She used her newspaper column and radio broadcasts to move the civil and women’s rights movements. She also left an imprint on our herstory, as as an UN delegate drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Some would argue this “First Lady of the World,” in the later years of FDR’s presidential term really ran the oval office.
I also revoted for a fourth deserving woman: Frances Perkins a lesser known name but girl, what an influence she has had on how both men and women (and children) view the working world today. Frances Perkins joined the ranks of FDR’s group of powerful women. Smart man, that FDR. She served as his four-term labor secretary and was the first member of a presidential cabinet in U.S. herstory. She had a hand in introducing several game changing bills like the Social Security Act, which is under attack by the Republicans in office, and minimum wage, which is also undergoing attack at the federal level after several states have already increased their minimum wage in order to keep up with the ever-rising standard of living. Then there’s also the 40-hour workweek, which simultaneously brought many workers the concept of weekends. And if that wasn’t enough she kept children’s safety in mind by presenting laws — that were passed — opposing child labor. It’s good to have union woman in office who believes in the hard working middle class.
Organizer and spokesperson for the campaign, Susan Ades Stone, a journalist and editor, said the campaign was started to create a reminder to girls, like her daughter, of the significant contributions women made in herstory that would go beyond the herstory books and would infiltrate our daily lives. And to be honest, many of the candidates names at first glance I recognized but struggled to remember their specific contributions to our world as we know it today. Shhhh… don’t tell my high school herstory teacher!
Follow the conversation on twitter by searching the hashtag #Womenon20s.