Women's History Month
Richland Two celebrates the accomplishments of Women during the month of March 2020
Women’s History Month’s national 2020 theme is: Valiant Women of the Vote. The theme honors “the brave women who fought to win suffrage rights for women, and for the women who continue to fight for the voting rights of others.”
We will feature in our Diversity Spotlight a woman who has led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society.
For generations, women have resolved conflicts in their homes, schools, and communities. They have rejected violence as counterproductive and stressed the need to restore respect, establish justice, and reduce the causes of conflict as the surest way to peace. From legal defense and public education to direct action and civil disobedience, women have expanded the American tradition of using inclusive, democratic and active means to reduce violence, achieve peace, and promote the common good.
Richland Two is proud to recognize and salute the many and varied accomplishments of women across our district, community, state, nation and world.
2020 Women’s History Month Diversity Spotlight
It is with pleasure and pride that Richland School District Two recognizes Mrs. Septima Poinsette Clark as a Woman of Distinction during Women’s History Month 2020.
Mrs. Clark was an educator and civil rights activist who is well known for her work teaching literacy and citizenship. Born on May 3,1898 in Charleston, South Carolina, Mrs. Clark completed secondary school in 1916 and, after passing the teacher’s exam, began teaching school in South Carolina. She taught for over 30 years including 18 years in Columbia, SC. During the summers, Mrs. Clark returned to school and she earned her Bachelor’s degree from Benedict College and her Master’s degree from Hampton Institute.
In 1956 South Carolina passed a law that prohibited public employees from having membership in organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). When Mrs. Clark refused to give up her membership she was denied a teaching contract. She went on to work at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee where she conducted integrated workshops and training in literacy, the rights and duties of U.S. citizenship and how to register to vote. She became widely known for this work and shared her skills with the South Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the NAACP. She was instrumental in legal victories that allowed black men to become principals in schools in SC and that equalized pay for black and white female teachers in SC.
Mrs. Clark successfully fought to get her pension and back pay reinstated and she later served as a member of the Charleston County School Board.
Known as the “Queen Mother” or “Grandmother” of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, Mrs. Clark’s Citizenship Schools in the deep south are credited with assisting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with his non-violent civil rights work.
Mrs. Clark died in 1987 and is buried in Charleston, SC.
For more information about Mrs. Clark, please see:
Ready from Within: Septima Clark & the Civil Rights Movement, A First Person Narrative
by Septima Poinsette Clark
It is with pleasure and pride that Richland School District Two recognizes Mrs. Eulalie Chafee Salley as a Woman of Distinction during Women’s History Month 2020.
Mrs. Salley was well known as an activist for women’s right to vote. She was a part of the South Carolina Equal Suffrage League of Women Voters and she founded the Aiken County Equal Suffrage League. When the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ("The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United State or by any state on account of sex.") was passed by Congress, Mrs. Salley led the campaign to get South Carolina to ratify the Amendment. Her dedication to the effort was exemplified when she took a ride on one of the the state’s first airplanes and scattered suffrage pamphlets from the air. Nevertheless, the effort was unsuccessful and on January 18, 1920 South Carolina voted against ratification. By August of 1920, 36 other states had ratified the Amendment and it became law. South Carolina did not officially ratify the 19th Amendment until July 1, 1969.
Mrs. Salley helped to form the South Carolina League of Women Voters and she worked tirelessly to achieve its goal of ending discrimination against women. The League worked to register women to vote, held citizenship classes and worked to educate women about voting.
To fund her suffrage work, Mrs. Salley applied for and received a real estate license in 1915, making her the first woman realtor in the state. Mrs. Salley was also one of the first women actively involved in historic preservation in South Carolina.
It is with pleasure and pride that Richland School District Two recognizes the Rollin sisters as Women of Distinction during Women’s History Month 2020.
The Rollin Sisters were well known in Columbia, SC society in the post Civil War late 1800s. Frances, Charlotte, Katherine and Louise were free people of color who worked to gain the right to vote for all women. Charlotte, Katherine and Louise hosted black and white Republicans in their home on Senate Street in Columbia at a time when it was virtually unheard of for black and white people to socialize together.
Each sister was highly educated outside of South Carolina but returned to the state. Frances and her husband, state representative William J. Whipper, owned a home and the other sisters lived nearby. Their homes were known to many as the meeting spot for the Republican Party. Charlotte chaired a meeting for the founding of the South Carolina Woman Suffrage Association and her sister Katherine supervised the completion and adoption of the constitution of the organization.
Charlotte and Louise worked as clerks at the South Carolina State House. In 1869 national newspapers, including the Anti-Slavery Standard, began describing Charlotte as “an advocate of impartial suffrage” who had “delivered an address in the House of Representatives (before the judiciary committee) of this State, demanding suffrage for her sex.” (Edgefield Advertiser, September 1, 1869)
The Rollin sisters were instrumental in promoting suffrage for women at the state and national levels.
For more information about the Rollin sisters, please see: