The annual Silent Sentinel Award honors a person who has been instrumental in advocating for women’s rights in the United States. It highlights and honors outstanding individuals who share common traits with those who stood firmly to secure the 19th Amendment, which prohibits the government from denying any citizen the right to vote because of gender. The Silent Sentinel award was named for the women who stood silently outside the White House in 1917, urging the nation’s leaders to grant women the right to vote. They were subsequently arrested and imprisoned at the Occoquan Workhouse in Lorton, Virginia, where they were beaten and force-fed, events which proved to be a pivotal turning point in the suffrage movement.
The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association was pleased to honor Ms. Richardson as this year’s recipient at the September 17th Silent Sentinel Award dinner. Ms. Richardson served as the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service from 1993 to 1997 and was the first woman with executive rank in the Office of the Chief Counsel of the IRS. The award was presented by Rebecca Cooper, Executive-in-Residence at American University’s Kogod School of Business and former host of WJLA-TV’s “Washington Business Report.” Emmy-winning journalist, Jan Fox, president of Fox Talks, LLC, served as Master-of-Ceremonies. Both Ms. Cooper and Ms. Fox are members of TPSMA’s Honorary Board of Directors.
Attendees heard the history of the suffrage movement and the importance of building a memorial to the women who persevered over 72 years to win the vote for American women. The dinner program included talks by Honorary Board members Edith Mayo, curator emeritus of political history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (“The Best Kept Secret: Suffrage History”) and Kathleen S. Kilpatrick, curator of the Virginia Capitol and executive director of the Capitol Square Preservation Council in Richmond, Virginia (“Everyday Echoes: Why this Memorial”).
A photo album from the dinner can be found on the TPSMA website at www.suffragistmemorial.org.
Thank you to our sponsors!
Dr. Sandra Treadway
Su Webb (reception sponsor)
Emily McCoy (buffet sponsor)
Copy General – Sterling, Va.
Jyothi Sunkari (videography)
Kathy Strauss (photography)