I’m making a career out of changing the culture of healthcare and I want your help on another cause: honoring a pioneer of women’s rights in my state, New Hampshire.
A couple of weeks ago on New Hampshire Public Radio I heard this segment (text and five minute audio), about Marilla Ricker, who said this – in 1910:
“I’m running for Governor in order to get people in the habit of thinking of women as Governors…
People have to think about a thing for several centuries before they can get acclimated to the idea. I want to start the ball a’rolling.”
Not unlike our efforts to have healthcare think of patients as valid contributors in participatory medicine, right? It seems to take forever! But Ricker couldn’t be governor; heck, she couldn’t even vote.
My state’s League of Women Voters and Women’s Bar Association have legislative approval to have a portrait of Ricker painted and hung in the State House – but New Hampshire being New Hampshire, permission is just permission, and they have to raise the $10,000 themselves. They’re more than halfway there – less than $5,000 to go.
HEY GUYS: Why is it that only two women’s groups are honoring this pioneer of fixing a massive cultural mistake??
Here’s what I want you to do. (“You” = any gender.)
- Optional: Learn more –
- Read the League’s page about Ricker
- Read the two-sided flyer (PDF) about the campaign, from that site
- DONATE. This is the hard part – you need to send a check. (No online Donate button.) I know you can do it!
- Pay to: LWVNH Education Fund Ricker Project <= Tax deductible – 501(c)(3)
- Mail to: 4 Park St Suite 200, Concord NH 03301 <= I’m putting mine in the mailbox today. Picture yourself doing this – it’s different from pushing a Donate button
- “Include your email so we can invite you to the installation” of the painting in the State House
- While you’re going to all that paper-based trouble :-), write a bigger number!
Many healthcare audiences say “Culture change is so hard“
Yep – Ricker even said “People have to think about a thing for several centuries”! For those healthcare audiences I say “But it can be done!” and point to the now-famous 45 vintage sexist ads that wouldn’t go down well today. We sure changed that culture. The change isn’t complete but it sure has moved.
Even more on point, I often cite this delightful flyer from Ricker’s era saying “Vote no on woman suffrage,” with some marvelous reasoning.
If you believe in change, and in rectifying cultural mistakes, hold yourself up to this woman’s standard more than a century ago, and support recognizing her:
Ricker was the first woman who tried to vote in New Hampshire (demanding a ballot as a property owner and competent adult, in Dover in 1870 and yearly thereafter).
She was also the first female who applied to practice law in New Hampshire, having already been admitted to the Washington DC bar. When she was refused, simply for being a woman, she brought suit and won, thus opening the NH Bar to women in 1890.
Reminds me of cancer widow Regina Holliday, creator of The Walking Gallery of Healthcare, who Forbes.com called Health Care’s Rosa Parks!
Wouldn’t it be great if every state had a project like this, to recognize their own pioneer suffragists??
Social change starts with one person saying “This should not be,” then others saying “I too will not stand for this,” and then many pitching in – $50, $100, $25, $10. Thank you!
p.s. Additional information via email from Liz Tentarelli of the League of Women Voters, who was interviewed on NHPR:
“Any extra funds would be divided equally between the League of Women Voters NH and the NH Women‘s Bar Association, with an informal understanding that we each would use at least some of those funds to support the NHWomen’s Heritage Trail project, particularly the plaque to honor Marilla Ricker in Dover. I’m sure you’d like to read about that project.
“There is also a project going on in Virginia to erect a monument to the suffragists who were jailed for their efforts in the early part of the 19th century on the site of the workhouse where they were held and some force-fed. http://suffragistmemorial.org/
“As the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment draws near, I know that League of Women Voters in various states will highlight their own suffragists, but I don’t have any details at this time.”
[…] Marilla Ricker, the New Hampshire woman who in 1910 tried to become governor? (Click the image or click here to go there.) The first well known suffragist in the state? We’re raising funds to have her […]