The targeted date is far down the road, but the Tennessee Women’s Political Caucus has already initiated a fundraising effort to build a monument commemorating the state’s women’s suffrage movement by August 2020.
If installed during that month, the monument would mark the 100th anniversary of Tennessee’s ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote. Tennessee’s ratification was the final vote needed to amend the constitution.
“It’s a great goal,” said Karen Johnson, president of the nonpartisan caucus, who serves as the Metro Council’s District 29 representative. “And we have to start somewhere.”
The place organizers are starting is at the home of Anne Davis, wife of Mayor Karl Dean. According to a women’s political caucus invitation, Davis is opening her home in December for the “first official fundraiser” benefiting the monument cause.
Johnson said Davis’ grandmother played a role in the women’s suffrage movement in Tennessee.
“History was made in Nashville in 1920, yet no monument has been erected to memorialize the efforts of Tennessee women who worked so hard to gain the right to vote,” the fundraiser invitation reads. “The TWPC is spearheading a statewide initiative to establish a Tennessee Suffragist Monument in our capital city, Nashville.”
Johnson said the women’s political caucus is hoping to raise $400,000 to build the monument. She said the caucus has established a women’s suffrage movement monument foundation, which has $4,000 in “seed money.”
The design and nature of the monument is still unclear, Johnson said, as well as the exact location. She said the hope would be to install the monument somewhere on the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol building.
According to the Tennessee Women’s Political Caucus website, the organization seeks to promote full and equal participation of women in government and the political process.