Mount Airy will be honoring the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed and protected the women’s constitutional right to vote, throughout 2020.
The yearlong celebration, called Year of the Woman 2020, will be a collaboration of women-centered institutions, organizations and scholars from around the area to commemorate the nearly century-long women’s suffrage movement, according to a news release from the Town of Mount Airy.
Mount Airy Councilwoman Pamela Reed is partnering with Wendi Peters, special secretary of smart growth for the Maryland Department of Planning, to organize the the initiative.
“We will honor women that have influenced Mount Airy’s past, present and future,” Reed said. “We’re going to host a dress for success fashion show, and we’ll end the year with an aerial photo of Main Street, like Main Street lined with all of Mount Airy’s women. So it will be a combination of us speaking at local organizations, event planning to commemorate the 19th Amendment, as well as honoring the women who have influenced Mount Airy’s history.”
Peters, who lives in Mount Airy, approached Reed thinking it would be fun for the two to partner up, Reed said — but more as community volunteers and not really in their government roles.
“It’s very exciting to have an opportunity to kind of reflect. I think it’s really about recognizing and empowering; recognizing those that came before us, those that have made a difference in history and really using that as an example to help to empower the younger generation,” Peters said.
Peters isn’t a stranger to Mount Airy history; as the first woman to be elected for a second term on the town council in 2008, she has made some history herself. She hopes that her mark on the town’s history for women will inspire future generations.
“Anything is possible,” Peters said. “You put your mind to it, you’re devoted to the cause and anything is possible; you just have to put in the hard work.”
The Year of the Woman kickoff event will be the Dedication Ceremony, which will be held at Mount Airy Town Hall on Jan. 28. At the event, Mayor Patrick Rockinberg will read a proclamation declaring 2020 as “Year of the Woman 2020,” according to the release.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan proclaimed 2020 as the Year of the Woman in Maryland late in December, according to Peters.
“Our state’s history has been shaped by extraordinary women leaders, and our administration remains committed to empowering and advocating for women,” Hogan said in a news release from his office. “I look forward to the many events taking place statewide to commemorate the Year of the Woman.”