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This newsletter highlights events and programs offered through the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

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Show-Me Farm Safety at the Fair!

Show-Me Farm Safety at the Fair!

For the third year, the Department is joining forces with the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and University of Missouri Extension in an effort to provide safety resources to prevent injuries and fatalities while working on the farm. The Show-Me Farm Safety booth will be on display in the Agriculture Building on the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, August 7-17.

This year, the booth will feature displays about tractor and grain bin safety, as well as information about first aid and CPR.

To learn more about the Missouri State Fair, including information about livestock shows, demonstrations, children’s activities, concerts, and other events, visit the Missouri State Fair website.

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McGinnis Wood Products, Inc. is Among Best in Workplace Safety

McGinnis Wood Products, Inc. is Among Best in Workplace Safety

CUBA, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Labor’s On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program announced McGinnis Wood Products, Inc. as the newest member of Missouri’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).

“SHARP is a program for Missouri employers who are dedicated to promoting a culture of safety throughout the workplace,” said Ryan McKenna, Director of the Department of Labor.  “The Missouri Department of Labor congratulates McGinnis Wood Products, Inc. for meeting the requirements to join an elite group of Missouri businesses.”

Free On-Site Safety and Health Consultations are provided to businesses at their request. Businesses that participate in the Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program may be eligible to become a SHARP member. SHARP members have lower workers’ compensation insurance premiums and are exempt from OSHA inspections for a period of time.

“Safety has always been a top priority,” says LeRoy McGinnis, McGinnis Wood Products Owner. “We wanted to move our safety and health programs to the next level, so we set our goal on pursuing SHARP. The On-Site Consultation program is a great resource that continues to help us improve the safety for our skilled workers.”

McGinnis Wood Products, Inc. was honored for its achievement during a ceremony July 22, 2014, at its place of business, located at 8052 Old 66 Highway, in Cuba, Mo. Officials from the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Missouri Department of Labor attended the event to present McGinnis Wood Products, Inc. a certificate of recognition, a SHARP flag, and a proclamation issued by Gov. Jay Nixon.

In fiscal year 2013, the safety program corrected conditions in participating businesses that could have resulted in more than $10.7 million in OSHA fines. In addition, 5,813 workplace hazards were remedied. For more information about the SHARP or to request a free safety and health consultation, visit www.labor.mo.gov/SAFE  or call the Division of Labor Standards at 573-522-SAFE.

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MCHR Diversity Spotlight - Women's Suffrage

Women's Suffrage

Suffrage, or the right to vote, has not always been available to every American. Throughout our history, there have been several struggles to gain equal voting rights. Each year, America celebrates Women's Equality Day to commemorate the certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on August 26, 1920, granting women the right to vote after nearly 100 years of struggle. This Amendment, also referred to as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Women's Equality Day was established by Congress in 1971 to honor women's continuing efforts toward equal rights, and every year since, the President has issued a proclamation naming August 26 as Women's Equality Day.

IThe struggle to gain women's suffrage began early in U.S. history. In 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, effectively launching the movement upon agreement by the attendees that women were deserving of their own political identities. By 1870, there were two notable suffragist organizations, the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA).

In 1871, a petition was sent to Congress requesting the prohibition against voting by women to be lifted. The document was signed by Anthony, Stanton, and other suffragists. Anthony was later arrested for registering and voting in the 1872 election in Rochester, New York, and was fined $100, which she swore would never be paid. Instead, she petitioned Congress on January 12, 1874, requesting the fine be withdrawn and stating Anthony's belief that her conviction was unjust. Aggressive suffragists used tactics such as parades, silent vigils, and hunger strikes but were often met with fierce resistance by opponents, who heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused them.

Though less famous, a Missourian named Virginia Minor was also part of the movement. Minor, the co-founder and first president of the Woman's Suffrage Association of Missouri, attempted to register to vote in St. Louis on October 15, 1872, but was turned down by election registrar Reese Happersett. She filed suit and was represented by her husband Francis, an attorney. The case, Minor v. Happersett, made it all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, and at each level of the process, the state of Missouri was the victor. The Supreme Court was unanimous in its decision: “…the Constitution of the United States does not confer the right of suffrage upon anyone...” Minor later went on to testify in front of the United States Senate in support of women’s suffrage in 1889.

Wealthy white women were not the only early leaders in support of suffrage rights. Other proponents included prominent African American women such as Mary Church Terrell, the first president of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW), and Ida B. Wells-Barnett, famous for leading a crusade against lynching. Frederick Douglass, a former slave and leader of the abolition movement, was also an advocate. With a growing amount of support, the suffragists came together for a common goal in 1916: seeking an amendment to the Constitution.

Though there was still strong opposition to the idea of women having the right to vote, the House of Representatives passed the 19th Amendment by a vote of 304 to 90, while the Senate approved it 56 to 25. Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan were the first states to ratify it. Tennessee appeared to have ratified the Amendment on August 18, 1920, because of a change in vote from “Nay” to “Yay” by Harry Burn, thought to be due to the insistence of his mother. The ratification was not official, however, as those against the Amendment managed to delay by fleeing the state to avoid a quorum and holding massive rallies in an attempt to discourage passage. This was all for naught, as Tennessee's critical 36th vote on the ratification was reaffirmed, and the 19th Amendment would, from that point on, guarantee women the right to vote.

Missouri lays claim to having the first documented vote by a woman in an election following the signing of the 19th Amendment. Just five days after the Amendment officially became law, on August 31, 1920, Marie Ruoff Byrum participated in a special election to fill the seat of an alderman who had resigned in Hannibal, Missouri. Despite the pouring rain, Byrum cast her ballot at 7 a.m., thus becoming the first woman to enjoy the privilege of suffrage in the United States under the 19th Amendment, followed closely by Mr. Walker Harrison, who voted at 7:01 a.m. in the second ward of Hannibal.

Enjoy Missouri events geared toward women:

Eastern

  • Join the American Association of University Women of Missouri, with the mission of advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research, and make plans to attend its  27th Annual Equality Day Brunch on August 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 7750 Carondelet Avenue, Clayton. For more information, call Shirley Breeze at 314-831-5359 or Pat Shores at 636-938-3958. The registration deadline is August 16.

Central

  • The Women's Network of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the Columbia Career Center present Defining, Refining and Redefining Focus as part of the monthly luncheon series on August 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Peachtree Catering & Banquet Center, 120 East Nifong Boulevard, Suite D, Columbia. Cost for lunch is $18 for members and $21 for guests; register online or contact Brenna McDermott at 573-817-9119 or bmcdermott@ColumbiaMOChamber.com and save $3 per person.
  • Join the Business Women of Missouri, whose mission is to achieve equity for women in the workplace through advocacy, education, and information. BWM's 2014 Leadership Conference will be held August 1-2 at the Courtyard by Marriott, 3301 Lemone Industrial Boulevard, Columbia. For more information, e-mail Deb Saffer at debsaffer@gmail.com.

Western

  • Listen on Saturdays from 3 to 4 p.m. to Every Woman, a weekly radio show on KKFI Community Radio at 90.1 FM, produced and hosted by Sharon Lockhart. The program highlights the challenges women and their families face in their lives and is an outlet to encourage action to change and improve women’s lives. For more information, 816-931-3122.
  • Discuss women's political issues with members of the Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus on the fourth Thursday of every month at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 4501 Walnut Street, Kansas City. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the membership meeting with program at 6 p.m. For more information, 816-517-8196 or info@kcwpc.org.
  • Play golf with The Women's Foundation of Greater Kansas City on August 25 at Oakwood Country Club, 9800 Grandview Road, Kansas City, as part of the WFGKC Golf Classic. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. The WFGKC brings together money, ideas, and action to create a lasting change for women and girls, their families, and our community. For more information, contact Alison Patterson at alison@wfgkc.org or 913-831-0711 ext. 21.
  • Visit the Bonniebrook Gallery, Museum, and Homestead at 485 Rose O'Neill Road, Walnut Shade, to learn more about Rose O'Neill, an illustrator, cartoonist, artist, author, activist, and creator of the Kewpie dolls, popular in the early 1900s. O'Neill was frequently in attendance at suffrage parades and often found that her artistic fame came in handy in drawing attention to the unfair treatment of women and minorities. For more information, call 417-561-1509 or e-mail oneillmuseum@aol.com.

Find out more about important events from women's history and issues important to women today:

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