Town Library Discusses Equal Rights Amendment

The symbols for male and female drawn on hands with an equal sign between them

The East Brunswick Public Library is holding a virtual event about the meaningfulness of the Equal Rights Amendment via Zoom on March 25 at 7 p.m. to create awareness in the community on the ratifying of the Equal Rights Amendment, and why gender equality is necessary. 


According to the East Brunswick Public Library’s website, the event is called “Gender Equality and the Constitution: The Unfinished Business of Reform.”


According to the East Brunswick Public Library’s website, this is a free adult event that requires registration to attend. 


Adult programming librarian, Melissa Hozik, said that this event is part of a series that has been organized by our library which is called “Women and the Right To Vote: Then & Now”. 


“Due to the pandemic, we were unable to recognize the passing of the 19th Amendment on its 100th anniversary, which would have been last year. We saw that the New Jersey Council for Humanity was supporting funding for women’s suffrage and the events in 2021. We want to take this opportunity and make up for the last year, since we were not able to participate,” said Hozik.


She said that Dr. Linda J. Wharton will be leading the discussion on the ratifying of the Equal Rights Amendment. 


Hozik said, “ Dr. Wharton is a professor of Political Science at Stockton University. She teaches constitutional law, women law, civil liberties in general and political actions. She was also a part of Roe v. Wade case in the Supreme Court in 1992, so she has actual legal experience.” 


Hozik said that this is their first and last time organizing this event, which is a three-part series that is specifically about the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment getting ratified. 


“Not a lot of people understand the 19th Amendment and the women suffrage in the U.S., and also that there was a lot of stuff happening after the 19th Amendment was ratified that wasn't voted on until the 2000s,” said Hozik.  


Adithya Venkateswaran, a MC student, said, “I believe, for history majors, it will provide a strong idea of the topic being discussed, and it will be a reflection of some events in U.S. history that will motivate them to do a critical inquiry about this issue."


Albert Joy, an adjunct professor in the department of history and social sciences, said, “It would be very beneficial for everyone to become a part of this virtual event. Regardless of your major, knowledge derived from this event can help you understand history as well as grant you guidance in future business decisions. Overall, it can bring sound decision-making to daily interactions with friends, fellow students and colleagues. From a legal perspective, it can teach one understanding and empathy, in addition to the precepts of the legal system.” 


Hozik said that closed captioning will be provided during the event for the participants who are deaf or have a hard time hearing. 


She said, “We notice that with virtual programming now, everyone has to wear a mask so the people who are deaf and hard of hearing cannot participate. We have been trying to do captioning, which also helps non-native English speakers because reading English is usually easier than understanding it verbally. So, we have been trying to open that for some of the bigger events at the East Brunswick Public Library.” 


Hozik said that this virtual event won’t be recorded. 


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