Oppression and war will be heard of no more
Nor the blood of a slave leave his print on our shore,
Conventions will then be a useless expense,
For we'll all go free suffrage, a hundred years hence. — Frances Dana Barker Gage, in her 1875 hymn "A Hundred Years Hence"
Few of the early women's suffrage activists lived to see women achieve the right to vote. Julia Ward Howe said of her vision for an international Peace Conference, "The time for this was at hand, but had not yet arrived." What dreams of justice do you harbor that may not come to fruition in your lifetime? Jot some ideas in your journal about what you would like to see. Then think of the next generation, of young people you know who might take up the cause. Write down their names in your journal. Sometime in the next week, make it a point to talk to at least one younger person about your hopes for the future. It can be as simple as asking your ten-year-old niece if she thinks there will ever be a woman president of the United States, or taking time to talk with a college student about their feelings about war and the role of the military in our nation. Next time you are at a conference, or a rally, or a worship service, notice and engage with the next generation of social justice leaders.
The PBS documentary Not For Ourselves Alone, directed by Ken Burns, chronicles the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Watch it with friends and family.