​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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


Memorial Day Observance ​2020
​Wisconsin Veterans Museum


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​Women Who Inspire is a new feature, inviting members of the Centennial Celebration Committee to highlight and interview a Wisconsin woman who inspires them. A snapshot of women working today, across Wisconsin, to carry forward the ongoing work of social change and increasing parity for women and girls.  Watch for new story features and visit the Women Who Inspire Homepage​.​

Berdie Cowser, PhD
​Milwaukee, WI

Dr. Berdie Cowser is director of the Bureau of Housing at the Center for Veterans Issues Ltd.​ (CVI).

Among her affiliations and awards, Dr. Cowser serves as Board Member, Milwaukee County War Memorial; Chapter Commander, National Association for Black Veterans, Inc. (NABVETS); Advisory Council Member, Cardinal Stritch University; Links, Inc, Cream City Chapter; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Epsilon Kappa Omega Chapter; 40 Under 40 Award Winner, Milwaukee Business Journal; and Black Excellence Award, Milwaukee Times Newspaper. 

Dr. Cowser received both an MBA and PhD from Cardinal Stritch University; and Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Military Science, from Alabama State University, graduating with highest honors. 

Excerpts from Dr. Berdie Cowser's interview with Representative Myers​

What inspires your passion in these issues?

I saw the impact that I was making as women worked extremely hard to improve their life situation. My goal is to share vital and essential information to empower and uplift women, ensuring each woman and girl is equipped to live her best life. ​​

My motto is, "committed to serve and leading to serve #LeadN2Serve," I have put this into action every day by coming to work to serve the men and women who have served our country. Service and excellence have in common perseverance, never quitting and following through to the very end.

What has been your greatest success?

The greatest successes come when someone secures housing, completes a school program, fulfills their life dream and goals. ​

What would you say to other women and girls who want to make or support change in their community, state, world?

Start with the end in mind and work your way backward. If you want to make or support change, DO IT NOW, even if you are afraid, DO IT NOW, DO IT AFRAID!!

​Inspired by the centennial of the 19th Amendment, would you like to comment on voting or have a story to share?

Make sure you VOTE, it is the least that we can do after all the sacrifices that were made on our behalf.​​​


Read Representative Myers' full interview​​ with Dr. Berdie Cowser.

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