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Rise Up LA: A Century of Votes for Women

Rise Up L.A. artwork showing protester

Online Exhibition

Rise Up L.A.

A Century of Votes for Women

On August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, officially guaranteeing women the right to vote—but the fight was far from finished.

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Women continued with their daily struggles: applying for schools they were barred from attending, working in jobs where they were underpaid, marching in protests, and (finally) voting. Rise Up L.A. highlights women across Los Angeles who advocate for equality on the front lines as well as through everyday acts of bravery and courage.

This online exhibition features unique stories, activities, and links to related events; A Rise Up L.A. exhibition at NHM will feature more than 100 objects—including political buttons, protest posters, fliers, and ephemera—and stories about choices women faced in a century of struggle.

What Issues Divided and United Female Voters?

Many people feared that if women could vote, they would vote together, as a bloc, and so have more influence over elections. This fear proved untrue, because women supported each of the wildly different causes and candidates these buttons represent.

Hear From Women Who Walked Out, Stood Up, or Sat Down

You probably know a few women in Los Angeles County who have fought for change—NHM talked to a few of them, and asked how the women’s rights movement has grown and shifted in their lifetimes.

Want to Hear More?

These women took part in oral history interviews conducted by NHM's performing arts department. Listen to the full Rise Up L.A. Oral Story Project archives and watch a panel discussion with some of the interviewees. 


Vote on Issues That Defined Suffrage, and the 1920 Election

In 1920, women in California voted (some for the first time) on these ballot measures. How would you cast your ballot if faced with the same measures? Would modern voters make different choices?


Here are some things you can do to become involved in your community or learn more about history makers in your own life.


Support for Rise Up L.A.: A Century of Votes for Women has been generously provided by Megan McGowan Epstein and Alan Epstein, the Santa Monica/Westside Legacy Fund for Women and Girls, and The Seaver Institute. The project also would not have happened without the collaboration of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and Women and Girls Initiative, who provided their time, expertise, and support.

The Rise Up Los Angeles Oral Stories Project is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.