|MADISON — First Lady Kathy Evers today announced that the Committee to Celebrate the Centennial Anniversary of Wisconsin’s Ratification of the 19th Amendment will be highlighting “Women Who Inspire” from across Wisconsin in a new website feature leading up to the 100th anniversary of enactment of the 19th Amendment in August.
“As we celebrate women’s vote, from enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Voting Rights Act to the 2020 Centennial and all the progress women have made in the last 100 years, we recognize there is work still to be done,” said First Lady Evers who chairs the Committee, “That’s why the Committee chose to recognize women who are working today for social change and increasing parity for women and girls in Wisconsin.”
The first woman to be honored, former Fitchburg mayor Frances Huntley-Cooper, was the first and is still the only African American mayor to be elected in Wisconsin. Among many other accomplishments, she serves as chair for the NAACP Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics, is a lifetime member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., chair of Madison College Board of Trustees and founding member of the NAACP of Dane County.
Secretary-Designee of the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) Dawn Crim nominated Huntley-Cooper saying she is a “trailblazer for women seeking (and winning!) elected office…She also has a passion for social justice, and for inspiring and supporting achievement for African-American high school students. Frances is an inspirational leader and change-maker.”
Committee members were invited to nominate and interview women who inspire them to feature on the Committee website with the intent of inspiring a broad bipartisan audience and bringing more diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, age, geography, background, and identity to the women’s rights conversation. All nominees that will be featured on the website were submitted by members of the Committee and will be featured on a rotating basis beginning with Frances Huntley-Cooper.
The website separately highlights notable Wisconsin social activists and trailblazers, such as Vel Phillips, Ada Deer, Justice Shirley Abrahamson, Belle Case LaFollette and others with links to outside resources.
The 19th Amendment Committee was formed by Executive Order 19 on April 11, 2019 and is comprised of Wisconsin’s women in elected and appointed state office and other women leaders and experts.
A photo of Frances Huntley-Cooper is available here.