Monroe/West Monroe BPW and
North Louisiana AAUW
 'Lit Up the Sky' on 
Women's Equality Day
August 26, 2010

by Judy Wilson
BPW/LA and Louisiana ERA Coalition PR Chair

The Chennault Aviation and Military Museum in Monroe, Louisiana was the setting when many women from the community, and BPW and AAUW members gathered to celebrate 90 years of the passing of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote.

Janis Guyton, President of Monroe/West Monroe BPW, welcomed the attendees.  Angie Jackson-Wilson, Treasurer of BPW/LA, brought greetings and encouragement for the passage of the ERA from the state BPW Federation.  Camille Moran, Lobbying Director for United for Equality and the Louisiana Coalition for the ERA stated, “Everything that we can do to secure passage of the ERA in Louisiana will be done!  We want to be one of the three states to get this legislation passed!”

North Louisiana AAUW Vice-President Janet Guyden supported the strides women have made in the last 90 years but also emphasized the need to continue the fight for the ERA.
Guyden stated that the AAUW goals of equality and education go back over 100 years and will continue until this amendment is passed.

Judy Wilson, Public Relations Chair for BPW/LA and the Louisiana Coalition for the ERA, gave a presentation entitled, “90 Years to Celebrate, But Still Working for Equality.”  Wilson emphasized the 72 years it took to get the 19th Amendment passed and the difficulty women like Carrie Chapman Catt, Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and many others had in doing so.  She exclaimed, “Jail, torture, protests, beatings, and starvation didn’t stop these women.  Why do we, in 2010, want to stop now in our fight for Equal Rights?”

When Alice Paul authored the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, little did she know that she would not live to see its passage, as the fight continues today!  With the passage of the amendment needed in only 3 more states, the ERA would become a reality for the women of our country.  The goal is to have this passed by 2015.  “Louisiana citizens will continue to go to our statehouse in Baton Rouge and strive for passage of what will be the 28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States,” Wilson concluded. With musical selections by the Southern Accent Show Chorus, the program concluded with a candle-lighting ceremony and moment of silence.

Thank you, United for Equality, for selecting Monroe/West Monroe Business and Professional Women to represent the women of Louisiana on this important celebration of Women’s Equality Day 2010.  Thank you, AAUW for joining with BPW to support the women’s issues we care about.  Both of our organizations will continue to strive for the ratification of the ERA and will support United for Equality’s efforts in getting the ERA passed!