August 26, 2020, marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Among the events planned to mark the day will be the unveiling of a statue honoring women’s rights pioneers Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in New York's Central Park. It will be the first statue of real women in the park.
Sculpted by Meredith Bergmann, the statue was conceived, created, and funded by Monumental Women's Statue Fund, an all-volunteer led nonprofit made up of women's rights advocates, historians, and community leaders. Namita Luthra '91 is a member of the group's board. Prior to the coronavirus crisis, Namita was scheduled to return to her hometown of Weirton, WV, to talk about the project. She instead corresponded with the local newspapers about the importance of the sculpture.
From the article:
“I respect the work of all three women because they each brought particular gifts to the task of expanding women’s roles and advancing women’s rights,” Luthra responded in an e-mail communication from the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. “I like how they are working together around a wood table which is how so much of women’s rights work has gotten done, through mutual respect and collaboration. Although women’s rights history has been complicated, the work is at its best when we make sure to include diverse voices.”
In addition to her work with Monumental Women, Namita serves on the president’s council of the New York Hall of Science and she has served on the board of directors for Sakhi for South Asian Women. She was a senior staff attorney at the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. There, she spearheaded a wide range of litigation, advocacy, and public education efforts to advance the rights of women and girls—including co-authoring a book titled The Rights of Women—and successfully litigating gender discrimination jury trials in federal court. Prior to joining the Women’s Rights Project, Namita was a staff attorney at the Office of the Appellate Defender.