tv Legacy Future of the 19th Amendment CSPAN August 17, 2020 8:42pm-10:37pm EDT
100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. my name is lauren leaner, and i'm the cofounder of ceo of all in together. all in together is thrilled to host tonight's special virtue-ing town hall in partnership with the lbj foundation, the george and barbara bush foundation, the ronald reagan library, the national archives and the 19th. all these partners have worked tirelessly to make this program possible. thank you to each and every one of them for their contributions and support. i'd also like to say thank you to angie and mark, this would not be possible without them. all in together is a non partisan women's civic organization. since our founding, we have trained tens of thousands of women and the tools of civic
leadership, we are working to ensure women have power and agency and american democracy. in this centenary year our work remains urgent and vital. this program honors the heroism of the suffragettes, who reminds us of the many women who were left out of that victory, we celebrate that women as we remember that women of color cannot exercise their right to vote until so many years later. in fact, tonight is also the anniversary of the voting rights act, which was passed into law on august 6th, finally eliminating barriers to black women and men accessing the right to vote. tonight's program is a chance to better understand the passed,
the president, and envision a future of true equity for all. to contribute to our conversation about the 19th amendment centenary, please join us on social media using the hashtag, 19 at 100. there is much to celebrate about the progress of women from 1920 until now. women have become half the american workforce. more than half of the college degree earners, they are primary breadwinners and have broken barriers in every field and discipline. since 1980, women have outvoted men in every election. during the 2018 midterm, women showed up in record numbers, out voting men in every age bracket and electing a record 131 women to congress. now in the 2020 election cycle, more women than ever have filed to run for office. we have come a long way. yet, true gender equity remains elusive. we may break barriers but
american women remain underrepresented in leadership in every domain. lgbt women, especially trans women, face legal and social barriers to equality that are far from being overcome. women face shocking levels of domestic violence, the wage gap persists and americans and poverty are disproportionately female. and the time of covid, women face new struggles to manage the burdens of care, health, welfare and economic security. as we look to the future and what the next hundred years brings, there remains much work to be done. so tonight we look at the past, the president and the future to learn, reflect and commit to progress. we have incredible conversations ahead with luminary historians, our keynote speaker, nancy pelosi, our conversation with secretary condoleezza rice and we look to
the future with abby womack and britney cunningham. i hope you will stay with us. it's going to be awesome! we begin with the conversation with a look on the past and the history of suffrage, produced by our partners at the national constitution center, we are thrilled to welcome professor martha jones, professor of history at johns hopkins university, and lisa touch alt-, associate professor of history focused for on karen naji megan's university. jeffrey rosen will lead the discussion. jeff, over to you? welcome to our panel on the past, unknown history of women's suffrage. so honored to be with you with two of americans leading historians of the women's suffrage movement, both have new books out and i can't wait to share the arguments with you.
lisa tate throw. i have to thank you for your great advice, new exhibits on the 19th amendments, how women won the vote, and that beautiful building that is in the backdrop behind me, and the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. today we talk to our friends on august 6th, the 100th anniversary of the voting rights act of 1965, or rather the day anniversary. you, in your great book about cynical false, the myth of cynical fall, memory and women's suffrage movements, argue that cynical falls was not the beginning of the women 's suffrage movement. in fact, it began for earlier. tell us about the origin story of the fight for women's suffrage. >> i think the first point is
that there is no single fight. it is many, many, many fights. it depends what's strand of the story you pick up and where you trace it back to. we have contained a story from 1948 but that was a product of white suffragists themself who were trying to elevate their agenda, particularly elizabeth katie sand and susan we anthony, and had to exile and sideline other suffragists who did not share their vision of suffragette-ism. even within a kind of white women's suffrage fight, there were many strands and many parts of the story. so when we tell the story of cynical falls we are reading the understory back to the beginning and missing the complexity. as we unravel on this anniversary and the story of
beginnings. >> in your forthcoming book, how black women broke the barriers, won the vote and insisted on equality for all, you argue that the movements in that have been in point and 1920. in fact, he will do better to think of it as a struggle from the early 19th century all the way up through 1965. tell us about that and the heroic african american women, and the stories you tell. >> when we take the vantage point, it turns out that the start and in the point is very different. vanguard begins in the first decades with a truly path breaking african american women, who first and foremost deliver
a political critique that decries wealthy influence of racism, as well as the influence of sexism on american politics. this becomes, if you will, the signature defining feature of african american women in politics going forward. yes, 1920 is and landmark moment for some african american women in states like new york, illinois, california, black women will be voting and for too many african american women, the 19th amendment is the gateway to voting rights at all, and states laws like poll taxes and literacy tests will keep far too many black women from the polls until, in 1965,
the passage of the voting rights act gives it kind of teeth to both the 15th amendment from 1870, and the amendment from 1920 and opens up a new chapter in voting rights for black americans, one now there will be federal oversight that looks to guarantee the right to vote for the very first time. >> let's take the story of chronologically, so we understand the relationship with the movement for women's suffrage from cynical false leaders and from african american women. lisa, if i may, tell us about susan be anthony, women at the heart of the senate false movement. what was a cynic a false convention arguing for when evoked the declaration of independence to argue that all women and men are created equal,
and what began as a movement for women civil rights more generally focused on the right of a mentor vote? >> that's a big story. i would start off with saying that this begins at the founding, more broadly early. there are women at the founding. probably many more than we now have because many voices were not preserved. already saying if man is capable of self government, why not i? we know quite famously that african adams would say remember the ladies, but the founding framers of the constitution and others spoke repeatedly of the up selling of desires for self governance and at the time of the founding. i don't think we have a clear picture of how robust that
sentiment was among women, probably because those records have not been kept. but by the time we start to see some starring for voting, it is a very different kind of american democracy. we can't really tell the story without the democracy itself, because it's not an isolated democracy. as voting starts to become something that is more central to people's lives but the 18 twenties and thirties, many people start to incorporate that into their overall calls for rights, but not in a way that they sent threats as the most important of their rights, and for many people, what was necessary with something else entirely. for example, the abolition of slavery. the cynical convention is, as we know it, the first women's rights convention and not the
first conflict to vote. that's part of the methodology that i trace. although she has played there and her obituary, she began the fight at cynical falls. it was a local, impromptu convention that no one would have thought was a smart movement or that began the movement. nobody would say that really, that this convention, which took the founding document and turned into a cry for women's rights, saying that we hold that all these women created equal, they are manifesto that they issued. instead of listening grievances, they let's grievances against man. in the series of demand which include everything from voting to equal pay, equal education
and an end of the sexual double standard, to property holding. again, many of these are concerns that address a certain type of life, but are not addressing the concerns of either limits. so this is a kind of agenda that put the vote in it, but does not happen a little bit later. we can talk more about, that but that sense that this began the movement, sonic of all sizzling that gets created after the american civil war and then right back onto the beginning in a way that is about politics after their, and susan bee anthony has been placed their erroneously. >> martha jones, help us understand how, after the civil war on the right to vote and
you tell an amazing story on how activists women who actively are marginalized became community leaders, introduce if you will the complicated important relationship between the women's suffrage movement and the abolitionist movement. we have fredericton glass standing with women's suffrage and the women's splinter there. it's a complicated story. >> bring us to the 18 sixties to an extraordinary, revolutionary moment in the history of american law and politics. this opportunity to rethink the terms of the 14th amendment that establishes birthright citizenship, and finally the
15th agreement that will prohibit states from using race from giving out voting rights. there is an old coalition of women's rights activists, abolitionists who have known each other for a very long time. they reconvene in the 18 sixties, and a question before then is what is being wrought, not in their meetings, but in congress. >> you have elizabeth katie stand ten, veteran douglas, window phillips. it's true that this coalition struggles how to endorse and how to support ratification of the 15th amendment, which will,
again, speak to face. but not speak to gender when it comes to voting rights. oftentimes this is a story that's told about an african american man -- this is a troubling myth it's a troubling myth. there are also african american women soldiers of truth. very known in this period for anti slavery in women's rights. -- there was someone of a new comer -- i want to focus on harper because when we focus on her, every african american women can learn something. harper comes in and she skeptical about everybody in the room.
she's quite sure that no one quite appreciates the circumstances that african american women face in these extraordinary moments as they look to politics to address both racism and sexism simultaneously. it's possible -- her often quoted line is we are all bound up together. this becomes the contribution that african americans will make -- even into our own time. this view that it is not possible to parse out access to the polls, access to office holding, along man-made differences like race and gender.
she asks this coalition, including douglas to lift their sites to the interest of all humanity, and she would put it. this is the position that black women would put on the table. they were press the position coming all the way to the 19th amendment and beyond. i will leave it to another panel to decide whether we have actually arrived to that ideal. >> you tell the story not only francis harper but other black women and more. tell us about their activism during this crucial position during the 19th of amendment. some activists were arguing --
are you in for the change of state level and others were arguing for courts to recognize the suffrage. what was the position of these african american women you write about? how successful were african-american in particular and getting the right votes in the states in this crucial transition period? >> the important facet to the story in my research was to recognize that while we have been able to recover small and important wonders of african american who are part of the women's suffrage association from the civil war to the 19th amendment, it was a small number of african american women. part of my work was to ask where were these women? one of the myths about them as they had not been interested in politics.
not interested in voting rights. i ended up following them, if you will, to the places where they do gather. it turns out african american women gathered and tens of thousands. first and churches, that this churches. in the same period they are engaged in pitched debates over political power for religious nominations. preaching licenses. offices with denominations. will they be retained to the ministry? when they engage in these debates they are speaking precisely this kind of language, and making sorts of arguments that animates debate at this very same moment. by the 1890s, 1896, african american women are gathered to prepare but it will not be a suffrage association.
it will be the national association of colored women. it will be a club movement that gathers together hundreds and thousands of local black women's clubs across the country. it activates them for a whole range of political -- these clubs organizing and advocating for federal legislations led by the great black suffrage is, ida b. wells. i'm the founding of black politics is a companion to the suffrage of women -- comes to adopt suffrage women as part of the second and to work hard to that and, but at the same time is active and committed to what we would say in the 20th century -- anti racist -- they move for federal anti --
black women do not find a comfortable home in suburb associations. the important degree to which racism has informed that movement. where women strategically and instrumental -- means african american women never find a comfortable home here. at the same time they are already part of the political machine in cities like new york and chicago on san francisco -- even before the 19th amendment. so they're beginning to work their political power to influence the agenda, particularly at the republican party and at the same time, black women are organizing with one another citizenship schools suffrage schools, because what
they know, it was no secret that they were faced with hurdles in many states in addition to intimidation and violence, and so suffrage and citizenship rules become the way black women prepare one another. it turns out they also prepare black men who have been away from the polls for a very long time for a new wave of registration. passing ballots in the fall of 1920. as we know too much of that will not succeed and will require another movement for women's suffrage, if you will, anne when that begins in august of 1920. >> take us up from 1913 to the passage or commemorating sear, in march 1913, the two women's
win movements -- african american women marchers and white women converged on the eve of the presidential inauguration. it led to a dramatic last-minute shift of a vote by a senator who got a letter from his mother and the amendment was proposed -- tell us white past when it did? >> it is a cinematic finish, the ratification, the fight for the actual voting. congress approves the amendment -- beginning often what people say in this parade, which was a massive peaceful protest on the eve of woodrow wilson's inauguration, precisely to upstage him -- hundreds of thousands of people turn out in the streets. tens of thousands of women are marching. violence erupts. this is the kind of violence
that many women of color experience on a daily basis. shocking for white americans to see this happen to good upstanding women. makes the front page press. there is of course usual racial ten shuns and white suffrage activism. they ask that ida b. wells who was one of the nations premier civil rights activists, mary church terrell, a black suffrage sorority. this is emblematic in many ways of the ways in which white suffragists made can sit six -- in order to further the cause of eradicating -- for the right to vote of all peoples. that parade leads alice paul
who directed and becomes the center of the theatrical of the campaign to go on and do more and more, picketing the white house, underscoring as we enter world war i in which the united states is defending democracy abroad but not protecting it at home. it would lead up to congress finally passing this for many many reasons. including, i would argue, the fact that southern states have now officially disenfranchised african americans with trim crow laws. that is part of why the amendment passes. it talk about gender isolated variables. they know women of color who have difficulty voting. then it goes through ratification until it stops. it sits with one state short for months and months. tennessee takes it up. looks like it's not gonna pass. the youngest member, harry tea burn gets a letter from his mother who tells him to be a good boy and help with the
ratification. with that, he changes his vote dramatically. it goes over by one. the hundreds of thousands of votes and letters have finally pushed the amendment over to ratification. it is truly a cinematic finish. but it is not the end of the right to vote or the creation of the right to vote but it is the eradication of the word mail. >> margaret jones said it's an insufficient achievement to pass the 19th amendment, but tell us what happened next. african american men in 1920 were already severely disenfranchised by taxes and other ruses. how did african american women fare in voting between 1920 and 1965? where they disenfranchised at an even greater rate than african american men and with different ruses.
tell us about their story and how they contributed ultimately to the passing of the 1965 -- >>. sure. there's no question that african american women in a strong sense become equal to their male counterparts in 1920, that means also equally disenfranchised on the subject of the same jim crow loss. the application of gym crow laws -- pull tax requirements -- to include women -- an impediment voting for black women in the state of georgia. but african american women in the national association of colored women, headed by a woman in ohio caught alice paul in 1921 among the eve of the last, what turned out to be the last meeting of the national women's party.
the state in the fight for voting rights, even with the victory of the 19th amendment, because black women -- to get all of them to the polls. they're disappointed. there are a lot of concerns, but african american now will vote with african american men what looks to topple many of the pillars of jim crow, including grandfather clauses and poll taxes and other state level impediments to the vote. this is a story that takes us through to the modern civil rights era in the 1965 ratification a passage of the road invites act but what i want to point out in this --
is the african american women do not sit on the sidelines and wait until that moment where they will be welcomed to the polls and right about it like mary church, a floridian and staunch voting rights activist in florida in 1919 and 1920. and educator and founder -- when they think can and make good on voting rights toward black women she comes to washington and introduces herself to franklin roosevelt and will help roosevelt establish what is often referred to as his black cabinet. the power in washington certainly comes by way of election and representatives, -- but in the advent of the new deal state where one can come
and deal the resources in the federal agency which are charged with digging the nation out of a depression, one can actually do a great deal for black communities across the country. it reviews that kind of influence -- with mrs. roosevelt as well to bring black americans literally to washington to work in those agencies, but most importantly, to redirect the resources of those agencies toward black americans. all of this, long before we get to the voting rights acts. this is why black women could never be the political agents. they have to be nimble, inventive, they have to be ready to seize opportunities where they exist. i wonderful example of a consummate politician when she goes to the polls, she figures of how to get close to power in
washington and do something with it. >> thank you so much, martha jones and lisa for illuminating a rich discussion of the complicated and important history of the 19th amendment. we look forward to the next panels about the present and future of the fight for the right to vote and we will look forward to seeing you at the national constitution center and online at constitutional center dot or to celebrate, commemorate and learn about this crucial constitution anniversary. thank you so much for joining. >> good to be with you.
thank you jeff and professor for that fascinating discussion. now please welcome the tenth archivist of the united states and deborah, while the deputy archivist of the united states. >> the national archives is home to some of the most important records from the woman suffrage story, including the 19th amendment. 100 years ago, the 19th amendment became law prohibiting states in the federal government from the nine the right to vote to citizens of the united states on the basis of sex. our records such as petitions, legislation and court cases tell the story of the struggle for voting rights as a critical step toward equal citizenship. the passage of the 19th amendment was made possible by decades of suffragists
relentless political engagement. american women across the spectrum of race, ethnicity and class, advanced the cause of suffrage. even though we are commemorating the centennial, the struggle for voting rights continue well beyond 1920. >> as the national archives member of the congressional women's suffrage centennial commission, i am honored to be the part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. the success of the suffrage campaign and the fortitude shown by its supporters demonstrated that women could lift their voices and make themselves heard in the political arena. women had been activist advocates for justice and reform for the suffrage movement, but with that fight they showed they could have a voice on the national stage. with that -- without the right to vote, they were citizenship. they could exert influence on elected officials and lobbies officials important to. them as guaranteed in the constitution. a sign of her surrey reminds us
that the right to vote is not always guaranteed but is a work of generations of tireless activists. >> we are honored -- we want the american people to join our commemoration virtually. please join us this month that archive .gov slash women as we highlight records of our holdings and examine the fight for women's voting rights to virtual public programs for all ages. >> thank you david and deborah. now from the past to the president on our keynote conversation. the president and ceo of the lbj foundation, my close collaborator on this program speaks with the most powerful women in america today. speaker nancy pelosi needs a little introduction. she is of course speaker of the house of representatives, the first woman speaker in american history, and only the second person in 60 years to hold that position twice. a member of congress for more
than 30 years and a member of the national women's hall of fame. grandmother tonight grandchildren. she is the proud representative of sent francisco's 12 congressional district. please join me and welcoming mark and speaker nancy pelosi. >> madam speaker, what an honor it is to have you with us today. thank you so much. >> my honor as always to be associated with the memory of this foundation. for the 100th anniversary of the women having the right to vote. >> madam speaker, you have said many times that when you made history by becoming the first woman to become the speaker of the house and representatives, you stood on the shoulders of the women who came before you. i'm wondering, who are the women in history from whom you
drew inspiration? >> let me just say that many of the women i started with my own family, my mother. they were quite contributors to the greatness of our country. some more famous than others. i need to tell the story, since we're talking history. when i went to the white house, my first meeting as a leader, i had been to the white house many times as an intelligence person for years. i was not particularly apprehensive about the meeting. i did not think much about it. i was just going to a meeting at the white house. it was a very small group. it was not a meeting that any women had been in the white
house. law i had been elected by my colleagues to represent the man at the table. the president was always gracious. this was george w. bush. as he was welcoming me, a new leader coming to the table, i felt very close in on my chair. i never felt anything quite like it. all of a sudden, i realized -- they were all there on the chair with me. i could hear them say, at last, you have a seat at the table. then they were gone. i never had that experience
before since. my first thought was, we want more. those women were so courageous. they took abuse. they worked so hard. they had a vision. they had knowledge of why they wanted to get this done. he had a plan to be strategic. they connected with other women and other like-minded people across the country, and it took decades, but they are the ones who started it. i'm just in awe of the courage that they had. >> the 19th amendment granted the wind in the right to vote in 1920. they were many americans of color, men and women alike were systemically denied that. last month we lost a dear friend and colleague john, no greater champion of voting
rights than -- we do this broadcast on the 55th anniversary of the voting rights act which president johnson side on this day in 1965, but the voting rights act has been weakened in the recent years. madam speaker, what steps can american takes to ensure that we don't have voting suppressant in this country. that there are no barriers or boundaries? >> i appreciate you're asking that question, especially because of the loss of john lewis who sacrificed everything for the right to vote, because he side as a secret right. i want to acknowledge that there were many women of color that were part of this average movement as well. as you indicated, people of color did not enjoy that right, which was owed them. i had the privileges leader
years ago. what we did, we had bipartisan march down the steps of the capitol hill with overwhelming support. and the court overturned that part of it, and now we have to replace that. that is very sad, to think that it just a few short years ago it was completely nonpartisan, and now there is a resistance to the passing of the bill -- but wasn't lyndon johnson just wonderful? the courage she had. again, he had a vision. he knew what he wanted. who could think more strategically than he? he knew the courage of certain
people and he got the job done. i will never forget him saying we shall overcome. and he did. >> what did it mean to you to become the first woman to hold the position of speaker, and what does it mean to tell that position during the centennial centennial year of the 19th amendment of the constitution? >> it's pretty exciting. to be speaker at this time was a special honor, and to do so at a time when they were over 100 women in the house of representatives. that is quite remarkable. over 100 women. we made a decision that we would do that, so we went from 12th when i got to congress, to 90 now. we want more of course.
a big change. hopefully they will come around to some of that success. it means a great deal, because i do believe that there is nothing more wholesome or more important to governance and politics in our country and increased participation of women. not that women are better than men, but we need mix at the table. women and people of color, as i said, we want more. the diversity produces such a different result which has sustainability, because it springs from the thinking of many of the people who will be affected by the policies. what it means to me is a great deal to be speaker of the house at a time. again, -- >> and speaker, at this moment
it is the biggest challenge that women face? >> there are a number of them. i do believe -- when i came into politics into congress over 30 years ago, that john lewis and i constantly served together for 33 years. it was a different world about women and politics. i did not have any hesitation to be confident about what i could do, but there weren't that many of us. now, just think of what happened the day after you not ration? women marched. it was not political, it was not organized. it was spontaneous. it was organic. women marched and they came out all over the world and realized their power and their presence by turning up. women marched, women ran, women voted, women one.
i always say to women, know your power. no the confidence of who you are. i would say that women should have the confidence that they could do any job. if it's a problem that men are not accepting that, that is the man's problem. that is your problem, you know. with encouraging though, is that fathers and daughters -- the confidence that dads have in their daughters is something that is different. not that that's did not have confidence, but they were protective. now they think their daughters can do anything. that's a big plus. some are raised to have that same stance. there are still obstacles out there, and again, they will be
overcome, but it does take the confidence that women should have of what they could do. take inventory of where you are. there is nobody like you. you are the most authentic you area, and the contribution you could make is different from everyone else, so if you all think that way, just think the difference that you could make. one of these times, pretty soon, we will have women in the met democratic caucus with the man, with all respect for men. >> i'm wondering, what advice would you want to impart to the young women in the current generation who want to make the kind of difference you have made for women in the world? >> the best advice that i can give to young women and i say this all the time, is the best
advice that i received myself a long time ago. be yourself. be yourself. be you. you are great. know your power. have confidence in who you are. one thing which you do, this i would globally prioritize the education of women and girls, so that they could also have their confidence to make their contribution, because it makes a big difference in their families, their communities, their societies, their countries. i'm very optimistic about the growing confidence of women and the investment in their education globally is very important. it is very important. one specific piece of advice that i give people when they come to congress is that i
always, as leader, speaker, i always say to them, i want you to have a secure credential. whether it's veterans affair, services, intelligence, homeland security, government reform, subcommittees on security, because the one thing you ask -- sometimes people do not see a woman as a commander in chief, and they should. but it is important for women to not only bring that priority, but to bring the knowledge, so you have a vision of what makes the country strong. how to do so in a peaceful way. in order to do that you have to know the territory. again, no yourself in a global sense. no the security, and national security and the economic security issues, otherwise people will say, oh you're only
talking about childcare in this and that. of course. but take your place when it comes to being a potential commander in chief. take your place in being the potential secretary of treasury. >> -- >> but you have to have knowledge and judgment. people then will respect your judgment. >> you mentioned, madam speaker, that your first piece of advice is be yourself. did it take you a while to find your voice? in the political world? >> i had zero intention of running for any political position. it was outside my realm of what i thought i'd be doing. that's the other advice they give people. when the opportunity presented itself and people came to me and said you should run for office, i had not thought about doing it. i had no ambition to do it,
they kept telling me. you can do this. you can do that. i was ready. i was ready. i say to people, be ready. it doesn't mean you are sitting there running for office, but again, you have taken inventory. you know your strengths. you know your priorities, and when you can show your "why". know your "why". i have five children. they are blessed in every way. i think. it bothered me that today are still hungry today. that was a motivator for me. president jones cared about
that. when i could see the difference the policy could make and lifting a children, that really lit me up. i said i know my "why" and now i know what i could get done to get things done strategically. when you know your "why" anne and you know your "what" and you know you're "how" to get it done, then you are ready. >> you had the opportunity to visit -- when the first women's convention was held in 1948, what was the experience like? >> i've been there on more than one occasion. a congresswoman from the area hadn't invited us on a number of occasions. i was inducted in the hall of fame, which was a big deal.
my friends came from all over for that. that meant a lot to them. it was remarkable. we had a park service person interpret who was telling us -- he was katie's house. she was a forward thinker. her father was a forward-thinking man. she had a lot of children. five, i think. she -- many people who came their, they were immigrants. they worked in the mills. she could hear domestic violence. that was one of her motivators in terms of women. she was very smart.
so that was something of the personal experience and a family that encouraged and respected her. it was a blessing to all of us. she made such a difference with her thinking. she cannot travel so much. with all those children, but she could convey her thinking to others, and of course, there was the conference which made such a big difference. even frederick douglass was there as being a suffragists and an abolitionist. going there, it was moving because of the history. it was also inspiring because you could see how annex
personal experience translated into policy and action that would eventually change the lives of people in our country. let me just say this in closing. what's interesting to me in this 100th anniversary is how some of my friends were not as, shall we say, involved in all of this. they were saying to me recently that they had no idea that women suffered so much in order to pass. they did not know how they were cast aside by their families. how they suffered that treatment. they didn't know any of it. they just thought it was a movement. they did not realize that people paid a price. people paid a price so that awareness makes the triumph even greater, and when you
think back to what they did. who has the courage to leave home? there was no way you could leave the home without a man accompanying you at that time. bye-bye. anne >> madam speaker, we thank you for joining us in this conversation. we thank you for your remarkable service. thank you so much. >> thank you, and i think all the organizations who are involved in putting all of this together. thank you for celebrating something that has helped america reach its value and concern for equality and justice in our country. thank you all very much.
what an amazing in moving
conversation. thank you, madam speaker and mark, for joining us. it is not my honor and privilege to welcome more extraordinary barrier breaking women. we are still pleased to have former house press secretary and fox news anchor, dana pereira reno. dana was the first republican to be named white house press secretary. tonight, thanks to our partners at the george and barbara bush foundation she will be speaking with fellow bush administration and fellow first, secretary condoleezza rice. the first black woman to serve as the united states national security advisor and the first black woman to serve as the
united states secretary of state. she is a professor, corporate board member. with september, she will become director of the hoover institution. please join me and welcoming secretary condoleezza rice and dana perino. >> hello, madam secretary. it is such a pleasure to join you, even virtually. it's great to be with you and an honor to be able to have to have this conversation with you. >> it is always great to be with you, dana. look forward to it. >> i was thinking about this. obviously, the country is going through a lot at the moment. three major crises. the pandemic, the economic crisis and racial strife. we have this opportunity in august of 2020 to look back 100 years to another struggle that america had, and that was women's suffrage. i think about little girls today, learning about this, and
probably just not understanding that women were not allowed to vote. historically, in context, what was it like for america going through that time? >> it was a time that was another one of those inflection points where america was asked to prove that it was going to be true to its founding and true to the great hypothesis of the declaration of independence and constitution. when the founders and framers created the constitution, it was all men being created equal. i doubt that they thought about the idea that women were created equal to. but the wonderful story of america has been a story of slowly but surely including more people and we the people. 100 years ago, people like me and people like you, were finally included in we the people. i just think it is so great
that we have the chance to celebrate this 100 year anniversary of another one of those important inflection points where more americans became a part of we the people. >> did what america go through 100 years ago -- how did that manifest around the world? was there a push from -- i know in england it was a big push. was that happening simultaneously? and what from there has continued, in terms of helping women around the world to be able to have these kinds of rights? >> the fact is that you can only deny people their rights for so long. you can deny them, but they will continuously fight for the struggle and struggle for them. eventually, they will win. that is the story of women's suffrage. interesting thing is we tend to think that global messages are confined to our time, that
because of the rapidity of communication now, the fact that you can know what's going on in remote parts of the world quickly, that is when global messages spread. actually, global messages have been spreading for centuries. because word would get out, so to speak. that those women in the united states were fighting for their rights. this would empower women and other places, and in fact, the women who left the suffrage movement actually thought of themselves as the vanguard of the movement across the known world. by the known world, i mean obviously, it was still not possible in colonial territories, but they saw themselves as a vanguard for women and other places. the drew power from each other as the struggle spread across the globe. the fact is, that struggle is still underway.
we see places across the world where women are still not equal. women are still second-class citizens. dana, i spent a lot of time in the middle east. the suffrage movement that had swept the united states brought to power women in elected office and made possible women secretaries of state. i found myself and kuwait in 2005, 2006, talking to women who were running for office for the first time in kuwait. so this is a struggle that goes on in some places, by the way, the right to vote does not necessarily mean the vote matters. that is the other struggle that is going on and places. >> i'm smiling because that was the anecdote i had remembered that i was going to ask you about. i think it was 2006. we were in kuwait. president bush had a little
time on his schedule for his next event. he had a choice to go see the little league team, or go visit with the women from kuwait who were the first ever to run for office. i was in the room with them. just before he came in. they were so nervous to meet him. when he came and, he gathered them around and said, i am so proud of you. he said but we lost. all of us lost our first race. >> i lost my first raced to. >> i wondered -- populism and nationalism take hold around the world. what about those other countries? does america and american women -- do we still have responsibilities to try to help others who have not had such an opportunity yet? >> my strong view is that we are so blessed in the united states to have the rights that
we have. our work will never be complete until those rights virtually universal. if we believe there are universal than we have to fight for them for everyone. i know we are going through a difficult time right now. people say, well, the people still look to the united states? i can assure you, people still look to the united states as a place where we fight for our rights. we believe in our rights. that is inspiring to people across the world. if you remember the women in kuwait then one in the next set of elections. i remember having conversations with them about how you had the court many voters as well. not just women voters. so we actually had progress throughout the national -- for democracy set up under ronald reagan. it has a national democratic institute, a republican counterpart. they have gone to work with women civil society leaders to help them prepare for
elections. to help them get better at them at it. we can take our experience and help women abroad who do not quite know how to organize to win an election to do so. but there is another sater story. i hope that we are very focused on how bad it was for women in afghanistan when the attacks took place on 9/11 here in the united states. the taliban was in power in afghanistan. this was a place where girls could not go to school. this was a place where women were executed in a stadium given to the taliban by the united nations. while that has been a harder struggle and i think any of us perhaps anticipated, women have gained rights in afghanistan. we cannot abandon them. >> maybe we could talk a little bit about -- i know you have a long focus on
education, the importance of education. that is obviously a global issue, but it is also something we have to focus on here in america. when it comes to voter education, what do people need to be focused on their? >> i hope that when we talk about voter education, we are also talking about civic education. i would like every american voter to really understand how her vote matters to the outcomes that she wants for her life, for her children. very often, we talk about the vote, but we talk about it in isolation. of course, what it is doing is in our very highly institutionalized system that the founders left to us, it is giving us a voice through others. so who you elect to the congress to represent you, who you elect to your local school board to represent their
children. we have to think about the vote in the context of the institutions. sometimes i think americans do not know well enough their own institutions and how they function. i heard often sometimes and hear about votes and other countries to. a vote -- election is not democracy. i don't know how you have a democracy without an election. with the election does is it gives you a voice with the people who are going to represent you. americans do not know about their institutions, so i think voter education is also civic education. do you really know what the legislative process is for instance? >> your entire career, people have been trying to push you into running for office. you have resisted that call. for very good reasons. you explain it in your books. i was thinking about the
administration that we worked on together in bush 43. is there is a lot of ways for women to participate in government and in their democracy that don't have to include running for elective office. i think that is important and wonderful. i would love to see more women running. that maybe you can talk a little bit about people's participation short of throwing their name on the ballot. >> you are absolutely right, dana. let me just underscore what you said. we need more women to run across the political spectrum, because one of the things we need to remember is that women's issues are americas issues. to the degree that women are really a part of the process is is going to matter. you can serve in all kinds of ways. unfortunately, hillary clinton,
eleanor -- we've got to serve on highest levels as diplomats. that would've been unthinkable just a few decades ago. women can, of course, go into the civil service and serve their government. one of the things i worked hard on was making the foreign service more representative of america. we have a lot of work to do. we have even more work to do with underrepresented minorities to try to make the foreign service -- you can work for the state government, local governments. we should not underestimate the importance of those commissions and those school boards net really our closest to the governance of the people, and so i would encourage any young women who is thinking about a rule in public service to do that, and of course we also have a great civil society. the organization that we are here with today, great
opportunities for people to serve and non governmental ways, that is still serve the country. >> i wonder if you could tell us a story or a reflection of what it was like to be the first. you are off in the first. you have a lot of firsts under your belt. many women, even if it is not a first, a feel like they are trying to thrive in a male dominated field. because maybe they are the only or one of the only. how do you advisor students at stanford or women you talk to about dealing with being a first or and only. >> the first thing to remember about a first is nobody sets out to be the first. you set off to do something and then you learn, oh, i am the first. i had this conversation with the great sally wry. she said i did not set out to be first women in space. i just wanted to be in space.
if you remember that, then you are less intimidated by the fact that you are the first. you are obviously there because your qualified to be there. you are there because you worked hard to get there. you have to have a sense, an internal sense, a deep core scents that you belong here. you have to walk in that room and own the room. it helps to be prepared. i grew up in segregated birmingham, alabama. another great struggle to make america more inclusive. so my parents always told me, first of all, you have to be twice as good. i did not say that as a matter of debate. they said that as a matter of fact. you go around trying to be twice as good. you work twice is hard and then you are twice is confident. i also said there are no victims. the minute you think of yourself as a victim, you have given control of your life to someone else. you may not be able to control your circumstances, that you can control the response to the
circumstances. so i have this kind of armor, if you will, about encountering people who thought less of me because i looked different. my armor then prepared me to walk into that room and say i'm not going to let your prejudice be my prejudice. i'm going to do my work. i will work hard. by the way, i was very fortunate to have mentors who really advocated for me. one of the great mentors was of course brent. he was the national security adviser to president george h.w. bush. he took me under his wing as a young assistant professor at stanford in the early 19 eighties. he really did help to advocate for my career. we have to remember, nobody gets their on their own. there are always people who are mentors. i would say those two young
women. i know it is hard when you see and feel that you want to excel but there isn't anybody who looks like you. they if i had been waiting for a black female soviet specialist role model, i would still be waiting. my role models, my mentors were white men. old white man. those were the dominant people in my field. sometimes your mentor may not look like you. just one word about the greatness of having the right mentors. i have to say that george h.w. bush was a terrific mentor and when little story about that. when we first met gorbachev in december of 1989, it was a turbulent time. the cold war was ending. germany was about to unify. president bush said to gorbachev, i want you to meet congolese the race. she is a professor at stanford. she is my soviet specialist. she tells me everything i know about the soviet union. gorbachev tilted his head and
said in russian, well i hope she knows a lot. but the fact is, he was not -- president was not talking to gorbachev. he was talking to everybody in that room. he was saying this is the person i listen to. so you had better listen as well. mentors can do a lot to break down barriers around race or around gender by just advocating for people who they believe in. >> i don't know if you'll remember this, but i saw something like that during the 43 years towards the end. do you remember when the israelis thought that there might be some daylight between what you were telling them and what mr. bush was telling them? do you remember how short that meeting was when the israelis came in -- a let you tell it. for me, i never said a word, but i thought, that is how you empower somebody else. i was so glad i witnessed that.
>> president bush 43. he had this wave trying to dictate -- distance between the white house and the secretary of state. i remember that prime minister came in and he complained about me, essentially. the president just said, you know, i think you will need to work that out with condoleezza. end of story. end of story. >> he said let me tell you, if you ever think that there is daylight between my secretary of state and me, you are wrong. >> that's right. >> you can see yourselves out. >> by the way, go work it out with her. you don't need to talk with me. dana, i know that you were in an extraordinary position, because i remember our great friend who is no longer able to be press secretary, you are a
young woman, and having the rains to you with the viciousness of the press sometimes, just saying, i trust you. that was very much -- >> i tell a story about that, that you played a big role and not for me, and i remember one time being in the situation room, and some complaints from the military that we had a communications problem in iraq, and we caught, we met eyes and you gave a little knot of your head. i felt like you were telling me you have a seat at the table for a reason. this is your shot. speak up. so i did and suggested that if the facts got better, and the communications would get better, but also in meetings when i knew i was going to have to go take press questions.
complicated, national security. several times he would say, i will walk with you. he would walk with me from there to my office and said this is how i might say it. i just want to thank you publicly for that. i also think it's a great example of what women could continue to do to help one another through mentorship and support as we mark this amazing 100th anniversary. my great grandmother was in wyoming. she was the first in my family to be allowed to vote. of course rural america wanted those women to vote. they got that. it's just a real pleasure, and i think the only thing we can ask and we will wrap this up, is that in order to keep it going, we have to help one another. >> i could not underscore that thought more. what those women hoped for when
they started to advocate for the right to vote when they had to go sometimes against the wishes of their fathers or their husbands to advocate for the right to vote, and when they finally won the right to vote, i doubt that any one of them thought that this was over than. the struggle continues. it continues for women's rights, women's empowerment and our own country. it certainly continues for women's rights and women's empowerment and countries where women are still not full citizens. so we have a lot of work to do, and the one thing we can take from the experience of these women 100 years ago, is it does not get done by one person. it gets done by a whole bunch of people. the sisterhood is as important today as it was then. >> it is. i have one little creature that wants to say hi to you. >> hello.
>> come on. jasper. this is jasper's participation. >> hello jasper. are you going to get up? >> no. he had a big day yesterday. you had a big day. but he says high. madam secretary, thank you. lauren, we will turn it back to you. >> thank you both so much. what a privileged to hear from you tonight. before we go to our final panel, i would like to take a minute to thank again our sponsors mark p and she for their generous support. both serve on the board together, and this town hall would not have been possible without them. >> this is not new. this has happened before. in every downturn and disaster in history, gender inequality has been set back. as women have stepped forward,
women on waves bear a heavy cost. >> more of the frontline care, removal of the pack. it's more of the chops. lost more of the responsibilities that. home >> keeping them from going back to paid work. >> these times >> are not unprecedented. >> but they give us another chance for equality. >> if we all choose to step forward as equals -- >> care equal. >> higher. equal >> pay equal. >> model equal. >> choose equal. >> at home. >> at work. >> right now. >> for an equal future. >> this year's feels like a tipping point. a moment of change and transformation for women and the country. our partners of the 19th -- they have officially launched and we are grateful for their partnership. if you've not heard of the 19th
yet. you will. here's why. >> it's to change the conversation about how we talk about women and politics. we are firm believers that all issues are women's issues. our leaders are people who want to be better informed and better able to participate and democracy. >> we are aiming to change the future of american journalism by giving women the platform and the voice that they deserve. there has never been a better moment than right. now the 19th is the new change that we have been waiting for. >> and now we turn to the future. in a conversation with two of the most visionary, amazing women i know. it is my great pleasure to moderate our final conversation with olympic gold medal winning, soccer superstar, best selling author, and new owner of angel city, abby long back. joining her in this
conversation, the brilliant author, founder, activist, educator britney cunningham, founder of love and power. welcome ladies. it is great to have you. >> great to be here. >> so great to be here, lauren. thanks for having us. >> we are here tonight celebrating the centenary of women's suffrage. a hugely important milestone of women's rights. the celebration is temporary because women of color did not get the right to vote until this very day, august 6th, 1965 in the passage of voting rights act, and of course even today, access to polls, full access to voting rights remain a challenge. so how do you think about the importance of this 100th anniversary, given it was incomplete and it remains and complete? >> you know, we are sitting in the middle of what we call in
our tradition, black august. there have been many critical and impactful moments and black history that have all sectors in this month. we have the birth of people like fred hampton and marcus garvey, some of our most important leaders. we had some real tragedies that we've seen, especially in rebellion's against the car several state and mass incarceration. as you've already said, we have important anniversaries. the passage of the voting rights acts. we are standing in the shadow of the passing of congressman john lewis and people who are critical in ensuring that this right to go vote was more universal than it was in 1920. i find myself fired up and ready to go, as is the phrase. this black august, because as you've already said, there is so much more work to do to secure the franchise meant and wait to vote for every single person who walks in our streets
and who lived next to us. and working to make sure that people experience their right to vote as something that engages them and does not push them out. and that the experience the right vote is a beginning of their civic process and not the end. that is where you have to go from here. that is what is really on my mind. not just today, the during black august. >> perfect. i cannot add more to that. all i will say is that it's 15 years. 1965 was 15 years before i was born. what that means to me, is there are still women, black women in this country, in our current world right now, that was experiencing and did experience the inability to vote. for me, a lot of people, they think there is nothing i can do. why even go to the polls? why even vote? i think it is just really
important to understand that this is actually been happening in our lifetime. the need is not only there, but it is possible, because things have changed in our lifetime. we cannot celebrate progress unless -- if we are leaving people behind, we are not free unless everybody is free. that is why it is so important for me that intersectionality is not just part of a conversation we are having around voting and creating policy, but it's actually the action that we are taking in order to achieve the progress that we are hoping to achieve. they say progress is slow, but i wanted to be fast and wherever britney goes, i will follow her, because she says very smart things. >> that's what i'm trying to do. >> abby, you were mentioning
intersectionality. that's perfect. it's such a critical part of this conversation. the fight for women's gender equity. it has always been an undercurrent of who has been left out. black women were left out 100 years ago. even in the sixties and seventies, the second -- lgbt women intentionally, because they did not set the political agenda. how do we make sure, because this panel is about the future. we cannot do that. none of us are free unless all of us are free. and of us are equal unless all of us are equal. how do we make sure, brittany, that these next hundred years, that we are not constantly sacrificing one set of fights for equality for another? that has been our history. >> the first thing we do is we deal honestly in reality. as we are having this conversation about voting rights, about the franchise,
multiple things are true about this moment. not about the sixties, but about this moment. what is true is that the voting rights act, as it was passed an, has been gutted since by the supreme court in 2013. what happens in particular, is that a number of the southern states and other states with the legacy of discrimination have been given more freedom to continue that discrimination in more insidious ways. we see things like gerrymandering, the closing and polling places. we see things like false mailers being set out to people telling them they've been purged from the voting roles. you see people de purged from the voting roles. that is happening right now. the law that was passed all those years ago to prevent those things has been stripped of its ability to do so and so many ways. what is also happening is that indigenous women aren't far too often -- indigenous people are too often being pushed out of this process, because we have a system that does not properly recognized the sovereignty of
tribal governments, tribal actresses, and the access the rural folks need the systems. we also know that low income folks are not experiencing voting rights equally. voting, if the election day is not a national holiday, and you are an hourly worker or need to provide child care and you do not have transportation, you do not have equal access to the ballot box, no matter what the losses on paper. lastly, what we know to be fundamentally true is that millions of people have had the right to vote stolen from them, because they are formerly incarcerated people. even as they have returned to society, they have not been afforded the right and privilege that they should be after having paid with the car 's will stay cause their debt. that is a different conversation, but ultimately, if that is the system as it stands, when that last thing happens, you should have your access to the ballot box restored no matter where you are. we have to deal in the current
reality and realize at this point about intersectionality, that none of us are free until all of this are free, which means that none of us are fully free with our -- without access to the ballot box. everyone i've listed do not have that access. the second thing we do is we realize that other people's rights is that we're right. aboriginal activists, lili wax and said, if you've come here to help me, you have been wasting your time. and if you came here because you know our fates are bound up together, then let us work together. i have to carry just as much about indigenous rights, about the rights of disabled people, black trans women, where women. i have to carry just as much about their fate as i do my own. not just because i want to be a good person. not just because i want jesus to let me in the pearly gates, but because materially, if i allow things to happen to them -- it will not be long before somebody comes from my rights in the very same way. in a very literal sense,
fighting for those things provide security for all of us, because when the most marginalized among us are free, we actually all material materially benefit from the security, protections and safety that they receive. >> should i say preach? >> that question was answered. >> i think that question was answered. >> it is so interesting, abby, because in this moment as well, where you are seeing athletes and artists and folks across every corner of american society realizing that they have not only a platform, but sort of a deep personal moral obligation to speak up at the same time, there is a question to keep athletes -- to tell them this is not what people want. you're an entertainer. just go play. right? you have been linking your
sport and your activism from the beginning. we've inspired so many other athletes and soccer and beyond and artists as well to do that. how do you think about that? it does feel like there is this sort of mass movement of folks realizing that whatever platform you have, whether you're famous -- or the 17-year-old goal and kentucky who organizes the black lives matter's protest starting in her high school and gets tons of people to come. it does feel like people are tapping into their own powers. how do you think about that? how do you keep pushing? >> sports has this really unique way of being able to cross over these gender lines. women sports, when we are really talking about women's soccer -- women's soccer had this unique
ability to bring in fans from every kind of walk of life. men, women, black, brown. the reason why is because the woman's national team wins as opposed to the men's national team. that is not a sleight that is just a fact. people like to follow winners. the woman's national team earned more money for the united states soccer federation that are's national team and are paid far less. for me, thinking about it globally, if this is happening in a bubble the woman's national soccer team, where we are popular. we do get endorsements. the players to get paid just not nearly as much as the men. for me when i retire, i realized that there is a terrible realization that i had to recreate myself. i had to find a new career because i didn't earn the same amount as peyton manning during
my career. that was a forced reality on the. and if this is happening to me, this is happening to every woman everywhere. especially with sports because men can see and understand the language of sports may be better than other industries. >> but it is a shocking realization when you start to put your head around the fact that even when you are better, that being better isn't even the solve to the gender bias. >> exactly. >> and the racial bias that you still face. it doesn't matter how good you are. >> and it hasn't mattered how much money. everybody -- that has been the biggest argument since the beginning of time, the women don't learn as much as the man so of course they're not going to pay the same. that is no longer true since 2015 or 16, the woman's national team has out earned the men's national team, that is why they have taken ahead and going forward with this lawsuit. for me though, it is blatant
sexism to its core. for a long time i had to actually figure out what that meant for me. i was in the system that was a pressing me and i was trying to navigate those waters. at first, you are asking yourself questions like, i will just be grateful for what i got. ten years ago they didn't give it to anyone, i am earning a paycheck. in ten years where will we be. for me it is about not just talking about the inequalities, it is about creating the policy. creating the standard not just in sports but in every walk of life, in every industry, in every city, in every government. you have to figure out ways to recreate what that could look like. >> and it is risky. it is inherently risky. i feel like if part of what we
started altogether was in 2014 when we looked around, there was this sense among women of my generation and younger that, why do we need to fight anymore. why is this not just solved? and this was this passiveness about political participation particularly during the obama years among younger liberals. what do we need to do this for? and what we saw is this apathy and also the sense of not -- and i say this about white women particular -- not appreciating that you can't make progress if you're not willing to take a risk. sometimes it means putting yourself on the line in very real ways. as you are saying, you are both dependent on the system that you are trying to abandon change. and also trying to rebel inside of a broken system that you have to be a part of to make a living. black women have always understood this.
there was never a question for black women that you are taking a risk. that you are putting your life, your body and yourself on the line to fight for change. it feels like this year that there is maybe some shift in understanding there. we saw so many more white women showing up to black lives matter, coming out to fight systemic institutional racism. but i don't know. what do we need to understand about the future if we really want to make the progress we want to make? if we want to really up and the last sexist and racist institutions wherever they may apply? what do we need to know and do to do that right? >> there is a group of black feminist that came together and said they wanted to expand on the eighth feminist idea that the personal is political. we have to understand that yes, no matter how uncomfortable is,
the personal is indeed political. from how we wear our hair to the food we buy, literally every sector of our lives is determined by political choices and we'll. not just hours but the systems that guide and governance. if the personal is political, what they said was, not only is the personal political but community is political. community, yes we can see in witnessed injustices but we can also face them together and solve them quickly. what i think the future really has to look like is that understanding and that orientation towards community. if we think just over the last six years, august is also the month we found the ferguson uprising happening, that was a movement a moment in time of which i was a very proud member among thousands and thousands of peoples names who folks might never know but who
sacrificed everything to ready america for this moment. it was ferguson and baltimore and cleveland and florida and la that taught the country, combined the country that their obligation to democracy. in standing up in those six years ago between then and now, we see the conversation shift. we have seen to your point a lot of women of color hold white women accountable and say you are not just going to show up for the women's march and not show up with brianna taylor. we see trans women say, you are not going to defy women hum solely by reproductive woman's and not include the rest of us. we have seen immigrant women who say, you are not going to scream feminism with one hand and undervalue and underpay us on the other hand because those two things cannot operate together. it is a community that people actually need to change.
that is the very clear focus of the future. i think you are right, it is not my black-ness or my womanhood that inherently are at risk, but in this country unfortunately i'm faced with risk because of them. so yes, there is a world in which black women have always known that risk. we have never had the privilege to turn away from it. and still i'm glad to see many more people acknowledging the leadership of black women, of latinos, indigenous women, asian american pacific island are women who have been radical in their imagination. radical more determination. and who got everyone ready to take on the fight right now. >> there is such a temptation to talk about this election in 2020 being so critical. that this is a critical election year and that there is a record number of women running for office, a record
number of black women. we all have a woman vice president, vice president nominee, there is obviously has been huge ground swell for the next few years. younger women also getting in touch with their political power and ability to shift the direction of the country. but how do we keep it going? we talk a lot about women's empowerment. but how do we make sure that this is not just about anyone election or any one president or any on fight, but that women understands that we own the job already. we are the majority of this country. and that we must hold our government accountable to our interests. always. not just in any one election. you talk to thousands of women around the country, you are motivational and inspirational, how do we keep this going? how do we make this a lifetime? >> and beyond, to the next
lifetime to their children and grandchildren. >> this is a really important question because i think that the woman's right movement, it can feel a sense of fatigue. people can get tired of talking about all the politics. the activists, myself, britney, folks like you, we're never going to tire. we have dedicated our life to this. it is our job. it's our job to circle and get everyone on board. the thing that i learned the most about playing on the women's national team is the concept of unity. it is the only reason why a woman's national team has secured any of the contracts that they have been able to secure over the generations of the team. the way that they are able to do that is that they worked together. they were one unit, one breath. that doesn't mean they always agreed on everything. but they agreed upon up is this idea of a better future. and what they've also agreed
upon is that they are going to fight tooth and nail forever until they became equal. for me, that is what we have to remind ourselves of. for the average person who is watching this, you may think, it is too big. i don't want anything to do with it. i'm not sure how to even make my vote for independence, individual self matter. find the people around you. get talking about some of the stuff that is important to, that matters to you, that draws you into your own personal purpose. when you start collecting people he will find that your folks that you can do life with. in that group, the truth is if you have people around you that are gonna do life with you, you can get stuff done. and it might not necessarily be in politics. it might be in your school, it
might be for your kids soccer team. you have to have your people around you to do life with in order to get these bigger things done. leave it up to britney and myself to collect the masses. all you have to worry about is getting in touch with your people, your next door neighbor, talk about this stuff. get into the mind sets of what you want for your future because we get to create it. if we choose it, and if we go out and be active and vote. >> i am so glad you said that. you can have unity even with disagreement. we are not going to all agree. women or as diverse as space. we do not all agree, we have different perspectives. but that doesn't mean we can't find the right common ground to fight for each other. i think that is exactly the brilliant point that you just made. i want to shift as we come to the end of our conversation to
vision. and a big vision for the future. i want to ask you to start. what is your vision for this next century? what do we hope that in 100 years that our future daughters and sisters will say that they have achieved? or that we helped them begin? what is that vision of the future? >> my vision for the future is expensive. it is really rooted in the local work that is happening in so many of our communities. it is really a disciplined every day stuff that is not sexy, that happens when the cameras are gone and the masses have moved. if i can encourage anyone to take one action as you are leaving here today it is to research the local organizations that are taking real and consistent long term action in your community on the things that you care about. link up with them, become a
member, go to meetings, volunteer. take the actions. as national figures we are here to resource at, amplify, and uplift the work that is happening on the ground. that is where change happens. my vision is very much rooted in the local work. i was talking to my friend yesterday who is black, queer over organizer. they let a two-year campaign to close the workhouse in st. louis. and finally they were successful last week when the board decided to close it. now they are getting together with the community to dictate to the government how to shift those funds into resources that people need. all of that to say this. my vision is fully and fundamentally freedom. in 100 years people will look back on the generations live right now and they will say, we
shined the light of freedom so clearly that we decided to comfort every single thing that belongs to us and not stop until we get it. we gave them the tools to keep fighting. and that our daughters and their daughters are experiencing a world that not only protects their lives but protects the genius inside of it. >> beautiful. >> i love listening to her. >> can i just listen to you talk for the next half an hour? and i love your vision to abby. it is really expansive and beautiful. i want to hear it and so does everyone. the world wants to hear your vision. >> before i go forward thinking about going forward with the future, i always go back. i have to think about all of the women who have helped me, who have been voiceless and nameless in the women's fights.
i have to think about honoring their names because even though the 1920s, 19th amendment happened, we didn't really get full rights until 65. and that had to happen because of many, many women who decided to do something. and without warning anything in return except for the rights, the freedom. i think about those women and i think about being in the present day in 2020 and people thinking, everything is good now. it is just not. it is not good now. we still have work to do. what i am trying to do is not just dismantle but institutions and systemic racism and sexism that is literally happening every single day, i am trying
to rebuild and reimagine what building structures from the ground up with women in leadership positions look like. with diversity in leadership positions. for me, the thing that i promised myself at the end of the career was to, and of course corporate america and governments, and pgas, more women in leadership. more diverse women. more diverse tables where decisions are made. these decisions, these things that the products that are going out into the world, the campaigns that we see on a daily basis, if women are not at those seats where those decisions are made than everything that we are experiencing is skewed. everything will be sexist. everything will be racist. it will have bias. we have to fight against that. for me, i'm trying to rebuild and reimagine what these
institutions can be. we have to get women in leadership positions and also start building institutions that are made for, built for women. everything that we know an experience today is built by men. by white men especially. the rest of us that we are doing is answering to white man, answering to white men. the system and structure they have built has not been built for people like me, for people like britney for. people that are marginalized in any way. that is what i am going to be doing and everything that britain's. it >> as my grandmother would say, from your lips to grab this year's. my vision is that there are no more first, there are only many's. that we find ourselves surrounded by a world that reflects all of us. by a democracy that lives up to
its ideals as flawed as they were at the founding. and if they exceed them and expands them and does them better. this is been one of the great honor some privileges of my life, i am so grateful to both of you. i know everybody who's listening tonight joins me in my deep abiding thanks and appreciation to you both. thank you both so much for being here. on to the next 100. >> we are at the end of the program, but the work, the fight, the come into a quality goes on. please stay in this critical conversation, commit more activism, more leadership, more votes. as we continue to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment we challenge you to become more engaged citizens. please visit the website for
information on how to help your family, friends, neighbors, to register to vote. we have tools to help you mop out a voting pan and get to the polls and become more active civic leaders. the replay of this program is available on our website. and facebook and youtube pages for the rest of the year. encourage those who missed it to watch the program. thank you again to all of our partners, moderators, speakers, sponsors for contributing to this incredible program. it has been my pleasure to serve as tonight's masters of ceremonies. we hope you are feeling encouraged and inspired. thank you for being here. good night.