By Janice Byth
Women on 20s is a campaign to change the $20 bill so it features a woman—specifically abolitionist Harriet Tubman—to replace the image of former president Andrew Jackson by the year 2020. Women on 20s started campaigning in early 2015, holding a vote to ascertain which famous historic woman should appear on the new bill. After a viral Internet campaign and vote, the winner was announced as Harriet Tubman, who rescued many slaves through her Underground Railroad and also served as a Union spy during the American Civil War.
Other women who were considered to become the face of the new $20 bills were Cherokee Nation chief Wilma Mankiller, rights activist Sojourner Truth, suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton and politician Patsy Mink.
The Women on 20s movement claims to have two reasons for campaigning to place women on paper money:
1. Women should be represented. While women have been placed on coins in the past such as Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea, these coins never gained popularity and were never widely used.
2. Replace Andrew Jackson. As our seventh president, he is best known for one of the most shameful parts of American history, passing the Indian Removal Act resulting in the Trail of Tears and deaths of many Native Americans. Plus, he also hated paper money and it’s a bit ironic that Jackson is on one of the most used paper bills in the country.
At Project GirlSpire, we don’t do blame and shame so…we forgive you, Andrew Jackson, for all your atrocious mistakes. But know this—to forgive is not to condone. And besides, what’s not to love about Harriet Tubman? “A woman’s place is on the money,” so the saying goes at Women on 20s. Cha-ching!
Since it was suggested that Harriet Tubman grace a new $20 bill, the U.S. Treasury has kind of granted the request of the Women on 20s campaign. A woman will be featured on a paper bill, and it will be Harriet Tubman. However, she will be on the $10 bill, and she is sharing space with the current face of the 10-spot—first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.
Still, the Women on 20s campaign plans to continue to ask the president to request the U.S. Treasury to permanently place Harriet Tubman on the 20-spot. To learn more, go to womenon20s.org , and also check out this vid:
So what do y’all think about the faces that grace our paper money? Tell us in the comments section below.