Today, First Lady Melania Trump, hosted the launch of the Building the Movement Exhibit: America’s Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage, an exhibit honoring the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave American women the right to vote. Today’s exhibit was launched in front of the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The exhibit follows an art competition for students in grades 3-12 that was launched in June. The winning artwork showcased in the exhibit depicts individuals, objects, and events that hold a significant meaning to the women’s suffrage movement.

The First Lady was joined by Second Lady Karen Pence, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza, Senior Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC) Members, student submission winners and other elected officials.

The First Lady opened the exhibit with welcome remarks thanking those in attendance for joining her to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment and the women’s suffrage movement. In particular, she thanked the young artists for their impressive artwork submissions and congratulated them for representing their state in the exhibit. She also noted that “This exhibit creates a platform to encourage parents to engage with their children on the important conversations taking place around equality – giving young people an opportunity to learn and understand the history behind the women’s suffrage movement.”

Following her remarks, the First Lady joined the children to review their artwork and encouraged them to continue to express themselves through art and to continue to learn more about the history of this important movement.

This exhibit is presented by the Office of the White House Curator in partnership with the Office of the First Lady with support from the WSCC.

View the winning submissions here.


Remarks by First Lady Melania Trump:

Good Morning Everyone. Thank you all for joining me today for the opening of the Building the Movement Exhibit. An exhibit that honors and celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment and the women’s suffrage movement. Before I get started, I want to say a special thank you Second Lady Karen Pence, Secretary DeVos, Secretary Chao, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, Kellyanne Conway and the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission for joining us on this special occasion.

We are also joined by a talented group of young artists. Each of you were selected from hundreds of impressive artwork submissions from across the country to represent your state in this exhibit, congratulations. Your artistic creativity, attention to detail, and talent in each piece of artwork embraces the spirit of this milestone event in our nation’s history.

The Ratification of the 19th Amendment and the women’s right to vote was a turning point in the history of women’s rights in the United States and stood as an example to the world. This exhibit should create a platform to encourage parents to engage with their children on the important conversations taking place around equality – giving young people an opportunity to learn and understand the history behind the women’s suffrage movement.

Throughout this exhibit you will see historic photographs woven into the artwork, bringing the exhibit to life through the unique lens of our children. Each image and drawing depicts the marches, the symbols, and the inspiring women who tirelessly fought and struggled for equality in our nation’s history.
It is these women and their brave actions that have provided strength and inspiration to so many mothers, daughters, and sisters who have stamped their own mark on our country – ensuring future generations of women have the ability to pursue their dreams.

Last week, I joined the President in signing a proclamation recognizing this important day in American history. Since taking office, my husband and this administration have taken historic measures to empower and support women in the United States – and around the world. Under our administration, the child tax credit has been doubled. American women, who comprise over half of the workforce, experienced their lowest rate of unemployment in over 65 years. In addition to these achievements, this administration has filled many of its senior positions with women.

I want to thank the Office of the Curator and the Women’s Centennial Commission for your partnership in this exhibit that honors the countless contributions of the women who have come before us. Because of the story of progress ignited by the women’s suffrage movement, we can all continue to look forward to the important achievements that women of all ages will make in our society.

We, as women, must continue using our greatest tool of empowerment – our voices. Now in 2020, the American woman’s voice is more important than ever. Our Nation is depending on each of you. I encourage you all to vote so that we may continue to build the brightest future for all of our children.

Thank you and may God Bless you and your families and may God Bless the United States of America.