Pryor sponsors installation of plaque honoring Hoosier suffragists

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INDIANAPOLIS — State Representative Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis) sponsored Senate Bill 6, which passed the House unanimously on March 16. The bill instructs the Indiana Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission (IWSCC) to create a marker commemorating the Hoosier women who fought to secure the right to vote and their contributions to the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

The new legislation follows last year's celebration of 100 years of women being guaranteed the right to vote in the U.S. Hoosier women were active in the fight for suffrage at both the state and federal level, founding local organizations across Indiana and securing a partial suffrage law in 1917 that was ultimately overturned by the courts. After that initial setback, they would go on to rally support for the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which Indiana passed on Jan. 16, 1920.

“This is an important bill,” Pryor said. “In session, as we go about our day-to-day lives, sometimes we forget the contributions of women. These halls are lined with statues and plaques to men and their achievements. This marker will send a message to every young girl that they too have an opportunity to sit in the seats we hold and to remember those who came before us.

“We could not ask for a better time to pass this bill than Women's History Month. We all stand here upon a foundation built by the women this marker will recognize. It is vital to learn from the past, honor those who came before us and pass that inspiration on to the next generation who will one day pick up the gauntlet and continue the fight for a more equitable state.”

The Department of Administration will be required to install the marker no later than Jan. 1, 2024. Once installed, it will be the first marker on Statehouse grounds to acknowledge the contributions of women to Indiana's history.

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