Alice Stokes Paul Award

The Suffragette Spirit
The Alice Stokes Paul Award was developed by the Cape May County Advisory Commission on the Status of Women 18 years ago as a means of recognizing county women who have made significant contributions to raise the status of women in Cape May County. The women chosen to receive this award best exemplify the qualities of New Jersey Suffragette Alice Strokes Paul.
Alice Stokes Paul
The award’s namesake, Alice Stokes Paul, was born in 1885 and grew up in Mount Laurel, NJ. Alice became involved in the women’s suffrage movement and fought for the right to vote for women in the political arena by confronting candidates and by gaining public recognition through picketing, being imprisoned, and staging hunger strikes.

Passing the 19th Amendment
Her persistent endeavors eventually culminated in the passage of the 19th Amendment when Paul was 35. She played a significant role in gaining the right to vote for women and remained active in the modern women’s rights movement until her death in 1977. She was responsible for the inclusion of the nondiscriminatory clause in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which provides federal protection for women against employment discrimination.

In order to keep the memory and legacy of Alice Paul alive, the Alice Paul Centennial Foundation based in Morristown, NJ was founded in 1984 by a group of volunteers. The Foundation’s major goal is to enhance public awareness of the life and work of Alice Stokes Paul.

Process of Choosing a Recipient

The Alice Stokes Paul Award review process is a very in-depth investigation that thoroughly evaluates all the nominee submissions over a period of several weeks. This is not an easy task due to the number of nominations that come into the Commission office from all parts of the county. The award committee objectively, and based on a rating system of how closely the nominee meets the award criteria, makes their very difficult decision. In seeking a recipient for the Alice Stokes Paul Award, the committee endeavors to award an individual whose personal accomplishments reflect those of Alice Paul in some way.

Proving the Spirit

Specifically, the committee is looking for a woman who has made strides to improve the status of women in Cape May County or whose accomplishments had either a direct or an indirect impact on the women in this county. The qualities that are readily identifiable when one thinks of Alice Stokes Paul are:
  • Dedication to a service program or a cause larger than one’s self
  • Desire to educate one’s self, either formally or informally, for increased effectiveness and not necessarily for personal or financial success
  • Leadership and organizational skills
  • Persistence and tenacity to follow through on a goal until it is achieved