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Vanderbilt’s Commemoration of the 19th Amendment Centennial

Throughout 2020, the United States will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which guarantees women’s constitutional right to vote. Departments, centers and organizations across Vanderbilt are joining together to commemorate the centennial in a variety of ways, including through educational programming, speakers, panels, community events, historical exhibits, art displays and more. The website will continue to evolve as new activities are planned.


Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument at Centennial Park
Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument at Centennial Park

The Tennessee General Assembly passed the ratification resolution for the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on August 18, 1920, giving the amendment the 36th state necessary for ratification. Women gained the right to vote when it was officially adopted on August 26, 1920.

TN Secretary of State’s website on women’s suffrage>>

National Archives website on women’s suffrage>>

National Museum of African American History and Culture-Five You Should Know: African American Suffragists>>

Smithsonian website on women’s suffrage>>

Tennessean’s Grand Divisions podcast on how race played a role in Tennessee’s women’s suffrage movement.>>

Planning Committee Members

  • Candice Amich, assistant professor of english
  • Michael Bess, chancellor’s professor of history
  • Jalen Blue, communications relationship manager for equity, diversity and inclusion, division of communications
  • Jay Clayton, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in the Department of English, and director of the  Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy
  • Katrina Crawford, assistant director of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center
  • Alfred Degrafinreid II, associate vice chancellor for community relations
  • Rory Dicker, director of the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center
  • Bonnie Dow, professor of communication studies, and dean of academic initiatives for the College of Arts & Science
  • Liz Entman, planning and content specialist, division of communications
  • Jonathan Hiskey, associate professor of political science
  • Sarah Igo, Andrew Jackson Professor of History, and director of the Program in American Studies
  • Lynn Maddox, special projects director and community liaison
  • Holly McCammon, professor of sociology and professor of law
  • Elizabeth Meadows, associate director of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, and senior lecturer in the Department of English
  • Christopher Meyers, assistant dean for student affairs
  • Brianna Nesbitt, assistant director of the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center
  • Melissa Rose, professor of piano, and senior associate dean for academic affairs for the Blair School of Music
  • Tracy Sharpley-Whiting, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of Humanities (AADS and French), chair of the Department of African American and Diaspora Studies, and director of the Callie House Center
  • Paul Stob, associate professor of communications studies, and chair of the Department of Communications Studies
  • Wilna Taylor, assistant director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy
  • Gabriel Torres Colon, assistant professor of anthropology
  • Terry Tripp, activities coordinator for the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities
  • Celia Walker, associate university librarian for special collections, engagement and strategic assessment
  • Alan Wiseman, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair and professor of law
  • Kristin Whittlesey, director of external relations for the Blair School of Music

This website will continue to grow in scope and evolve to fit the needs of the university community. Feedback is welcome and can be shared with the Division of Communication’s University Relations team.