Yesterday, the New York-based non-profit organization Monumental Women unveiled the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument on Literary Walk in Central Park. The bronze sculpture, revealed just a week after the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s ratification, features suffragists Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and is the first statue in Central Park to portray historical women. 

Captain Brenda Berkman is familiar with firsts. She fought through discriminatory tests and legal roadblocks to become the first female fire firefighter in the history of the New York City Fire Department. She is also a Director for Monumental Women and has played a central role in planning the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument. In this special segment of Stay Tuned, Captain Berkman explains why gender equity in public monuments is so crucial, why these three women deserve particular recognition, and how the study of history has been a throughline during her own pioneering career. 


  • Captain Berkman’s September 2019 appearance on Stay Tuned 
  • The official Monumental Women website 
  • The Untold Stories of Black Suffragists (with Martha S. Jones), Stay Tuned, 8/20/2020
  • Alisha Haridasani Gupta, “For Three Suffragists, a Monument Well Past Due,” New York Times, 8/6/2020
  • Robin Young, “New Suffrage Statue Will Be Central Park’s Only Monument To Depict Real Women,” WBUR, 8/19/2020
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Great Schism,” The Atlantic, 10/18/2011
  • Joseph P. Fried, “Women Win Ruling on Fire Department Test,” New York Times, 3/6/1982
  • David Spear, “Generation Past: The Story of the Landmark Books,” American Historical Association, 10/17/2016
  • Corinne Segal, “Stitch by stitch, a brief history of knitting and activism,” PBS NewsHour, 4/23/2017