Plans to attend Women’s Equality Day set for August 19 at Dallas City Hall
91-year-old North Dallas resident Beverly Tobian has never taken for granted the rights that she can exercise and she has worked tirelessly to support women’s issues along with so many other causes. She is a woman of many talents, and wherever she is involved, she leaves her mark. She is an inspiration to all who know her and works for those who don’t have a voice. She has made regular appearances before the City Council, boards and commissions to lobby for the rights of women, senior citizens and for the poor and impaired.
Being wheelchair bound has not slowed her down at all and she continues to be politically active. Last month, she had a friend drive her downtown to meet her new city council member.
Tobian is a longtime member of Women’s Issues Network (WIN) which was formed in 1980 and has worked continuously for women’s rights and equality. She will be in attendance to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment allowing women the right to vote with an event at Dallas City Hall on August 19. Women's Equality Day has been celebrated annually for over 20 years with a special program with over 100 women descending upon City Hall wearing white to represent the suffragists who lobbied for women to vote.
Although women's voting rights are taken for granted today, they were earned through a long brutal campaign by women that began in the 1700's and culminated nearly 150 years later when the 19th Amendment was passed on August 26, 1920.
Until that time, women were not allowed the right to own property, to have legal claim to the money they earned, nor the right to vote. Clothes, jewelry, and land were owned by their husbands or fathers. Bibles were one of their few possessions that they could hand down to their children.
Tobian’s list of community involvement and accomplishments in Dallas is a long one. She is the founder and chair of the Women’s Council Health and Human Services Coalition. She has helped raise awareness of quality of life issues among city council members and has positively impacted housing, transportation and health policy. She has been an advocate for women at all stages and socio-economic levels, especially the most vulnerable – survivors of domestic violence, prostitutes and the elderly – through her work with The Family Place, the New Life Prostitution Diversion Initiative, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Older Women’s League – Dallas Chapter, among many others.
“I am most proud of the Beverly Tobian Young Woman Leadership Scholarship which has been given out since I was 80 years old,” said Tobian. “It provides funds for three women from the non-profit sector to participate in the Leadership Dallas program sponsored by the Dallas Regional Chamber, to assist training for the next generation of women leaders.”
She has received many distinguished awards through her lifetime and the most recent awards include the Peacemaker Patron Recognition Award from Peacemaker’s Inc. in 2012, the Maura Award from the Women’s Foundation in 2012 and the Women’s Council “The Bev” Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. The Dallas chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women presented to Tobian the “Hannah G.Solomon” Award.
Women’s Equality Day is scheduled for August 19 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the Flag Room on the 6th floor of City Hall located at 1500 Marilla Drive. The Mayor and City Council Members will be in attendance. The event is free and open to the public.
Co-sponsors of the Women’s Equality Day event include League of Women Voters, National Council of Jewish Women-Greater Dallas Section, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, South East Dallas Business & Professional Women’s Club, and Dallas Women’s Foundation.
Photos by Deborah Brown