Celebrating voting equality in America

19th Amendment Centennial

Early in America’s history, women were denied some of the basic rights enjoyed by male citizens. Married women couldn’t own property and had no legal claim to any money they might earn, nor did they have the right to vote. Women were expected to focus on housework and motherhood, definitely not politics.

In 1848, the national movement for women’s rights launched with the Seneca Falls Convention thanks to organizers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. Following the Convention, the demand for the vote became a centerpiece of the women’s rights movement. Stanton and Mott, along with Susan B. Anthony and other activists, raised public awareness and lobbied the government to grant voting rights to women. After nearly 75 years of protest, these groups finally emerged victorious with the passage of the 19th Amendment. Ratified 100 years ago on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote, a right known as women’s suffrage.*

* Source: History.com

Mercy Celebrates 100 Years of Voting Equality

As an all-girls school, Mercy takes a lead role in educating our students and community about issues that are critical to breaking down barriers and creating equal rights for all. Mercy has personal connections to establishing voting equality in America – Pam Baker’s grandmother was a suffragette in NYC! We are also hosting many events throughout 2020 to celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment. With a mindful eye on the issue of inclusion, programming will reflect an understanding that not all women were able to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920.

Timeline of Events in 2020

  • Mercy girls walked in the footsteps of the suffragettes at the Women’s March in Seneca Falls, a non-partisan celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Led by Rory Herrema ’20 and in conjunction with Mercy’s GirlUP club, the Mercy delegation braved the cold as they continued the push for gender equality.

  • Mercy sophomore Lola DeAscentiis ’22 was prominently featured in The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Women’s Suffrage: Past + Present.

  • Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women was proud to sponsor the Susan B. Anthony Birthday Celebration dinner, in honor of what would have been her 200th birthday.

  • Mercy celebrates International Women’s Day

  • Mercy’s Youth and Government Club travels to Albany for the annual High School Youth and Government State Conference. During this three-day immersive experience, Mercy Girls and other high school students serve as part of a model state government, taking over the chambers of the New York State Senate and Assembly to debate bills they and their peers have written.

  • Mercy’s middle school holds it Student Government elections. Candidates running for office will deliver speeches and discuss their qualifications, followed by a middle school-wide vote during advisement.

  • Mercy’s Annual Career Day showcases the multitude of career options and varying fields where Mercy Girls are leading the way. This year’s event will feature more than 20 Mercy alumnae leaders from across the country and keynote speaker Julie Camardo ’93 P’23 & P’26, 5th generation owner and CEO of Zweigle’s.

  • Mercy Recognizes Equal Pay Day

  • ‘White Out’ at Mercy! In honor of the 19th Amendment, Mercy will hold a ‘White Out’ dress down day. Students are encouraged to wear white, purple, or yellow, the color of the suffragettes.

  • Get ready to vote! Voter Registration Drive at Mercy, organized by Fiona Connolly ‘20

  • ArtsFest at Mercy, where students can participate in a variety of artistic seminars focused on women’s leadership and suffrage.

  • International Day of the Girl

  • Mercy hosts Because of Women Like Her…Winning the Vote in New York State suffrage exhibit (through to November 15, 2020).

Experience the Circle of Mercy

To truly understand how life changing Mercy is, schedule a visit. Tour the campus, meet us in person, and talk to our students and staff. From information sessions and tours, there are many ways to learn about the Circle of Mercy.

Your Journey to Mercy