Better Days: Celebrating women’s history in Utah
Reading Time: 2 minutes The Review spoke to Tiffany Greene, the Education and Community Outreach Director of Better Days, about how to honor Women’s History Month.
Better Days is a Utah-based nonprofit dedicated to discussing women’s history and making Utah a better place for women.
Created as early as 2016, Better Days prepared to celebrate several anniversaries in 2020, including the 150th anniversary of Utah women becoming the first to vote on the equal suffrage law in 1870. They also honored the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.
Today, Better Days is dedicated to bringing about more conversation on the role women have played in Utah’s history.
“Our mission statement is to popularize Utah women’s history in creative and communal ways,” stated Tiffany Greene, Better Days’ Education and Community Outreach Director. “We are really focused on our educational curriculum for K-12 educators, but we also are interested in adding to the iconography of Utah women in our public spaces, [as well as] hosting public events to help the general public know these stories of important Utah women in our past.”
Better Days has also played a part in creating a new state sculpture, which will be displayed in The National Statuary Hall Collection of Washington, D.C. sometime soon. Each state has the opportunity to include two statues of figures who represent the history of the state. Created by Ben Hammond, Utah’s new statue will replace Philo T. Farnsworth with Martha Hughes Cannon. Cannon was elected to the state senate in 1896, making her the first female senator of the United States.
“This is a big deal,” said Greene. “There aren’t that many women in [The] National Statuary Hall. There is a trend that there is more and more, but [Cannon] will probably only be the 11th or 12th woman out of the 100 statues in The National Statuary Hall Collection. That is why the founders of Better Days really wanted to create this organization. I [was] born and raised in Utah too and I didn’t know. It’s not something that is part of our cultural consciousness and it’s not something that we celebrate or have celebrated before, so we really want to change that and kind of flip the script about the important roles that Utah women have played in our communities here but also in national movements.”
For Women’s History Month, Greene encouraged students to stay tuned for event details, as well as support and share stories. “A really easy thing to do is to visit our website at Utah women’s history.org and read a story about a woman that you didn’t know about and then share that story with someone else. Because if we all do that, if we all go onto the website and find a story that inspires us and share that story with other people, I think it really can get into our cultural consciousness here that women do lead and that we’ve historically been leaders in so many avenues and in so many areas of our society.”
She also shared that education majors should take advantage of Better Days’ easily accessible lesson plans, activities, and videos for free on their website.
“It really is going to take this ground-swell of all of us celebrating and honoring and really bringing the voice of women to the forefront and holding up the examples of women in our past, it really will take all of us to share those stories to kind of shift the narrative of how Utah women are portrayed nationwide.”
For more information on Better Days, curriculum details, and more, please visit utahwomenshistory.org.