The National Woman’s Party (NWP) and the Alice Paul Institute (API) announced today that they will unify their organizations at the end of 2020. Connected through the legacy of civil rights activist and suffragist Alice Paul, both non-profits share a dedication to the preservation and celebration of the history of women’s suffrage, and the continued fight for constitutionally protected equal rights for all.
“We are excited to join with the Alice Paul Institute to strengthen our common education efforts under the API banner, while ensuring the NWP’s name will remain in use to inspire current and future activists for equality,” said Susan E. Carter, President of the Board of Directors of the National Woman’s Party. “This move reflects our strategic goal of preserving the NWP’s history and legacy, which began with designation of our headquarters as a National Monument in 2016, and the recent gift of our iconic collection to the Library of Congress and the National Park Service, long-time collaborators in preserving and sharing our history.”
The National Woman’s Party was founded in 1913 by suffragist leaders Alice Paul and Lucy Burns to advance women’s suffrage, specifically to support the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which was ratified in 1920. The NWP has been headquartered at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument in Washington, DC, where visitors view historic artifacts and learn the history of the fight for suffrage and legal equality. API is headquartered at Paulsdale, Alice Paul’s birthplace and a National Historic Landmark in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and offers tours, an array of adult programming, and civics education and leadership training programs for youth.
“The API Board of Directors is honored that the National Woman’s Party has entrusted its legacy to its care,” commented Deirdre Webster Cobb, Chair of API’s Board of Directors. “We are excited to implement programs that embody the mission, goals and objectives of the NWP which are aligned with our continuing commitment to fulfilling Alice Paul’s legacy.”
The NWP recently gifted its historical collection to the Library of Congress and the National Park Service in order to ensure the collection’s long term preservation and broader availability to the public and researchers. At the end of 2020, the NWP will cease to operate as an independent non-profit and will assign its trademark rights and other uses of the National Woman’s Party name to the Alice Paul Institute. API will carry out the National Woman’s Party name in branding future programs and initiatives that support the NWP mission. A key benefit of the union is that API’s Board of Directors will welcome three members of the NWP’s board leadership. Additionally, in the near future members of the two organizations’ Boards of Directors will form a committee to advise on a potential expansion of programs to the Washington, DC area and nationally.
API’s program theme for 2021 — Inspirations and Allies — echoes the NWP mission of coalition building and inspiring action to advance gender equality. The theme acknowledges that, just as our social and cultural understanding of gender and equality have evolved over time, practices and programming must also grow to reflect what Alice Paul called the “mosaic” of activists and advocates.
“Alice Paul made a decisive statement about her commitment to equality when she founded the National Woman’s Party more than 100 years ago,” remarked Lucienne Beard, API’s Executive Director. “Blending together the two organizations that have carried her work into the next century is a new statement of that commitment. In 2020 we have celebrated 100 years of the right to vote, while acknowledging that not all Americans have been able to equally exercise that right. Clearly, there is more work to do to achieve Alice Paul’s goal of ‘ordinary equality’ for all. Together, as one organization with a unified mission, we carry on with that work.”