Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Currency Of Fairness — Why Aren't Women Allowed On The $20 Bill?

Source: Women On 20s

Who is on the 10 dollar bill? Who is on the 100? The 1,000? 10,000?

For the record, it's Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Grover Cleveland, and Salmon P. Chase. Only one of them is a president, and he's an admittedly lesser known Chief Executive.

Most Americans use coins and dollars every day, but they can't tell you whose faces occupy their notes. Most people know who's on the penny (Abraham Lincoln), but they can't name who is on the dime (Franklin D. Roosevelt).

The one thing, however, that all Americans intuitively know is that all of these etched and sketched faces are of white men. Why aren't there any women on U.S. bills?

Especially today, as the U.S. Mint is rotating images in its 50 State Quarters and its President $1 Coins, it seems inexcusable that none of the nation's women leaders are celebrated on our currency.

One group is trying to change this — and they're getting a lot of buzz. News stories this week featured the organization "Women On 20s," which is trying to replace Andrew Jackson on the 20 dollar bill with one of 15 inspiring women who championed freedom, voting, rights, medicine, and justice. Although Jackson's legacy reaches to the War Of 1812 and Big Block Of Cheese Day, he is largely remembered for leading the Trail Of Tears and the Indian Removal Act. Surely the country can honor a hero who did more to elevate the progress of the aspirational.

March is Women's History Month. The conversation around women's exclusion from patriotic displays is critical toward continuing the conversations about equality. This campaign, led by Barbara Ortiz Howard, is trying to gain enough signatures on its petition to inspire action by the White House. You can vote for the candidates and add your name to the petition at the website.

Source: Nerd Wallet (click for full version)
The spotlight on the 20 dollar bill's likeness offers a valuable opportunity to blend in other activities about financial literacy. This moment invites relevant lessons in elements of U.S. currency, including national leadership, image symbolism, Latin mottos, serial numbers, Treasury secretaries, counterfeit prevention, the U.S. Mint, and the Federal Reserve.

For other ideas about teaching financial literacy, we recommend:


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