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Women’s History Month: a Portrait of Persistence

Women’s History Month: a Portrait of Persistence

During Women’s History Month, Central Catholic is offering several exhibits and resources:  

  • “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence,” a part of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, “Because of her Story;”
  • “Wonderful Women to Celebrate: Women's History Month,” a book display in the Library & Media Center,
  • “History of Women in Science,”
  • “When the Computer Wore a Skirt: NASA's Human Computers,” from the Hampton History Museum. 

More details on each exhibit can be found below.

“Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” 

This exhibit honors the women’s suffrage movement and celebrates the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women's constitutional right to vote.

This exhibit has been on display at CCHS since November in celebration of the Centennial Anniversary as part of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, “Because of Her Story.”

It can be found on the second floor of the South Wing, outside of the Campus Ministry Center and the Carney Family Chapel.

About the Exhibit: from The National Portrait Gallery

“Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” will outline the more than 80-year movement for women to obtain the right to vote as part of the larger struggle for equality that continued through the 1965 Civil Rights Act and arguably lingers today. The presentation is divided chronologically and thematically to address “Radical Women: 1832–1869,” “Women Activists: 1870–1892,” “The New Woman: 1893–1912,” “Compelling Tactics: 1913–1916,” “Militancy in the American Suffragist Movement: 1917–1919” and “The Nineteenth Amendment and Its Legacy.” These thematic explorations are complemented by a chronological narrative of visual biographies of some of the movement’s most influential leaders.

On view will be portraits of the movement’s pioneers, notably Susan B. Anthony and abolitionist Sojourner Truth, and 1848 Seneca Falls participants, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucy Stone. Other portraits of activists will represent such figures as Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President; Carrie Chapman Catt, who devised successful state-by-state persuasion efforts; Alice Paul, who organized the first-ever march on Washington’s National Mall; and Lucy Burns, who served six different prison sentences for picketing the White House.

“Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” will also shed light on the racial struggles of the suffrage movement and how African American women, often excluded by white women from the main suffrage organizations, organized for citizenship rights (including the right to vote). Portraits of African American contributors to the movement include Sarah Remond, who filed one of the earliest lawsuits protesting race segregation; Ida B. Wells, who advocated for federal laws against lynching; and Mary Church Terrell, who established the National Association of Colored Women.

The Portrait Gallery exhibition tells this complex history through an array of early photographic portraits, paintings, engravings, works on paper, lithographs, video, newspapers, postcards, books, ballots, banners, fliers, a china set, embroidery and pennants. Viewers will be able to see authentic objects, including original banners from the National Woman’s Party, a late-19th century ballot box and original writings by influential suffragists.

The exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery was curated by Kate Clarke Lemay, historian and director of Portal, Portrait Gallery’s Scholarly Center, National Portrait Gallery.

Because of Her Story

“Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” is part of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, “Because of Her Story.” The initiative is one of the country’s most ambitious undertakings to research, collect, document display and share the compelling story of women. It will deepen our understanding of women’s contributions to the nation and the world. More information about the initiative is available at


“Wonderful Women To Celebrate: Women's History Month”

Book display featuring books on powerful women

Book Display in Central Catholic's Library & Media Center


“History of Women in Science”

History of Women in Science: Poster


“When the Computer Wore a Skirt: NASA's Human Computers”

Part of the exhibit: “When the Computer Wore a Skirt: NASA's Human Computers”

From the Hampton History Museum

The NASA exhibit explores the history and personalities brought to light in the hit film and best-selling book “Hidden Figures.” In 1935 a group of five women came to Langley to form a computer pool to process all the data coming in from wind tunnel and flight tests. It started as an experiment but became something much bigger. In the 1940s Langley began recruiting African-American women as human computers, but due to segregation laws these "West Area Computers" were kept separate from their white counterparts. This changed in the 1950s as NACA (later NASA) integrated and the “human computers” extended into the broader scientific community at NASA. By the 1960s they numbered in the hundreds. This exhibit features three of these pioneers: Dorothy Vaughn, Katherine Johnson and Mary Jackson.


Thank you to Mrs. Aliali Silverio Belkus '97; Central Catholic’s Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; and to Mrs. Kristina Keleher, Director of Library & Media Services, for offering these opportunities and resources for our students!

Monday, March 8: International Women's Day

Central Catholic High School
A College Preparatory High School of Excellence in the Marist Tradition

Founded by the Marist Brothers in the heart of Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1935, Central Catholic High School enrolls 1,200 students from over 60 cities and towns and several countries. Students come from diverse backgrounds to form a caring community of faith, learning, and service. They advance to college in overwhelming numbers (nearly 100%) and move on to successful careers and positions of leadership in government, business, industry, academia, and professions.

Central Catholic High School is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

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Mission: Central Catholic High School makes Jesus known and loved.
We educate the whole person for college and for life, with particular care for the least favored and those in need.