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About Us

Anita Politzer and W.J. Jameson

Checking the Tally of Tennessee Legislature on ratification (LOC archives)

The Suffrage Coalition, Inc.  has worked for over 25 years to locate and preserve the incredible stories of  women and men who worked in Tennessee to bring voting rights to millions of women who had been excluded from meaningful participation in our country’s governance.  Originally as a special project of the East Tennessee Foundation the Coalition is now a separate 501 (c) (3).  

Together, the Suffrage Coalition established the first memorial in Tennessee honoring the extraordinary women who led the ratification effort for the XIX Amendment in this State: The Tennessee Woman Suffrage Memorial in the heart of downtown Knoxville. 

Together, we did what many believed to be impossible: we erected a second suffrage memorial a block away from the first. The Burn Memorial honors Febb Burn, the mother who wrote the now famous letter to her son, State Representative Harry T. Burn. That letter, delivered to him the morning of the Tennessee vote, led him to vote for the Amendment, breaking the tie, and delivering Tennessee as the 36th and final state necessary for ratification of the XIX Amendment. 

Together, we raised the funds to digitize Representative Burn’s papers  and Lizzie Crozier French’s papers in the McClung Collection so they are now freely available on the internet for all the world to see. 

Together, through slideshows, literature, speaking engagements, public events, art, re-enactments, plays, musicals and a variety of efforts, we brought many of these important stories into the limelight and gave Tennesseans a reason to be proud, and an example to follow so that we can keep moving toward a “more perfect union.” 

1920-2020 19th Amendment Centennial sees first woman U.S. Vice President

President Joe Biden swearing in at the Inauguration ceremony next to first lady, Jill Biden. U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. , Jan. 20, 2021 – Washington, DC, USA – via Shutterstock by MCCV.

Vice President Kamala Harris is Sworn in as the first Woman VP

Vice President, Kamala Harris swearing in Inauguration ceremony. U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. , Jan. 20, 2021 – via Shutterstock by MCCV

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff wave after the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States, in Washington, D.C., U.S., Jan. 20, 2021. – via Shutterstock by MCCV

“This world taught woman nothing skillful and then said her work was valueless. It permitted her no opinions and said she did not know how to think. It forbade her to speak in public, and said the sex had no orators. It denied her the schools, and said the sex had no genius. It robbed her of every vestige of responsibility, and then called her weak. It taught her that every pleasure must come as a favor from men, and when to gain it she decked herself in paint and fine feathers, as she had been taught to do, it called her vain.” ~ Carrie Chapman Catt