• Dr. Terry Emerson, Principal of Kleine Brogel and Geilenkirchen Elementary Schools, delivers the keynote address during USAG Schinnen's Womens Equality Day observance, Aug. 26.

    Womens Equality Day

    Dr. Terry Emerson, Principal of Kleine Brogel and Geilenkirchen Elementary Schools, delivers the keynote address during USAG Schinnen's Womens Equality Day observance, Aug. 26.

  • Military and civilian personnel paused to observe Womens Equality Day, Aug. 26 at USAG Schinnen.

    Womens Equality Day at USAG Schinnen

    Military and civilian personnel paused to observe Womens Equality Day, Aug. 26 at USAG Schinnen.

Speech of Dr. Terry Emerson, Principal
Kleine Brogel & Geilenkirchen Elementary Schools

Presented at USAG Schinnen's Observance of Womens' Equality Day
August 26, 2009



GOOD AFTERNOON AND THANK YOU FOR THE INVITATION TO SPEAK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF CELEBRATING WOMENS EQUALITY DAY.

ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL DOCUMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES IS THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE........ "WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF EVIDENT---THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL". ..... WITH THIS DOCUMENT SIGNED ON JULY 4TH 1776, THE FOUNDING FATHERS DECLARED THEIR DESIRE TO BE FREE OF ENGLAND'S RULE.

USING THIS DOCUMENT AS A FOUNDATION, THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, FROM 1787-1791, WENT ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF DRAFTING A CONSTITUTION FOR THEIR NEW COUNTRY ......TO INCLUDE A 'BILL OR RIGHTS' FOR ALL CITIZENS. IN THESE GREAT DOCUMENTS THE PRONOUN "HE" WAS USED THROUGHOUT. ......I WONDER IF AT THE TIME IN THOSE ROOMS ANYONE THOUGHT OF THE WOMEN.

IT LATER BECAME VERY CLEAR THAT SOMETHING WAS MISSING!...... FROM THE MID 1800'S A SMALL BUT INCREASINGLY LOUD VOICE WAS BEING HEARD THROUGHOUT THE LAND....... DOES ALL MEN... MEAN... WOMEN TOO'

THE MOVEMENT WAS NON-VIOLENT..... THE MOVEMENT WAS FRAGMENTED...... THE MOVEMENT INCLUDED MEN AND WOMEN...... THE MOVEMENT WAS JUST.

THE STATEMENT "EQUAL UNDER THE LAW" ...WAS IT TO BE "MEN ONLY"... OR DID IT REALLY INCLUDE ALL CITIZENS' THESE WERE QUESTIONS POSED TO LAWMAKERS AND OFFICIALS THROUGHT OUT THE LAND.

IT TOOK ALMOST 75 YEARS OF MEETINGS, SPEECHES, ORGANIZED RALLIES, PETITIONS AND, IN SOME CASES JAIL, TO FINALLY GET THE 19TH AMMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION PASSED BY CONGRESS AND RATIFIED BY THE STATES ALLOWING WOMEN THE RIGHT TO VOTE. ALMOST 150 YEARS HAD PASSED SINCE THAT "DECLARATION" DAY IN 1776!

ON THE SHOULDERS OF FAMOUS NAMES LIKE SOJOURNER TRUTH, ... WHO CAMPAIGNED AGAINST SLAVERY AND IN FAVOR OF A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO BE TREATED EQUALLY WITH MEN....
LUCY STONE...THE FOUNDER OF THE SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT---SUFFRAGE COMING FROM THE LATIN "SUFFRAGIUM" THAT MEANS VOTING TABLET OR RIGHT TO VOTE---
SUSAN B ANTHONY--- SHE ORGANIZED MANY SMALLER GROUPS INTO THE NATIONAL WOMENS SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION...AND WAS HONORED BY THE SUSAN B ANTHONY $1 COIN.

ALICE PAUL WHO HELPED ORGANIZE PICKETING OF THE WHITE HOUSE AND CONGRESS AND WAS LATER PUT IN JAIL WHERE SHE BEGAN A HUNGER STRIKE RESULTING IN HER BEING FORCE FED.

ELIZABETH 'LIZZIE' CADY STANTON WHO SPOKE OUT AND WROTE EXTENSIVELY ABOUT THE WOMENS MOVEMENT ---SHE FAMOUSLY PENNED THE DECLARATION OF SENTIMENTS AS "ALL MEN AND WOMEN ARE CREATED EQUAL."

AS AN EDUCATOR AND LEADER OF SCHOOLS, I RECOGNIZE MY RESPONSIBILITY TO VALUE, ENCOURAGE AND PREPARE ALL GIRLS.... AND BOYS FOR THE CHALLENGES AHEAD. DODEA SEEKS TO PROVIDE AN EXEMPLARY EDUCATION TO PREPARE ALL CHILDREN FOR SUCCESS IN THE GLOBAL SOCIETY OF THE FUTURE.

WHAT A CHALLENGE---PREPARE KIDS FOR THE TOMORROW THAT WE CANNOT EVEN IMAGINE TODAY.

IT IS EVIDENT THAT THERE ARE NUMEROUS ROLE MODELS FOR WOMEN TODAY THAT 50 YEARS AGO WERE NOT PRESENT.......TODAY WOMEN OCCUPY SOME OF THE MOST POWERFUL POSITIONS IN THE WORLD: ANGELA MERKEL, HILLARY CLINTON, OPRAH WINFREY,...AND EVEN ANGELINA JOLIE....

IN THE PAST IN OUR UNITED STATES, WOMEN WERE AN UNTAPPED RESOURCE ... BUT THANKS TO STRONG VOICES FROM OUR GRANDMOTHERS AND GREAT GRANDMOTHERS .....AND PERSISTENCE FROM OUR MOTHERS, SISTERS, AND DAUGHTERS....WE CAN NOW SAY THAT ALL CITIZENS ARE CREATED EQUAL UNDER THE LAW. WE CAN RECOGNIZE AND CELEBRATE THE SUCCESSES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF WOMEN IN ALL FIELDS OF SCIENTIFIC, SOCIAL AND GOVERNMENT.

GLOBALLY THERE REMAINS MUCH WORK TO BE DONE. IN MANY OTHER COUNTRIES WOMEN ARE STILL SECOND CLASS...OR NO-CLASS CITIZENS.

IN OUR SCHOOLS...WE MUST CONTINUE TO EDUCATE AND RECOGNIZE ALL OUR YOUTH....WE NEED TO SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE...MENTOR AND GUIDE OUR YOUNG GIRLS AND WOMEN TO BE THE BEST THEY CAN BE AND NOT LET BARRIERS STAND IN THE WAY...IN OUR UNITED STATES OF AMERICA-----
WE ARE ALL CREATED EQUAL UNDER THE LAW....

THANK YOU

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16