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Department of Records and Information Services Launches Initiative to Crowd Source Catalog of Women Activists in Celebration of Women's Equality Day

August 26, 2016 project to collect #20000 by 2020

NEW YORK—In honor of Women’s Equality Day, the Department of Records and Information Services today launched an online platform – which can be found at – to gather the names of 20,000 women activists by the 2020 national women’s suffrage centennial. The crowd-sourced catalog will feature women and the fight for suffrage, pay equity, expanded economic opportunity, an end to violence, and dozens of additional causes.

The catalog is part of a five-year project to celebrate the 1917 suffrage victory in New York State and the 2020 national victory. DORIS is highlighting women’s historical efforts and current activism during the five years leading up to the centennial. The new platform is a collaborative project with the public, and submitted entries will become a permanent part of the Municipal Archives. The stories are searchable and tag-able.

Adding an entry and viewing the submissions is easy: visit

“In this catalog, women of all ages can find inspiration from women with few resources or little backing who made enormous contributions to a creating a more just world. To have this information available and easily accessible will provide a priceless and necessary spark to the imaginations of many young women citywide and beyond,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, honorary co-chair of the Commission on Gender Equity.

“We are celebrating Women’s Equality Day by gathering the stories of diverse female activists who have made a difference through their work. By asking the public to share the stories of women who have inspired them, we will build a catalog of past and present activists from around the world, both famous and little known,” said Commissioner Pauline Toole, Department of Records and Information Services.

"Millions of women are playing critical roles fighting for equality and making history in their communities across the globe . . .  too often their contributions are not acknowledged. This catalog is a fitting tribute to these activists, and is destined to be an important inspiration for us all,” said Azadeh Khalili, Executive Director of the NYC Commission on Gender Equity. 

"Women have been a vital part of movements for social change throughout history, though too often their efforts have gone unrecognized," said State Senator Liz Krueger. "Acknowledging and celebrating women’s historical contributions is an important part of the fight for equality, both as a reflection of what we’ve done, and an inspiration for what we can still achieve."

"I think that the launch of the online platform is a great way to be inclusive of the many different contributions that have been made to move the needle forward as it relates to women's equality," said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte. "There are so many incredible women doing the work everyday who now have a platform that will forever enshrine their efforts as part of the municipal records of our City. As the Chair of the Subcommittee on the Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, I continue to advocate on behalf of women's economic opportunity across the city and state. I see it as my duty to ensure that women's contributions and their economic value is highlighted within the official record."

“This new platform is an innovative and wonderful way to showcase the power of women to drive change and create history,” said Assembly Member Pamela Harris. “Every story shared will be a lesson in strength, courage, passion and perseverance, and will serve as an inspiration for women everywhere.”

“The path towards women’s equality has been paved by many unsung women whose names have been lost to history. Mothers, wives, community leaders, church members, educators, neighborhood activists and others lent their energies to improving the status of women,” said Assembly Member Latrice Walker. “Crowd sourcing these women from the past and today will ensure that the voices and achievements of these courageous women will no longer be lost.”

"Equality is a human right that women have been denied for far too long. Under the de Blasio Administration we have begun to write a new narrative, backed by strong policies, laws and resources that support women and hard working families. The incredible trailblazers that call the City of New York home, have been writing this narrative for decades. Through projects such as, the public will have an opportunity to contribute to a living time capsule that will mark this incredible moment in our city's and nation's history, and more importantly it will provide a platform to honor women activists as HERstorical figures in the present day," said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus.

"The City's project is an exciting opportunity to recognize trailblazing women. Such a clever idea to crowd source names. I look forward to learning about dynamic women from around the country and around the world!" said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Co-Chair of the Women's Caucus.

“As we celebrate the anniversary of the success of the women’s suffrage movement, it is more important than ever to ensure that the increasingly diverse voices of women are heard. This catalog will be a valuable tool for policymakers, historians and others looking to make a positive impact on the lives of women of all ages. I congratulate the Department of Records and Information for their hard work on this important project,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin.

“I want to applaud the Dept. of Records and Information Services for undertaking this initiative. For far too long the accomplishments of women in this country has been under reported and women certainly have not been given their proper recognition. One need only look to our government’s currency where Harriet Tubman will be only the second woman deemed worthy to appear on a dollar bill. This catalog will not only validate the contributions of women, but will serve as an inspiration for current and future generations of women to continue to make a difference in our country,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz.

“Today we honor Women’s Equality Day and the contributions women activists who fought for suffrage which led to landmark 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. We also celebrate other causes such as access to birth control and other reproductive and sexual health services that tore down barriers to equality and significantly increased economic and social opportunities for. Yet, while the 19th Amendment was an achievement for many white women in this country, women of color, people with disabilities, formerly incarcerated people, and people who speak English as a second language or not at all were routinely denied their right to vote for decades after the 1916 suffrage victory, stifling their voices in their communities . Planned Parenthood of New York City sees more than 64,000 patients a year, and many of our communities still face barriers to voting, among other barriers to equality. As we celebrate the immense contributions of these activists, let us continue to demand justice for all women and move forward in our fight for equality,” said Joan Malin, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of New York City.

“The stories of so many women who have worked for true equality very often go untold.  The National Women’s Political Caucus is pleased to join the #20000by2020 Campaign to catalog the work of women, who in their own words, can document how they made a difference in their communities to change the narrative surrounding the barriers and opportunities for women,” said Donna Lent, President, National Women’s Political Caucus.

"Too often, women's work is omitted from our history books. The creation of a permanent catalog featuring women who have changed the world will not only validate women's little-known contributions, but will also prove crucial to changing the future conversation about how history is taught,” said Lori Sokol, Ph.D. and Executive Director of Women's eNews.

"The Statue Fund is pleased to join WomensActivism.NYC to write women back into history through the #20000by2020 campaign.  Together, we can honor the vast and varied contributions that women have made and expand the historical record to include the full and fair story of how social change comes about.  Let's all move history forward and continue the fight for equality and justice,” said Pam Elam, President, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund, Inc.

 “The contributions of women can no longer be ignored. I believe in Women's Equality day because we drive the economic and social engines of the world. Honoring Women's equality is the ultimate visual we need to sound off on what we have achieved collectively, this is the day we discover our leaps and bounds,” said Dawn Rowe, Founder/Executive Director of Girl Vow, Inc. 

The crowd-sourcing project is joined by a broad cross-section of organizations. Partners include:

Alice Austen House
Bella Abzug Leadership Institute
Berkshire Conference of Women Historians
Brooklyn Historical Society
City University of New York
Days for Girls
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund, Inc.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown Association
Enterprising and Professional Women
Equality Now
Feminist: Stories from Women’s Liberation
Friends of the National Park for Women’s Rights
Girl Vow, Inc.
Gotham Center for New York City History
Kappa Kappa Gamma
League of Women Voters of the City of New York
League of Women Voters of NY State
Manhattan Borough President’s Office
NYC Commission on Gender Equality
NYC Votes a Program of the NYC Campaign Finance Board
National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites
National Women’s Political Caucus
New York City Commission on Gender Equity
New York City Department of Records and Information Services
New York Council for Humanities
New York Cultural Tourism Network
New York Historical Society, Center for the Study of Women’s History
New York Women’s Foundation
Queens Museum
SAGE – Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders
Women in the Arts and Media, Inc.
Women on 20s
Women You Should Know
Women’s City Club of New York
Women’s eNews
Woodlawn Conservancy

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