Symposium Foreword by Jessica Szuminski. Full Text.
The Nineteenth Amendment was a milestone for women’s rights but has often been criticized for being passed at the expense of people of color. Though a significant milestone, the Nineteenth Amendment was certainly not an endpoint for equality for women and in voting rights. In the one hundred years since it was ratified on August 18, 1920, a lot has changed in the ways of improving gender equality and increasing access to voting. However, much is still left to be achieved, and this Symposium dove deep into the questions of what we can learn from history and what we can do moving forward.
The 2020–21 Minnesota Law Review Symposium assembled leading legal scholars and practitioners in the fields of gender equality and voting rights. On April 1 and April 2, 2021, our Symposium looked back on the one hundred years since women were given the right to vote using a rough chronological approach. The first day of the Symposium opened with a historical overview of the Nineteenth Amendment, discussing who contributed to its ratification and who was left out after its passage. This background created a foundation for our subsequent gender equality conversations, focusing on gender identity and sexual orientation on day one and the modern legal feminist agenda on day two. The second day opened with keynote speaker Desmond Meade, who presented about his role in fighting for legislative change in Florida to restore the right to vote to 1.4 million Floridians. Day two culminated in a panel discussing the current state of voting rights.