Skydivers celebrate 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage

Highlight is an elite team of all-women skydivers. Its 11 members came together to jump in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment which gave white women the right to vote (Black women were allowed to vote nearly five decades after). The Highlight Pro Skydiving Team jumped from the skies in Nashville, the final state to ratify the amendment on August 18. 

“It was a moment in history that we wanted to highlight,” Melanie Curtis, team co-captain said according to ABC News. “We’re using skydiving to capture attention and then bringing that attention to social justice initiatives, to women’s rights, to gender equality, to equality at large.”

The women leaped from the aircraft into clear blue skies. Each skydiver carried a different sign with slogans from the suffrage movement like “votes for women,” “shall not be denied” and “equality can’t wait.” 

Team Highlight has been jumping for women’s equality throughout the pandemic. Their previous jump in July was at Seneca Falls where the first women’s rights convention was held. Their final descent in August will be at Central Park during the unveiling of the park’s first suffrage monument. 

“Women are underrepresented in skydiving and women are underrepresented in media and government, on boards of businesses,” Curtis said. “We see that underrepresentation everywhere. So it’s not just skydiving for us, it’s more about those core values of what it looks like to be bold and brave and to use your voice and, right now, use your vote.”

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