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The LexSeeHer Steering Committee has undertaken the initiative to establish a monument to honor the contributions women have made to Lexington across time. Our Steering Committee has been further inspired by the remarkable women who are included in the Lexington Historical Society's exhibit "Bold Women of Lexington."
This effort kicked off March 8, 2020 as part of the celebration of International Women's Day. The global pandemic put the project on pause - briefly - but the Steering Committee gathered sufficient signatures for a Citizens' Petition to Special Town Meeting in fall 2020. Town Meeting voted overwhelmingly in support of the initiative by a vote of 165 - 3 on "Article 7" a non-binding resolution that helped gauge whether our community felt it was time to make women visible.
The Steering Committee has worked to gather the sense of community commitment to establish this new monument in several ways. Following the kick-off, we gathered sufficient signatures for a Citizens' Petition to Special Town Meeting in fall 2020. Town Meeting voted overwhelmingly in support of the initiative by a vote of 165 - 3 on "Article 7." This non-binding resolution helped express the sense from elected community representatives that it is time to make women visible.
Additional research to uncover unsung women has taken place through our guest Speaker Series, where we have featured historians and researchers who share their work on women's lives, and we have held 12 free sessions open to all members of the community who seek to support this work. In each session we have time for questions and comments from all participants, providing further insight into the way community members wish to support a new monument.
In early fall 2020, the Steering Committee launched a public call for any interested people with a connection to Lexington to submit nominations for women who should be considered as possible sources of inspiration for the new monument. Working through our website, social media, word-of-mouth, and our local newspapers, the Colonial Times and the Lexington Minuteman, we asked people to let us know about women whose contributions deserved further study or recognition. [Due to the ongoing pandemic, we extended the original deadline to January 9, 2021, then to February 26, 2021, and finally to February 28, 2021.]
Nominations have ranged from well-recognized names to names of important women who we had not heard about prior to the open process. The ongoing outpouring of support for the work of making women's contributions visible has suggested to us that we pursue different means of making women visible, including our new Women's History Trail "In Her Shoes", the Visibility Banners project being organized by Girl Scouts, and our permanent monument.