NPS - National Park Service

07/22/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/22/2020 10:34

The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, National Park Service, and PRX Announce Two Podcasts Commemorating 100 Years of Women’s Right to Vote

News Release Date: July 22, 2020

Contact: [email protected]

Actresses Rosario Dawson and Retta will co-host 'And Nothing Less: The Untold Stories of Women's Fight for the Vote'
Gymnast and advocate Aly Raisman will host 'The Magic Sash,' a time-traveling historical adventure for tweens
The National Park Service will provide companion materials for each podcast

WASHINGTON - In honor of the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and women's right to vote, the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission, the National Park Service, and public media organization PRX today announced two new history-driven podcasts inspired by the courageous suffragists who worked to secure the right to vote for American women.

The podcasts will premiere on Wednesday, August 5. New episodes will be released weekly through September 16, featuring the untold stories of the women's suffrage movement and the generations of activists who championed equal rights:

  • And Nothing Less: The Untold Stories of Women's Fight for the Vote, co-hosted by actresses Rosario Dawson and Retta. 'Men their rights and nothing more; women their rights and nothing less.' Written by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, women's rights activists used this resonant rallying call to demand voting equality. The suffrage movement also included an array of diverse voices beyond these two well-known leaders, as generations of activists fought for full access to the ballot. Rosario Dawson and Retta will guide listeners through stories not often found in history books alongside a range of guests, including historian Dr. Martha S. Jones (Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All), journalist Elaine Weiss (The Woman's Hour), and Michelle Duster, the great-granddaughter of suffragist and civil rights icon Ida B. Wells.
  • The Magic Sash, hosted by gold medal gymnast and advocate Aly Raisman. In this historical fiction adventure for tweens, an 11-year-old girl and boy journey back in time to meet iconic heroes of the movement, including Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman, and experience key moments in women's suffrage history, such as the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848 and the 1913 Women's Suffrage Parade in Washington, D.C. The podcast is co-produced by TRAX from PRX -a podcast network for 9 to 13 year olds--and Peabody Award-winning producers Gen-Z Media.

In support of these vital stories, the National Park Service will create companion materials for each podcast, available free alongside each new episode. The guides will also include lesson plans for elementary and middle school teachers to support their use of the podcasts in the classroom.

The Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC) was created by Congress to coordinate the nationwide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment in 2020. The WSCC will celebrate this milestone of American democracy through a series of campaigns and initiatives throughout the year, ranging from the building of a national suffrage memorial in Virginia to the donation of 18,000 children's suffrage history books to public libraries across the U.S.

'For generations, the suffragists demanded equality at the ballot box, and these podcasts will tell their stories and educate a new generation about this critical chapter in the history of American democracy,' said Anna Laymon, executive director of the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission. 'We are proud to work alongside Aly, Retta, Rosario, PRX, and the National Park Service to bring listeners the captivating, complex, and inspiring stories from the longest social movement in American history.'

'As the nation's storyteller, the National Park Service is proud to partner with the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission and PRX to bring this complex history to life through this podcast series,' said David Vela, deputy director of the National Park Service, exercising the authority of director. 'This series and the companion materials will make this diverse history of the people and places where it happened more available to learners of all ages.'

'We've learned so much from the historians and descendants of women's suffrage leaders who we interviewed in the process of creating these shows,' said Genevieve Sponsler, content manager at PRX and executive producer of And Nothing Less and The Magic Sash. 'There were so many pioneering women and men involved in the movement, not only across the U.S. but around the world. I'm so excited for listeners to hear what we've been working on for so long alongside the WSCC, hosted by the incredible Rosario, Retta, and Aly.'

'The full history of the women's suffrage movement, the work of so many heroes who fought for and secured women's right to vote, resonates profoundly today,' said Dawson. 'It's an honor to bring such powerful stories from our nation's history to audiences everywhere.'

'It's a joy to bring the history of the women's suffrage movement in America (and around the world) to life,' said Retta. 'Especially with Rosario, who I've been a fan of and whose sense of civic duty I admire. U.S. women's history is rich with iconic voices and perspectives, many of which I hadn't even heard of until this project. It really sheds light on what it means to be a citizen, even today. I'm excited to be a part of it, and for listeners to tune in.'

'I believe that voting is one of the most important rights anyone can have,' said Raisman. 'I vote because it is an opportunity for change. Just like in The Magic Sash, people today are using their voices to better the world. I hope the story of Lotty, Isaiah, and Florence, and everyone they met on their journey, inspires people and reminds them that their voice and story matters.'

Both 'The Magic Sash' and 'And Nothing Less' will be available free to audiences via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and across audio platforms where podcasts may be found.

About the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission
The Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC) was formed by the U.S. Congress to coordinate the nationwide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment, which was officially ratified and signed into the Constitution on August 26, 1920. Led by a bipartisan group of 14 women leaders, the WSCC has a nonpartisan mission to ensure that Americans in every state across the country have the chance to participate in the centennial and to learn about this important but often overlooked history. For more information about the WSCC, its initiatives, and commemorative events across the country throughout 2020, visit womensvote100.org.

About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

About PRX
PRX is a public media organization shaping the future of audio by producing and distributing content, building technology, and training talented, independent producers. With an award-winning portfolio ranging from iconic public radio programs such as The World, This American Life, The Moth Radio Hour, TED Talks Daily, The Takeaway, Snap Judgment, and Reveal, as well as a growing body of podcast-first productions, including the Radiotopia podcast network, PRX generates more than 100 million podcast downloads per month. More at PRX.org.

About Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson has starred in a range of films including Rent, Men in Black II, Kids, and as the voice of Wonder Woman in several DC Animated films, and was awarded Best Actress in a Motion Picture Award at the 2009 NAACP Image Awards. Dawson has also starred in the Netflix adaptation of the Marvel comic book series, including Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones, as well as in the USA Network series Briarpatch. She will next star in HBO Max's DMZ, directed by Ava DuVernay. In 2013, Dawson co-founded Studio 189, a fashion brand and social enterprise producing African-inspired content and clothing, which was awarded the prestigious CFDA Lexus Sustainable Fashion Initiative prize. A co-founder of Voto Latino and an active board member of The Lower East Side Girls Club of NY, Operation USA, and the Environmental Media Association, in 2017, Dawson was honored with the President's Volunteer Service Award for valuable contributions to the community.

About Retta
Actress and comedian Retta has delighted audiences with her performances and comedy precision. Currently starring in the hit NBC series Good Girls, Retta has starred in the Bravo television series Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce and the iconic Parks and Recreation. Retta also appeared in the 2019 comedy Good Boys, which opened as the number one movie in the United States. A critically-acclaimed author, Retta is also the title voice on the Audible Original audiobook Tinaca Jones. Born Marietta Sirleaf to immigrant parents from Liberia, Retta grew up in New Jersey. You can see Retta at her authentic best via her unfoRETTAble Instagram stories.

About Aly Raisman
Aly Raisman, team captain of the gold medal winning Women's Gymnastics teams in 2012 and 2016, is the second most decorated American gymnast of all-time. The most decorated U.S. gymnast at the 2012 Games, Raisman captured the hearts of millions as she became the first American gymnast to win gold in the floor exercise. One of only two U.S. gymnasts to make back-to-back teams in more than 15 years, she helped guide the team to gold and landed a silver medal performance in the All-Around competition at the 2016 Games. A leader on and off the floor, Raisman uses her platform to promote positive body image and encourages everyone to be comfortable and confident in their own skin. In her New York Times best-selling memoir, Fierce, she shares the highs and lows of her journey, including her survival of sexual abuse. Inspired by an army of survivors, Raisman continues her advocacy for systematic changes within the sport of gymnastics and efforts to help to eradicate abuse in youth sports.