Last week, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith made a startling announcement: the Declaration of Sentiments, considered the foundational document for women’s rights, drafted in Seneca Falls, NY by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others at the first women’s rights convention in July 1848, is… missing! While a White House led, citizen-fueled search is now underway to try to find this national treasure, there is a diverse group of modern day activists gearing up to remix Stanton’s history-changing document and deliver their take on it on her 200th birthday.
Thursday, November 12, 2015 is both the bicentennial birth of Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), the pioneering woman who helped change the world’s very definition of “democracy,” and the official kick-off to New York City’s five-year celebration of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial. To mark these historic occasions, Women’s Activism NYC has gathered an extraordinary roster of talented performers and speakers who embody feminist values, the spirit of activism, and women’s empowerment for an unforgettable evening of music, art, and earthquaking, soul-filling speeches and spoken word.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal…”
Performers like actress, comedian, and record holder as the longest running Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee, poet Aja Monet, musician Princess Nokia, violinist/mezzo soprano Tona Brown, and iconic 70s a cappella group Sweet Honey In The Rock will come together on a single stage to honor the trailblazing suffragist, social activist and women’s rights pioneer and respond to Stanton’s Declaration of Sentiments, the document she modeled after the Declaration of Independence that sparked the suffrage movement in 1848.
The inspiration-packed program will also include video testimonials and odes to Elizabeth Cady Stanton from leaders and luminaries including Hillary Clinton, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Billie Jean King, Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo, and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, to name a few.
The event, which is open to the public, will be hosted in the Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York City, an historic venue where Stanton, Fredrick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony and Abraham Lincoln all famously spoke.
With the energy of over 800 people under one roof celebrating this document and the woman who changed history with it, maybe the universe will be moved to reveal where the original Declaration of Sentiments has been hiding all these years, so it can finally have its home on display in the Rotunda of the National Archives with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights… exactly where Megan Smith hopes to put it, and where it rightfully belongs.
For more info on the event, including the full line-up of performers, and to purchase tickets click here.