August 26, 2020, marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s inclusion in the United States Constitution. Asserting that the right to vote “shall not be denied… on account of sex,” it was a momentous victory for women suffragists across the United States. LJCDS celebrated this occasion by devoting Women’s Equality Day on August 26 and 27 to exploring and recognizing the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.
Students from Tiny Torreys to Grade 12 participated in an Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading of articles curated in collaboration with LJCDS librarians. Readings spanned from historical to contemporary and were all related to themes of women’s accomplishments and equal rights. After reading, students reflected on their experience and what they learned.
Ava Daneshmand ’24 wrote a letter to Ruth Bader Ginsburg reflecting on a speech Chief Justice Ginsburg gave in 2018. Daneshmand shared, “I admire how you not only spoke of our nation’s exceptional qualities but also acknowledged its flaws. As expressed in your remarks at the New York Historical Society, we need to recognize the full history of our country and continue to shed light on how we have and should still aspire to form a more perfect union.”
On August 26 and 27, all Upper School classes taught topics related to feminism, empowerment and breaking barriers. From highlighting underrepresented women artists from well-known art genres in VAPA classes to researching women in STEM in mathematics classes, students were able to explore how women have broken down barriers in every field and have made important contributions.
The LJCDS community was also invited to attend a Speaker Series event on August 26 with Carol Wells, the founder and director of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, hosted by the LJCDS Center for Excellence in Citizenship. Wells discussed her Centers’ latest exhibit, "Activists, Artists, and Sisters: Posters on Women Fighting for Justice
," and how its 76 posters show how graphics are essential to women’s struggles for empowerment, liberation, equality and equity.
In response to the discussion, one student shared, “It reminded me that the writers of history are usually the winners and that even though the other side’s story may be forgotten, it’s my job to delve deep into history and search out that other side of the story to fully understand what happened.”
LJCDS’s Women’s Equality Day was a perfect start to the 2020–2021 school year’s theme of Antiracism, Agency, Resilience and Persistence. Click here to read reflections
from Ava Daneshmand ’24
and Laila Mirkazemi ’24