Grant #371

Memphis Suffrage Monument “Equality Trailblazers”

November 1, 2019

Time To Put Women on Actual Pedestals

Thank goodness, communities have started to right the wrong of having only one gender predominating public art. Big, imposing statues of hundreds of men punctuated by the occasional Joan of Arc speak of a culture that did not honor women.

That’s why we’re so committed to helping people create statues and markers that call attention to women’s contributions to American history, like the Memphis Suffrage Monument “Equality Trailblazers.”

This public memorial honors those who participated in the nonviolent efforts to win the right to vote for American women. You do know, don’t you, that Tennessee was the final state to ratify the 19th Amendment, with which women won the right to vote? (Though it ended up benefiting mostly white women, since Jim Crow and other racially discriminatory state laws around the country often prevented Black women and other women of color from voting.)

The proposed design of monument will feature glass panels with lasered-in portraits and bios of individuals who were instrumental in the woman suffrage movement, as well as those whose careers were made possible by the suffragists’ victory. Some are not recognized anywhere else, so their placement on this monument is important. Six busts sculpted by noted Tennessee sculptor Alan LeQuire will be included, one is of the late Rep. Lois DeBerry, the second African American woman to serve in the Tennessee legislature, the first to serve as Speaker Pro Tem.

The Equality Trailblazers will be visible, with the monument located near the University of Memphis Law School. It will be seen from the Mississippi River, the I-40 bridge, and Riverside Drive. Three lawyers are among the honorees on the monument, so the new (female!) law school dean is excited about the project.

This Awesome grant will help pay for those glass panels, which, please note, are coming from a female-owned company in Nashville.

Check out the plans (and maybe make a donation?)



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders