Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote

Debra Austin

What did Arizona’s Frances Willard Munds, Josephine Brawley Hughes, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Pauline O’Neill have in common over 100 years ago? They were part of earning women the right to vote in Arizona years before the 19th Amendment became law nationwide in 1920.

Tickets are now on sale to hear the amazing stories of these pioneering Arizona suffragettes at “Celebrate 100: Women’s Right to Vote,” an event to mark the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Feb. 17 dinner celebration is open to the public.

Sponsored by the Southeast Valley, Ariz., Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the festivities will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. in the San Tan Ballroom at Cottonwood Country Club, 25630 S. Brentwood Drive in Sun Lakes.

Fundraising at the dinner will support college scholarship awards for high school senior girls in the Chandler Unified School District. Since 2010, the Southeast Valley Branch of AAUW has funded these annual scholarships based on need, leadership, and extracurricular activities.

Guest speaker Dr. Melanie Sturgeon, President of the Arizona Women’s History Alliance, will highlight the personalities behind pursuing women’s voting rights. Her talk covers the suffragists’ milestones and saloon men’s resistance to the political impacts on the Mexican American, African American, and Native American communities of Arizona.

“We’re inviting the community throughout the Valley to honor these remarkable women in Arizona and across America who persevered to ensure women have equal voting rights in our democracy,” said Joyce Ellenbecker, President of the Southeast Valley Branch, AAUW. “This historic milestone underscores AAUW’s ongoing mission to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research.”

Event tickets are $45, with tables of 10 available for $450, and must be reserved by Jan. 31. Ticket and payment information is available by sending an email to [email protected]

Founded in 1881, today’s AAUW has more than 170,000 members across 1,000 local branches and 800 college and university members. AAUW is one of the largest sources of funding for graduate women nationally, providing $4.3 million in funding for fellowships and grants to 270 outstanding women and nonprofit organizations in the 2019–20 academic year.

AAUW membership is open to all with an associate or higher degree from an accredited college or university. Information on the Southeast Valley AAUW Branch is available at https://southeastvalley-az.aauw.net/. @