Exhibit Celebrating Washington’s Women Trailblazers Opens in Olympia

‘Ahead of the Curve’ Coincides With Women’s Suffrage Centennial


By Rachel Friederich, ICSEW Communications Chair

OLYMPIA–A new exhibit commemorating trailblazing women in Washington state history is now open in the Secretary of State’s Office.

Legacy Washington, an educational program and division of the office of the Secretary of State spearheaded the exhibit to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement.

The exhibit, Ahead of the Curve, is filled with photos and stories of women who made significant contributions to Washington state’s history. Among the women featured include:

  • Fawn Sharp As president of the Quinault Indian Nation, Sharp’s drive to unite tribes on fighting climate change started close to her ancestral land. She has seen the Quinaults’ beloved blueback salmon runs dwindle year after year, and witnessed the loss of glaciers in the Olympic Mountains. In 2018, Sharp hit the road in an R.V. hoping to rally the state’s tribes to vote, particularly for a carbon-tax initiative.
  • Elsie Parrish, a Wenatchee chambermaid, fought to get paid what she was owed in Washington, which was the fourth state in the U.S. with a minimum wage. Her landmark lawsuit went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, whose 1937 decision cleared a legal path for New Deal policies such as Social Security and a federal minumum wage. All because Parrish, a 37-year-old grandmother, had the gumption to stand up for working women.
  • Former Gov. Chris Gregoire, the state’s first woman deputy attorney general. Washington state not only led the way on “comparable worth” — the concept that different jobs of similar value should have similar pay — it invented the term. Some 50 years after Elsie Parrish’s victory in court, Washington was the laboratory for a novel pay-equity argument that led to raises for thousands of women state workers. Playing a pivotal role that would propel her political career was Chris Gregoire, the state’s first woman deputy attorney general.

From the Secretary of State’s website:

“We mark this milestone by highlighting the numerous ways Washington has been Ahead of the Curve since it first granted women the right to vote in 1883. In 1910 our state became the fifth to include women’s suffrage in its constitution — a decade ahead of the nation. And Washington women keep blazing trails in fields from science to bridge building. Legacy Washington highlights the pioneering spirit of some larger-than-life women and little-known stories with big impacts on Washington, the nation, and beyond.”

You can visit Legacy Washington exhibits inside the Secretary of State’s office at the Washington State Capitol. Legacy Washington has also compiled accompanying information online:

View story and photo gallery online: https://www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/ahead-of-the-curve/

View a video about the exhibit on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=28&v=5bTkPdSYc6w

January Meeting Recap

  • Gwen Voelpel from Integris Performance Advisors gave tips on how to become a more effective leader by encouraging us to align our actions with our values which leads us to be more authentic and credible. Participants assessed their personality traits using DiSC model. Once participants categorized their prominent traits (Dominant, Influential Steady Conscientious,) Vopel highlighted ways for us to hone our individual styles to build a more cohesive team in the workplace.
woman standing in front of screen in classroom
Gwen Voelpel
Woman pointing to screen in classroom
Elisa Law from the Washington State Historical Society gives an overview of plans for events related to the centennial of women’s suffrage.

Votes for Women Centennial grants will be available to fund non-profits and public entities to support programming that celebrates the national suffrage centennial across the State of Washington. The grants will fund programming that will take place in 2020. Grant applications are available here.

A curriculum will be launched in the summer of 2019 for schools and community groups to use. An in-house exhibit in the history museum will be on going along with traveling exhibits throughout the state. A large celebration is planned in Olympia during August 2020. There are many more ways to celebrate this historic event with information available at www.suffrage100wa.com and www.washingtonhistory.org/research/whc/milestones/centennial/ .

man standing at podium alongside posture slides on scren
Dr. Jaron Banks goes over some exercises to improve posture
  • Jaron Banks, of the Russell Chiropractic Center in Tumwater discussed the importance of posture while sitting at your desk.   He explained the need to get up and move from time to time and shared corrective stretching exercises that can be done in your office or cubicle.