UPIC Celebrates Third Quarterly Speaker Series

By Jessica Lay
April 19, 2019

Alice Paul, suffragist and contributor to the ERA. Image from alicepaul.org

The evening of Wednesday, April 16th, UPIC hosted its Third Quarterly Speaker Series. During this session, a speaker from Virginia Ratify came to discuss the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) with the team. What many people don’t know, is that the ERA has still not been ratified in 13 states, including: Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. So, what exactly is the Equal Rights Amendment?

The Equal Rights Amendment dates back to 1923, when Alice Paul and other suffragists added a handful of new words to the end of the 19th amendment. This culminated in a new amendment:

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

As you see above, ERA aims to eliminate the denial of civil rights based off of one’s sex. This would include closing the gender wage gap for women in the workforce, and ensuring parental rights of fathers going through a divorce. Despite being written in 1923, the amendment wasn’t passed until 1972. It has yet to be ratified by the required 3/4 of all 50 states.

UPIC employees had the option to attend in person or watch the presentation virtually.

The Virginia chapter of Ratify ERA was our third in a series of guest speakers that UPIC features quarterly. Previously, our topics have discussed domestic violence and reproductive rights. The speaker series is one of the several enrichment opportunities that UPIC offers its employees, along with paid volunteer days and a mentorship program for new hires.

“I loved learning about VA Ratify’s work in the community to raise awareness. It motivated me to want to help spread the word and get involved with this movement. The speaker series helps me feel myself and UPIC are connected and current within our community.” -UPIC team member, Jessica Bisch

It’s always the goal of UPIC Health to align our actions with our values. Employee life enrichment is a major priority at UPIC, along with supporting causes we care about. This is why we thought VA Ratify would provide a wonderful guest speaker experience.

Author Jessica Lay is UPIC’s Program Lead for UPICares, the organization’s philanthropic initiative.  She spends half of her time assisting patients through UPIC’s contact center and recently completed a degree in Aging Services Management. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @UPICHealth.

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