FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 14, 2023
CONTACT: Emily Thurlow
Senator Paul Mark invites the public to suggest sites for the Massachusetts Women’s Rights History Trail at a listening session at the Adams Theater
ADAMS — State legislators are looking to put women’s history on the map with the creation of a Women’s Rights History Trail that spans the entire state and is seeking help from the public.
State Sen. Paul Mark, D-Becket, who serves as chair of the 16-member Women’s Rights History Trail Task Force, invites the public to recommend sites, properties, and attractions that they would like to see included on the eventual trail at a listening session on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
The session, hosted by Senator Mark, will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Adams Theater, located at 27 Park St., Adams.
“I am honored to host the first listening session of the Women’s Rights History Trail Task Force in the Town of Adams, birthplace of Susan B. Anthony, and in the heart of the district formerly served by my friend, colleague, and classmate, Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, who was the original lead sponsor of the bill to create this trail,” said Sen. Paul Mark. “The Women’s Rights History Trail has the potential to spotlight the pivotal role of Massachusetts women in the women’s suffrage and women’s rights movements in coordination with increased economic development through educational tourism throughout our beautiful Commonwealth. I urge members of the Western Mass. community to come out to the listening session and let us know what you think needs to be highlighted.”
The task force was created in 2022 following then-Gov. Charlie Baker’s signing of Chap. 76 of the Acts of 2022 into law. The bill was first filed in 2017 by the late North Adams state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi. Following Cariddi’s death that same year, Sen. Joan Lovely, D-Salem, Rep. Hannah Kane, R-Shrewsbury, Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough, and now-former Rep. Carolyn Dykema, D-Holliston, picked up the cause.
As part of the statute, the task force will be considering locations that are historically and thematically associated with the fight for women’s rights and women’s suffrage, including the contributions of women veterans; are geographically diverse; and commemorate individuals who reflect racial, ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity. The statute also requires the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism to promote and create educational materials of the history of women’s rights in the state.
In an effort to collect extensive feedback from the public, four listening sessions will be held at locations across the state, including Adams, Marlborough, Shrewsbury, and Boston at the Massachusetts State House. In addition to the in-person sessions, the State House session will also allow interested parties to attend virtually as well, which can be accessed here, Thursday, Oct. 5, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. An online form to collect suggestions will be circulated later this fall.
“I’m excited to hear from the public and learn their suggestions for the women’s rights history trail. As a result of the leadership of so many women legislators over many years and the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, the trail will soon become a reality and the public’s involvement is essential in this effort,” said state Rep. Mindy Domb (D-Amherst), co-chair of the Task Force. “The criteria for sites are specific, but please note these sites do not need to be ‘fancy.’ We are looking for sites that tell the story of women’s rights in the commonwealth and we hope the variety of in-person listening sessions, coupled with the electronic suggestion box, supports public participation in this process. This trail will provide another opportunity for Massachusetts residents and visitors to explore our commonwealth, our towns and our rich history.”
Those who aren’t available to submit suggestions at the in-person session in Adams or Boston also have the option to attend the Thursday, Sept. 21 hearing at Marlborough High School in the third-floor lecture hall, 431 Bolton St., Marlborough, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., or the Tuesday, Oct. 3 hearing at the Shrewsbury Public Library in the meeting room at 609 Main St., Shrewsbury, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The public also has the option to provide their writing electronically via here.