​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​On June 10, 1919, Wisconsin made history by becoming the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution granting national suffrage to women. This early and important vote would pave the way for other states to follow suit.​  Learn more​


19th Amendment
Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee


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​Women Who Inspire is an initiative of the Centennial Celebration Committee, inviting Committee Members to highlight and interview a Wisconsin woman who inspires them.  Women Who Inspire is a  snapshot of women working today, across Wisconsin, to carry forward the ongoing work of social change and increasing parity for women and girls.  Meet all the Women Who Inspire nominees


Vanaya Grice
​Milwaukee, WI

​I stand on the shoulders of strong women, three generations before me, that fought for the justices of their generation and paved a way for me and generations to follow.


Vanaya Grice is a business professional and entrepreneur, and has a passion for developing and coaching people to reach their full potential. She currently works for Northwestern Mutual as Assistant Director of Distribution Performance, and owns/operates a private beauty salon. She is a member of Kingdom Faith Fellowship Church where she oversees the financial systems and controls; and, is active in her community, on the Board of Directors for PEARLS for Teen Girls – a leading girl-serving organization in Milwaukee. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from Cardinal Stritch University, a Masters in Family and Consumer Journalism from the University of WI-Madison, and is married with two children..

What inspired you to start this work? 

Growing up, I always had a village of people around me to coach, support, advise, inspire and tell me that I could do anything I put my mind to. With my belief that to whom much is given, much is expected, I always strive to give that same level of support and encouragement in any work that I do. I stand on the shoulders of strong women, three generations before me, that fought for the justices of their generation and paved a way for me and generations to follow. Aligning with my passion, I take particular interest in inspiring girls to grow up to be confident, bold, and fearless women. 

Wha​t resources do you need to keep this work moving forward?

In order to continue to move this work forward, we need continued development and advancement of programs/systems that support women in achieving their dreams. This includes developing leaders who lead with empathy, initiatives that drive equity and equality, and education that promotes financial stability and access to capital. This also includes financially supporting organizations, such as Pearls for Teen Girls, to allow them to reach more girls and young ladies in Wisconsin and beyond.

For More Information:  

PEARLS for Teen Girls:

​​African American Leadership Alliance MKE:  


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Trailblazers & ​Change-Makers: Wisconsin Women Who Have Inspired Us All

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            Justice Abrahamson       Dickey Chapelle               Ada Deer​                  Anita Herrera​        ​  Belle Case LaFollette         Vel Phillips

Click on each name to learn more and to find more inspiring Wisconsin Women Making History   rsz_1wwnh_logo_shadow med.png