(Dr. Clayton Lawrence, founder and CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on community wellness and inspiring others.)

Although the 19th amendment, granting the right to vote to women, was first introduced in 1920, it wasn’t until 1971 that Aug. 26 officially became recognized as Women’s Equality Day. First introduced to Congress in 1878, the adoption of the amendment remains a major stepping stone in the women’s rights movement in the United States.

Equality, n.: The state of being equal, especially in status, rights and opportunities. In honor of the upcoming Women’s Equality Day and the countless women who have and continue to make a difference in the lives of so many, we offer our thanks and gratitude.

Here are a few ways you can do the same:

Honor your female politicians and torchbearers

We have had the pleasure and honor of working alongside so many strong and inspirational women who stand solid in our mission to “bridge the gap between hope and achievement.” In our efforts to address the needs of the disadvantaged, we recognize the incredible strides of women like Mayor Muriel Bowser, Former Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Regina Benjamin, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Latino Student Fund President and CEO Maria Fernanda Borja and former D.C. First Lady Cora Masters Barry. These women have paved the way for homes, jobs, health and opportunity and for that, we are incredibly grateful.

Pave the way for future generations

We are proud to be able to offer educational support, not only in the form of mentorship, but through several scholarships throughout the year. Last year, we recognized the determination and effort of Bucknell University student Gissell Botero, who, against incredible odds, committed to her education and now is pursuing a degree in the medical field while studying abroad in Copenhagen. Botero immigrated to the United States with her mother when she was 11 years old and knew little about the language, culture or education system, but she was determined to create a better, brighter future. Women like Gissell continue the movement toward equality and opportunity for all.

Pay homage to the women in the your life in a special way

Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Send a note of appreciation;
  • Make a public declaration on your social media page;
  • Make a donation in her name to a worthy cause;
  • Show your unwavering support for her thoughts and ideas.

Register to vote

None of this means anything if you don’t get out there and use your right to vote! If you soon turn 18 or have been considering casting your ballot in the next election, there is no better time to do it. Make your voices heard and continue carry the torch not only for yourself, but for generations to follow who deserve the right to equality and opportunity.