Rochester takes center stage as U.S. marks suffrage centennial in 2020

Jan 16, 2020

Mariedeliz Bain, Deborah Hughes, and Mayor Lovely Warren unveil the new logo commemorating Susan B. Anthony's 200th birthday.
Credit Max Schulte/WXXI News

Organizers say this year, Rochester and the Finger Lakes region will be the center of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, when the U.S. recognized women's right to vote.

2020 is also the 200th birthday of Susan B. Anthony.  Deborah Hughes, president and CEO of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, says the suffrage leader's work is not a conversation about the past; it remains relevant today when voter access is still an issue.

"Susan B. Anthony and women like her and men like her have a vision for a democracy that we've not yet accomplished," she said, "and so we see 2020 not just as a grand celebration, but as a challenge.  And we see it in every way in keeping with this particular community for the greatest vision we have for ourselves and for the world."

The city of Rochester has launched a new website, ROCSuffrage.org, where there's a list of events scheduled as part of the yearlong celebration.

They include lectures, votercades, and a Suffragist City Parade. The city will host a special Party in the Park this summer with all female performers, and a variety of suffrage-related events are on the schedule at the Public Market.

On Wednesday, Hughes and Mayor Lovely Warren unveiled a new logo that will be used on signs, banners, and elsewhere throughout the year.

Mayor Lovely Warren hugs a woman attending the City Hall announcement of Rochester's suffrage centennial celebration events while 14-year-old Mariedeliz Bain of Rochester, portraying Susan B. Anthony, looks on.
Credit Max Schulte/WXXI News

"You're going to be seeing this logo all over town," Warren said. "Every time it pops up, you'll be reminded of the significance of this year, the significance of our community to the women's movement, and the significance of the legacy Susan B. Anthony has left to us all."

Click on the LISTEN link above to hear an interview with Hughes about how Susan B. Anthony's work is still relevant 114 years after her death.

WXXI will be producing programs on radio, TV and online at wxxinews.org throughout the year to celebrate Rochester's links to the fight for women's rights.

Our coverage will include:

  • A series of television spots telling the story of New York State’s most important contributors to the women’s rights movement
  • National programming from PBS commemorating trailblazers who fought for women’s suffrage in the US
  • Locally produced radio spots focusing on the women who fought for the vote and transformed modern history
  • Connections with Evan Dawson will tackle a number of topics central to 2020 bringing an array of local experts and community leaders together
  • The WXXI News team will be reporting on all the regional activity as well as creating feature stories delving into Rochester’s links to 2020
  • WXXI is planning on several select screenings and discussions at the Little Theatre