“As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, it is my hope that this project will both support and expand the important conversations taking place on equality and the impact of peaceful protests, while encouraging children to engage in the history behind this consequential movement in their own home states.”
— FIRST LADY MELANIA TRUMP

HOLMDEL, NJ: Indian Hill Middle School student Rachael Pasqua, age 10, of Holmdel, was selected by the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, for her artwork depicting a sign that a suffragist would have used while fighting for equal voting rights in America. 

Rachael proudly represented the State of New Jersey, on August 24th 2020, at the opening of the "Building the Movement Youth Art Exhibit" held outside in front of the White House. The exhibit follows an art competition for students in grades 3-12 that was launched in June. The winning artwork showcased in the exhibit depicts individuals, objects, and events that hold a significant meaning to the women’s suffrage movement. 

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Pasqua had the opportunity to meet First Lady Melania Trump at the event, where the First Lady met with and thanked the children and teens, and complimented them on their artwork.

Rachael Pasqua named her art submission; "Persist" and her message is, " As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Ammendment, my message to all girls would be to lead, create, persist, explore, so that we can all soar." Rachael added, "The yellow roses in my artwork symbolize that every mother, wife, daughter and woman, including me, should have the right to vote." (You can see Rachael's artwork in the photo wheel of this article.)

The First Lady opened the exhibit with welcome remarks thanking those in attendance for joining her to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment and the women’s suffrage movement. The First Lady thanked the young artists for their outstanding artwork submissions and congratulated them for representing their state in the exhibit.

The First Lady commented,  “This exhibit creates a platform to encourage parents to engage with their children on the important conversations taking place around equality – giving young people an opportunity to learn and understand the history behind the women’s suffrage movement.”

In addition to the art contest winners and their families, also joining the First Lady for the event was Second Lady Karen Pence, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza, Senior Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC) Members, student submission winners and other elected officials.

View the winning submissions here.

REMARKS BY FIRST LADY MELANIA TRUMP:

Good Morning Everyone. Thank you all for joining me today for the opening of the Building the Movement Exhibit. An exhibit that honors and celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment and the women’s suffrage movement. Before I get started, I want to say a special thank you Second Lady Karen Pence, Secretary DeVos, Secretary Chao, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, Kellyanne Conway and the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission for joining us on this special occasion.

We are also joined by a talented group of young artists. Each of you were selected from hundreds of impressive artwork submissions from across the country to represent your state in this exhibit, congratulations. Your artistic creativity, attention to detail, and talent in each piece of artwork embraces the spirit of this milestone event in our nation’s history.

The Ratification of the 19th Amendment and the women’s right to vote was a turning point in the history of women’s rights in the United States and stood as an example to the world. This exhibit should create a platform to encourage parents to engage with their children on the important conversations taking place around equality – giving young people an opportunity to learn and understand the history behind the women’s suffrage movement.

Throughout this exhibit you will see historic photographs woven into the artwork, bringing the exhibit to life through the unique lens of our children. Each image and drawing depicts the marches, the symbols, and the inspiring women who tirelessly fought and struggled for equality in our nation’s history.
It is these women and their brave actions that have provided strength and inspiration to so many mothers, daughters, and sisters who have stamped their own mark on our country – ensuring future generations of women have the ability to pursue their dreams.

Last week, I joined the President in signing a proclamation recognizing this important day in American history. Since taking office, my husband and this administration have taken historic measures to empower and support women in the United States – and around the world. Under our administration, the child tax credit has been doubled. American women, who comprise over half of the workforce, experienced their lowest rate of unemployment in over 65 years. In addition to these achievements, this administration has filled many of its senior positions with women.

I want to thank the Office of the Curator and the Women’s Centennial Commission for your partnership in this exhibit that honors the countless contributions of the women who have come before us. Because of the story of progress ignited by the women’s suffrage movement, we can all continue to look forward to the important achievements that women of all ages will make in our society.

We, as women, must continue using our greatest tool of empowerment – our voices. Now in 2020, the American woman’s voice is more important than ever. Our Nation is depending on each of you. I encourage you all to vote so that we may continue to build the brightest future for all of our children.

Thank you and may God Bless you and your families and may God Bless the United States of America.