Here are examples of events that can be offered in your community with the help of a local celebrant.
“Our history is our strength” is the slogan for the National Women’s History Project (NWHP), and it underscores that history teaches us who we are, and when we don’t know our history, our power and our potential are lessened or lost. The Project has been a consistent force for ensuring that girls and women from all walks of life, to know the role women have played in US American history. So when the US Congress passed a resolution in 1971 that every year on August 26th the country would commemorate Women’s Equality Day, the Project has been a catalyst, organizer, promoter and advocate for that event.
The date was selected to memorialize the 1920 certfication of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which granted women the right to vote. That significant milestone followed a massive civil rights movement by women that had it beginnings in 1848 at the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York.
What are some ways to celebrate and mark this special day with the help of Celebrants in your area of the country? Here are two examples of events that can be offered in your community with the help of a local celebrant, local artists and low cost materials available at NWHP:
1. Performance Art Story-telling Event: Costumed performance actresses portray some of the historic, strong women, famous and infamous, from related periods of history such as Laura Ingalls Wilder and Mary Todd Lincoln. These historical presentations take history off the page, and allow the audience to interact with characters. On the site of the Women’s History project is a drop down menu that lists the names of local women actors per state who are trained in historical presentations and have spent years of research and writing about a specific woman or women’s history topic.
Each informative, educational presentation is about 40 minutes in length (not including
time allotted for a Q&A session afterwards), and can be tailored to meet specific needs of audiences. For example, the popular Laura Ingalls Wilder presentation teaches
children what daily life was like out on the prairie in the late 19th century. Dressed in period costumes, history comes alive!
You can also discover more notable women in history or that our making history now. Here are a few great ethnic US American women to learn about and to celebrate their history and achivevements: Rita Pitka Blumenstein, Sui Sin Far, Rosa Parks, Caroline Cannon, Mamim Herrera-Beutler and Pramila Jayapal.
Celebrants in your town can help organizers of the event by creating a special opening ceremony to set the tone for the event, and facilitate a closing ritual to integrate key learnings of the presentation and personalize the history of women’s struggles for equality.
2. Women’s Equality Day Program for a Women’s Book Club: Celebrants can support the host’s intentions for the book club event, helping to craft both an opening and closing ritual to surround the main event – a luncheon during which the host can provide the Power Point presentation to book club members, and lead a group discussion of related topics. Celebrants can suggest music and poetry for various parts of the gathering, and coordinate a central theme which can be reflected in the menu, the invitations, and the process.
Hosts can purchase a $50 kit from the National Women’s History Project and find everything needed for an educational, entertaining, and successful Women's Equality Day Program. The kit makes it easy to present an informative program and includes an exclusive Women's Equality Day poster; placemats; bookmarks; red and blue balloons; and 25 copies of the How Women Won the Vote Gazette newspapers. There is also a “How Women Won the Vote” Power Point, a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation, with script, that emphasizes the grit and determination of American suffragists trying to win state elections over a 50-year period.
The services of a celebrant can make any “packaged” program into a more meaningful and personalized event for participants. Their expertise in the art of ceremony makes them a natural fit for adding rites, rituals and ceremonies into community events that will long be remembered by participants. Since many celebrants are women, they can also naturally add a “woman’s brilliance” to celebrations of women’s equality events.
About the Celebrant Foundation & Institute
The Celebrant Foundation & Institute (CF&I) is the nation’s preeminent online educational institute that teaches and certifies people as modern day ritual and ceremony professionals called Life-Cycle Celebrants®. Founded in 2001, the educational nonprofit organization headquartered in Montclair, NJ, is a member of the International Federation of Celebrants. To date, the CF&I has graduated nearly 900 Life-Cycle Celebrants® who preside over 20,000 ceremonies each year throughout North America, Asia and Europe. To learn more about the CF&I, visit www.celebrantinstitute.org
Watch January 2017's Weddings with Zita (Zita Christian) with featured guest Elisa Chase, CF&I Academic Manager, discussing Ceremony, Rituals and the Celebrant Foundation & Institute.