Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association Honored with Grant from Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation
Gift of $25,000 Will Go Toward Developing National Suffragist Memorial
FAIRFAX STATION, Va. (December 19, 2017) Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association, dedicated to educating, inspiring and empowering present and future generations to remain vigilant in the quest for equal rights, has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation to help develop the only national suffragist memorial. The memorial will tell the story of the five million women who, over 72 years of heroic activism and sacrifice, won suffrage for women in the United States.
“The suffragist movement is the best kept secret in American history, overlooked by historians who failed to recognize the 19th Amendment as the greatest single-day expansion of democracy the world had ever seen,” said Pat Wirth, Executive Director of the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association. “We are truly honored that Dominion Energy has made this valuable contribution to the creation of a visual symbol and educational tool that will elevate the suffragists and their movement to their proper place in history.”
Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association intends to build the outdoor memorial near Washington, D.C., in Occoquan, Va., where many suffragists were unjustly incarcerated in 1917 for picketing the Wilson White House while advocating for the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. These women were known as the “Silent Sentinels” and their abuse at the hands of prison guards gained national attention and fueled the final stages of the movement.
“Dominion Energy is proud to help preserve this chapter in American history for current and future generations,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. “Honoring the women who struggled for equality and the right to vote is a vitally important story to tell.”
The memorial will educate visitors about the suffrage movement through interactive stations in an outdoor memorial. Land for the memorial within Occoquan Regional Park and all future maintenance will be donated by NOVA Parks; the design has been prepared pro bono by the award-winning architectural firm of Robert E. Beach Architects, LLC.
Through donations and grants, such as the contribution from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, Turning Point seeks to complete the memorial by 2020, the centennial of women winning the vote. Once complete, the site will be promoted as part of a Constitution Trail, featuring other prominent historic properties in the Northern Virginia and Washington area. An associated Turning Point Institute for youth will be established to provide programs furthering the appreciation and advancement of America’s democratic values and electoral practices.