Alice Paul is my second favorite women’s rights hero after Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Still it is only today I learned about the Alice Paul Institute in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.
Founded in 1984 to commemorate the centennial of Paul’s 1885 birth and to further her legacy, the organization was operated by volunteers for more than a decade. Today, volunteers and four staff members—including newly appointed Executive Director Valerie Buickerood—oversee daily business and special events at Paulsdale.
There’s so much we don’t know about women’s role in history. I didn’t learn about Alice Paul until I was well into middle age. Alice Paul was the young woman who put her life on the line for female suffrage. She’s the one who orchestrated the pickets in front of the White House in 1917 and incurred the wrath of passersby who thought she, the courageous Lucy Burns and other grassroots supporters were traitors causing Woodrow Wilson undue agony in the midst of World War I.
The Hilary Swank film “Iron Jawed Angels” will fill you in on the gory details of their imprisonment and torture. Alice Paul is, in my opinion, the main reason we have the 19th Amendment and women have the right to vote.
The Alice Paul Institute’s goal is to honor Paul’s legacy by educating the public about her life, preserving historic Paulsdale, developing future leaders and achieving women’s equality.
This mission is achieved through a variety of programs that introduce girls to successful women leaders in the past and present and familiarize them with the skills they need to be successful themselves.
These programs include:
∙ Lead-A-Way: a series of workshops for middle school girls that explore leadership skills and role models. The program combines history, art and character development, focusing on courage, honesty, strength and fairness.
∙ Girlblazers Summer Camp: girls learn the skills they need to become leaders in their schools and communities and meet women who have blazed a trail for them. This two-week camp includes a community service project, field trips, sports and recreational activities.
∙ Looking at Careers: fosters career and leadership development in senior high school students. Students are exposed to women who are leaders in their chosen fields, thereby introducing them to a variety of career possibilities.
Special January event
On Jan. 16 the Alice Paul Institute will host The Girl Effect, a free event discussing global girls’ rights.
Girls’ studies expert Emily Bent will discuss the true impact of The Girl Effect and how girls today see themselves in the global citizenship mosaic. The Alice Paul Institute will debut a short video of international exchange between its Girls Advisory Council and the girls of Awegys Secondary School in Kigo, Uganda.
This event at Moorestown Friends School is free but registration is required. Register by emailing email@example.com or call 856-231-1885 by Jan. 14.
For further information on the Alice Paul Institute and its programs visit http://www.alicepaul.org/api.htm.