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First lady Melania Trump announces White House art exhibit celebrating women’s suffrage

The First lady announced an art exhibit celebrating the centennial for the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote

Updated: June 15, 2020 - 6:50pm

First lady Melania Trump announced on Monday a student-based art project honoring the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

The 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, officially giving women the right to vote.

Titled "Building the Movement: America's Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women's Suffrage,” the exhibit will include art from one student, between grades three to 12, from each of the 50 states and territories of the United States.

“Children can submit their drawing of a Suffragist, Suffrage symbol or Suffrage event by July 6th,” according to Trump’s Twitter announcement.

Trump has compared the current social upheaval in the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25 to the Women’s Suffrage movement of the 1960s.

Despite President Trump’s calls for “Law and Order,” the First Lady has taken a more peaceful approach to current social upheaval.

“It is my hope that this project will both support and expand the important conversations taking place on equality and the impact of peaceful protests, while encouraging children to engage in the history behind this consequential movement in their own home states,” Trump said in a statement on the official submission site.

Previous First ladies have also taken peaceful approaches to social unrest, including Lady Bird Johnson and Eleanor Roosevelt.

During the Civil Rights Movement, Johnson traveled to the Southern United States to address angry protesters in the 1960s. As a woman from the South, gave speeches in the eight states she visited and promoted peace.

Eleanor Roosevelt supported the women throughout the Women’s Movement. She realized barriers faced by women when working alongside organizations including the International Congress of Working Women and the Women's International League of Peace and Freedom. Roosevelt also joined the League of Women Voters in 1920, the year the 19th Amendment was ratified.

Trump has used the Women’s Suffrage Movement to juxtapose the violence of the current Black Lives Matter movement as an example of effective peaceful protests and discussions on equality.

The artwork from these students will be displayed at the White House at the end of the summer to celebrate the Women’s Suffrage centennial.

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