Women Leading the Way


A century ago, tens of thousands of women took to the streets of New York City in what was then the largest rally for women’s suffrage of its kind.  Stretching nearly five miles along Fifth Avenue, the Parade brought New York City to a standstill, and became the crowning point of suffrage protests worldwide.  On November 6, 1917, women across New York State gained the full right to vote.

New York City Women’s March, October 23 ,1915 – Library of Congress

In honor of these historic achievements, the Lycée Français de New York announces Women Leading the Way, a national research and art project celebrating the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in the United States.  

Registration information and further details are available at www.suffragettes2020.com.

The Project is a teacher-led initiative open to all high schools in the U.S. and its territories. Women Leading the Way challenges students to explore the fundamental human right to vote by connecting their family history to the Suffrage Movement. Through art and essays, the project invites students to reflect on their personal experience within the larger context of our democracy.

“This project is a way for teachers to take action to inspire young people to be active, engaged citizens,” says Mireille Miller, artist, art teacher at the Lycée Français de New York and creator of the Project. “Our aim is to build a collection of stories, memories, research and art that can be shared and engaged with online and through national and local exhibits.”

Registration opens today, with teacher and student work taking place during the 2018-2019 school year. Teachers will invite each student participant to write three short essays and create two portraits that will be featured on a poster designed by their school. The project will culminate in an online exhibition of all entries, and 100 entries will be selected to appear in a National Poster Exhibition to be held in New York City in 2020, the year of the centennial of women’s suffrage in the United States.

“Women Leading the Way: Suffragettes and Suffragists” by Mireille Miller

“Teachers are on the front lines of fostering civic engagement in young people,” says Sean Lynch, Head of School at the Lycée Français de New York. “Voting is a fundamental human right, and our aim in Women Leading the Way is to inspire all young people always to be active participants in democracy.”

The Project is inspired by Mireille Miller’s painting, “Women Leading the Way: Suffragists & Suffragettes,” which incorporates portraits of leading luminaries of the women’s suffrage movement. The Project website features an interactive version of her painting through which students can learn about key figures in the women’s suffrage movement.

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Mireille Miller

Elementary Art Teacher

Mireille Miller
Mireille Miller is a professional painter who has been teaching art to elementary grades since 1996. She studied art at The Art Students League of NY, at School of Visual Arts, and at NYU. In 2006, she completed a project of historical significance: Leading the Way: A Tribute to Women of the 20th Century, a triptych on women of the 20th Century and their important contribution to Humanity worldwide. It was exhibited at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City and at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

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