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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Rose Parade Float Commemorates 100 Year Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote

“Years of Hope, Years of Courage” Float Celebrates  Women’s Right to Vote

If you were watching the 131st Rose Parade on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, CA or on tv, you might have seen this beautiful float and labor of love built to remind people of the 100th year anniversary in 2020 of the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Rose Bowl Parade 2019 Years of Hope, Years of Courage float honoring 100th year anniversary of Women's Right to Vote

“Years of Hope, Years of Courage” Float/Photo: ABC Screenshot

Nan Johnson, 89, and with no corporate backing, led the effort to raise more than $350,000 in donations. Up until the last moment volunteers were putting eucalyptus leaves on the Statue of Liberty. You can read about all the fascinating people riding on the float, several relatives of the early suffragettes, and more in this Pasadena Star News report.

Walking along were “The Outwalkers,” 98 women and two men dressed in white and carrying signs, representing the suffragette movement. Certainly a float to be very proud of all these 100 years later.

Bravo Nan Johnson and all who contributed to make this inspiring idea happen!

TWE RADIO: Filmmaker Kamala Lopez On the Movement to Ratify the E.R.A.

Stacey Gualandi chats with with Kamala Lopez, the award-winning actress, activist and director of the documentary Equal Means Equal. I think you will enjoy this fascinating “Her-story” lesson!

TWE RADIO: Filmmaker Kamala Lopez On the Movement to Ratify the E.R.A.

Kamala Lopez, actress, political activist and director Equal Means Equal/Photo Courtesy Kamala Lopez

Kamala Lopez

By Stacey Gualandi/March 1, 2019

Don’t miss a BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye Radio with Kamala Lopez, the award-winning actress, activist and director of the documentary Equal Means Equal. I think you will enjoy this fascinating “Her-story” lesson!

In her 2016 film, Lopez tackled gender discrimination, legalizing equality and the mission long underway to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The film received Best U.S. Documentary (Audience Award) at Michael Moore’s TCF Festival and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick.

Equal Rights Amendment logo provided by Kamala Lopez, director of "Equal Means Equal"She also just received the inaugural YaleWomen Impact Award for Excellence, which she will accept at the National Press Club in March. It is described as an “unflinching look at how women are treated in the United States today” and likely an early rallying cry for the current – and very timely –  E.R.A. ratification “movement.”

Many Americans don’t realize that the Equal Rights Amendment needs ONLY one more state to be ratified to the Constitution. (Myself included!) That’s right. Equal rights regardless of sex is still not in the Constitution. Congress passed the E.R.A in 1972, but it needs 38 states to be ratified.

So here we are, 57 years later, and women still don’t have equal rights under the law. Currently, intense efforts are focused on Arizona and North Carolina among others, having failed recently in Virginia; but as I write this, there is legislative and political push-back.

Lopez says she too was one of the 96% of Americans who thought we were already equal. “It really astonished me. How can we move forward if our foundation is quicksand?”  That is what motivated her to put this issue on a parallel track with her acting/producing career even though “people thought I was nuts!”

Lopez says, “The reality is [the E.R.A.] influences everything. It is the DNA of our country … if we don’t dig down and fix it, we’re never going to address these issues [of inequality] in a systemic, institutional way.”

Lopez hopes the attention on this high stakes ratification process will bring renewed interest in her documentary. Initially, she believes it didn’t get a lot of traction due to an “information vacuum” that she says continues to keep women from fully understanding how their rights are being “ripped off.”

Alice Paul's Woman's Party picketed the White House 1017/Photo: Library of CongressAlice Paul’s Women’s Party picketing the White House, 1917 (Library of Congress)

But her work is not done. Lopez says she is over halfway through Equal Means Equal The Sequel: This Time It’s Personal. She she says it will be completed when the E.R.A. IS ratified…this year! “The spirit of [women’s rights activist] Alice Paul will be proud. Women have waited way too long to be considered equal to men under our Constitution.”

If you would like more information about Equal Means Equal, host a screening party, or get involved in the E.R.A. movement, check out equalmeansequal.org.

From Kamala since the Virginia ruling, February 21, 2019:

“The fight is not over for E.R.A in 2019. There are strong movements in multiple other states and we WILL achieve equality for all Americans under law. Equal Means Equal will not rest until our Constitution reflects our principles and not those of 1787 when women were chattel.”

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Instagram: @equalmeansequal
Facebook: @equalmeansequalmovie
Twitter: @kamalalopez @equalmeansequal

TOP 10: In ‘Suffragette,’ Recreating the Silhouettes of Social Change

women in 'Suffragette' movie/Photo: SteffanHill/Focus Features

In ‘Suffragette,’ Recreating the Silhouettes of Social Change: Rachel Lee Harris–nytimes.com–10/19/15–Photo: Steffan Hill/Focus Features