The Centennial of the 19th Amendment offers many avenues to engage community members in discussions about equality and voting rights. From town halls to community awareness campaigns, this milestone anniversary can be used to create connections across your community. This tool kit offers a variety of formats, resources and helpful tips to use when developing public programs to engage with your community members.
Formats for Public Programs
Public programs may take on a number of different formats or programs. A few ideas:
Town Hall or Public Debate is an opportunity to raise awareness, have conversations, or explore issues related to gender equality, voting, and access to the polls. Consider reaching out to a variety of organizations or members of the legal community. Look for opportunities to hold events that encourage lively interactive discussion. Plan engaging programs that allow members of the audience to learn about the rule of law, interact with one another, and express their opinions.
Community Awareness Campaign Consider a 19th Amendment public awareness campaign. Utilize traditional media outlets, such as the local news, but also think about billboards, roadside panels, street signs, or community bulletin boards as places to share a message.
One Book, One Community Some communities have success with “one book” campaigns, where members of the community are encouraged to read a particular book, and then participate in related discussions. The Alabama Bar Association has pulled together a bibliography of books, songs and movies for reading and discussion.
Test the Community’s Knowledge Develop a survey related to the 19th Amendment. You can include questions about voting rights or the history of the fight for the 19th Amendment. Spotlight survey respondents or results in community media outlets, or use the results to tailor a topic for a community-wide town hall meeting.
Community-Wide Open House Most communities have locations that foster discussion and engagement. A courthouse, city hall, park, library, museum, community organization, or school might be examples. Does your community have access to a presidential library, historic site, or a historic home? Plan a community open house to allow citizens to explore how their community is working toward equality and access to the polls.
Ensuring Your Event is Accessible
The ABA Commission on Disability Rights as a toolkit that can help you ensure that your event is accessible for all members of your community.
ABA Traveling Exhibit
The ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress has created 19th Amendment traveling exhibit, "100 Years After the 19th Amendment: Their Legacy, and Our Future.” The six-banner exhibit features historic photos and artifacts and details the story of the battle for ratification and outlines the challenges that remain. The exhibit can be sent to organizations across the country for their 19th Amendment programs. For information on the exhibit and how to request the banners, please contact Anne P. Brown at [email protected].
Is there a site in your community that has a historic connection to the suffrage movement? The National Park Service has an interactive website detailing these sites across the country.
Voters Rights' and Responsibilities
A one-page flyer highlighting voter's rights and responsibilities that is a great handout for student programs.
Presidential Elections FAQs
Gain useful information on presidential elections. This resource builds on the work the ABA Standing Committee on Election Law.
Demystifying the Electoral College
From Insights on Law and Society, help students understand the history and role of the electoral college.
There are numerous organizations both nationally and locally that can help support your programming and outreach to community members.
- Women's Vote Centennial Initiative
- Local chapter of the League of Women Voters
- Rock the Vote
- Consider reaching out to the American Libraries Association for information in partnering with libraries in your community
- Community colleges
- The Democracy Commitment advancing democracy in America’s community colleges and may be able to connect you with community college officials in your area interested in partnering.
- Local churches and places of worship
- Local/state humanities councils
- Local court historical societies
- The Federal Judicial Center has listed the various federal court historical societies across the country