Presidential Speaker Series: America’s 250th Anniversary and the Contributions of Women | Summary and Q&A

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March 7, 2024
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American Bar Association
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Presidential Speaker Series: America’s 250th Anniversary and the Contributions of Women

TL;DR

Rosie Rios, former Treasurer of the United States, shares her journey of championing women's representation on US currency and her role in planning America's 250th anniversary celebration in 2026.

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Key Insights

  • 🧔‍♀️ Rosie Rios's accidental feminist journey led her to champion women's representation on US currency, realizing the lack of historical women on Federal Reserve notes.
  • 🧔‍♀️ The women on Quarters Program aimed to celebrate women's contributions to American history and democracy, coinciding with significant anniversaries, like the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
  • 🏈 Rosie Rios emphasizes the significance of recognizing and including the stories of Native American women in the 250th anniversary celebration, acknowledging their integral role in shaping American history.

Transcript

we believe in the power of the law to advance democracy equity and Justice it takes a collective effort to transform lives and protect the well-being of our communities let's renew our commitment to our shared ideals let's stand at the Forefront of the issues of the day hello I'm Mary Smith president of the American Bar Association with another epi... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Rosie Rios begin her journey of championing women on US currency?

Rios received a call to join the Treasury Department during the financial crisis in 2008, which allowed her access to historical currency renderings. She discovered a pattern of women being allegorical or symbolic while men were real historical figures, inspiring her to change this lack of representation.

Q: What was the process behind the women on Quarters Program?

Rios went through a deliberate and strategic process, considering security features and the themes of each currency generation. She aimed to use the theme of democracy for the new generation of notes, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.

Q: What role does Rosie Rios see for Native American women in the 250th anniversary celebration?

Rios acknowledges the importance of recognizing and telling the stories of Native American women, as they form an integral part of American history. She highlights the representation of Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation, on the women on quarters series as an example.

Q: How can lawyers contribute to the commemoration of America's 250th anniversary?

Lawyers play a crucial role in protecting and upholding the rule of law, which is essential to the celebration of America's 250th anniversary. They can educate the public on the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, ensuring that the legal process and principles that shaped the nation are understood and upheld.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Rosie Rios, former Treasurer of the United States, led the efforts to depict women on US currency, including the introduction of notable figures like Maya Angelou and Sally Ride on US quarters.

  • Rios discusses her accidental feminist journey and her realization that no woman had ever been featured on US Federal Reserve notes.

  • Rios explains her vision for America's 250th anniversary celebration, highlighting the importance of recognizing untold stories, including those of Native American women, and inspiring future generations.

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