Voting rights. Civil Rights. Reproductive rights. A living wage. Equal access to education. Progress on these and every other major social issue of our time has its roots in the activism and advocacy of everyday people in the past. Did you know it took 100 years for the 19th Amendment to be ratified into the Constitution? One hundred years of American women organizing, campaigning, marching, writing, speaking, protesting, and being jailed.

New York's 1912 Suffrage March demonstrated the large number of women willing to speak out for voting rights. At the head of the parade, a young Chinese woman, Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, rode horseback on the front lines and made a bold statement.

Collection Objects

Discover the stories behind these objects or explore more collections related to activism and advocacy.

Conversation Kit

Let's Talk! Queen Liliʻuokalani Conversation Kit

Grades 6–12. Time: Variable (1–3 class periods). Aligned to CCSS and C3 standards.

In this lesson plan, students will learn how the legacy of Queen Lili'uokalani, the Hawaiian Kingdom's only reigning queen and last monarch, continues to inspire activism efforts and social movements today.



Women's Liberation

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Songs of activism and protest compiled by Meredith Holmgren, Curator of American Women's Music(link is external).