Alice Paul, born on January 11, 1885 to Quaker parents in Mt. Laurel, NJ, was an American suffragist, feminist, and women’s rights activist, and the main leader and strategist of the 1910’s campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which prohibits sex discrimination in the right to vote. Along with Lucy Burns and others, Paul strategized the events, such as the Woman Suffrage Procession and the Silent Sentinels, which led the successful campaign that resulted in its passage in 1920.

Driven to change laws that affected women, she earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1912. At first, Paul was a member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and served as the chair of its congressional committee. Out of frustration with NAWSA’s policies, however, Paul left to form the more militant Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage with Lucy Burns. The group was later renamed the National Woman’s Party (NWP) with the goal of implementing change on a federal level.

Known for using provocative visual media to make their point, NWP members known as the “Silent Sentinels” picketed the White House under the Woodrow Wilson administration in 1917, making them the first group to take such action. Paul was jailed in October and November of that year because of the protests.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was introduced in every session of Congress from 1923 until it passed in 1972. During the 1940s, both the Republicans and Democrats added the ERA to their party platforms. In 1943, the ERA was rewritten and dubbed the “Alice Paul Amendment.” The new amendment read, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

After women won the right to vote with the 19th Amendment in 1920, Paul devoted herself to working on additional empowerment measures. In 1923, she introduced the first Equal Rights Amendment in Congress and in later decades worked on a civil rights bill and fair employment practices. Although she did not live to see the ERA added to the U.S. Constitution (to date it remains unratified), she did get an equal rights affirmation included in the preamble to the United Nations charter.

Until she was debilitated by a stroke in 1974, Alice Paul continued her fight for women’s rights. She died on July 9, 1977, in Moorestown, NJ. Her life demonstrates that one person can make a difference! Alice Paul dedicated her life to the single cause of securing equal rights for all women. Her legacy lives on, bearing witness to the significance of her life and inspiring others who struggle for social justice.


The Alice Paul Institute was founded in 1985 and is dedicated to creating a heritage and leadership development center at Paulsdale, NJ. The Institute works to educate and encourage women and girls to take leadership roles in their communities and to continue the long struggle for women’s equality. In her name, API works to fulfill its mission to honor her legacy, preserve her home, and develop future leaders.

On April 20, 2016 Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced that several denominations of United States currency would be redesigned prior to 2020, the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. The newly designed $10 bill, which will include images which pay homage to the women’s suffrage movement, will feature the images of Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott, along with an image of the 1913 Women’s Suffrage Procession that Paul organized.

Women fought hard to win the right to vote. And voting is still the best way for women to ensure that our elected leaders support policies that will expand opportunity, help women and their families through hard times, and strengthen the economy.

MY WISH is that we, as women, do NOT forget those who fought so hard for so long for us to have the right to vote. Alice Paul dedicated her life for us to have this right, honor her by voting in this election.

Please also visit the Alice Paul Institute located in Paulsboro NJ or her website for more information.


Mary Beth Iannarella
Girl Talk Marlton for The Wishwall


Considering October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I think that it is the perfect time to talk about breast cancer and the effect that it has had on me and my family.


A cure for breast cancer is something I’ve been wishing for since I was a little girl. I remember going to “Susan G. Komen For The Cure” 5k runs with my family, friends, and classmates, starting at the age of 11. I was inspired by the breast cancer survivors I met that day. I look back on running these 5k’s with my family and friends, and I smile.

Every year, a family member or close family-friend of mine gets diagnosed with breast cancer. The closest person I know that has been diagnosed was my aunt. When I found out that my aunt had breast cancer, I was scared. I was terrified of losing her, and it made me so sad that something so scary could happen to someone so close to my family and I.

Luckily, my aunt has survived breast cancer. I asked her about her experience with the illness, and how it has changed her since being diagnosed.

My aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 at the age of 42. Getting the news that she had breast cancer was the scariest thing in the world to her. Because of breast cancer she had many sleepless, painful, and scary nights. It was a journey like no other. She told me that she was very lucky that the doctors caught it early so that she didn’t have to do chemotherapy.

Instead, she only had to do eight weeks of radiation. The main question on my mind when I asked her about her experience with breast cancer was, “How did you get through it?” She then told me that she got through it with the support of amazing family and great friends.

However, her true inspiration throughout her journey was her children. She has two children, and she told me how she had to survive for them. Her children are the most important thing to her, as I’m sure is the same with every mother.

In June of this year was the three year anniversary of my aunt being cancer free.

She looks at life differently now. She lives life to the fullest and does not take anything for granted, especially the little things in life now. Having breast cancer makes you become and better and stronger person inside.

I am thankful to have my aunt to talk about breast cancer with. She is now doing amazing, and has a big smile on her face whenever I see her.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. And, according to statistics, every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and one woman will die from it every 13 minutes. As a 17 year old girl, knowing these statistics is terrifying. Breast cancer is a global burden among us all.

That is why my wish is to find a cure for breast cancer.

My one wish, since I was a little girl, has been to find a cure for breast cancer, or all cancers for that matter. Although breast cancer is a horrible illness that affects many women, and even some men, every year, it makes women stronger.

I hope that one day, the cure for breast cancer can be found.

My wish is to find a cure for the women who have suffered through breast cancer, and to eventually be able to prevent it once and for all!


Kailey Gaffney
Leader-Girl Talk Marlton for The Wishwall Foundation




Gun Violence in America

Last Friday I received a call at 7:50am from my 20-year-old daughter-which was odd because she was suppose to be working. I had just awoken only 10 minutes prior to get ready for my work day and just got out of the shower. My daughter, a current college student, works the before & after school care program at the elementary schools in our town between her own classes. On this particular day she was sent to a different school then usual and the kids had a two-hour delay so it was already not a typical day for her. She was whispering very frantically to me that a cop came to the door and told the staff to activate “shelter in place” and wanted me to find out why for her- then she said “I love you” and hung up. Shelter-in-place means selecting a small, interior room, with no or few windows, and taking refuge there.


My heart dropped as my head spun, I had no idea what was going on. As I threw clothes on, I went to social media to post and read if anyone heard anything, there was nothing. I called friends who had children in the same school to see if they were alerted-but no, they were not. They were home because of the delay and also had no idea what was going on. I couldn’t think straight, I had no idea what to do. I grabbed my handbag and jumped in the car and headed for the school. My phone rings, it’s my daughter again whispering asking if I found out anything. She said the cops made her take the 13 children she had in her care into a small room, lay on the ground and hide with the lights out. The children were becoming frightened with the real police activity; they knew this was not a drill. She said she was told there was a man with a gun on the loose in the school’s neighborhood from a robbery in a neighboring town. She said she was okay and doing her best to keep the children quiet and from being scared. We both said “I love you” and she hung up.


My heart now was in my throat. I pulled over my car and looked on social media and rumors were swirling but were the same as she just told me about a man with a gun in the neighborhood. Friends from the area were sending me pictures and videos of 30+ cop cars on their street, there was so much police activity. As I then continued to drive to the school, I thought “what am I doing?” there wasn’t anything I could actually do to help her or the children but I needed to see for myself. I figured if I saw a man with a gun running the best I could do is hit him with my car, that would make him at least stop running towards anyone. Yes, I know it was a very dumb thought but going through my head was the countless innocent lives lost in this country from gun violence. Not my town, not my kid- I would do anything for it not to occur.


The incident went on (what felt like an eternity) but was less than an hour. Thank God we have a wonderful Police force and great relationships with neighboring township police and they were able to apprehend the man and take him into custody without any incident. Luckily the elementary schools had a two-hour delay and there were not a lot of children in the school or the area at the time. I didn’t even want to start thinking about the “what ifs”.


I went to the school and saw my daughter, hugged and kissed her (my hero) and she was fine, the kids were fine and school and the work day continued with no issues. I went back and sat in my car and burst into tears. This violent crazy behavior has almost become routine. With so many violent incidents taking place on a daily basis around the country, it’s no wonder school employees and students are trained in school lock-down procedures, they have to be! What is going on in America? Why so much gun violence? How can we help change this? We need to talk about it.


According to the Los Angeles Times, the greatest predictor of violence isn’t religion, occupation or race. It’s gender. In the United States, 98% of those who commit mass shootings are male; 98% of the officers who have shot and killed civilians are male; 90% of those who commit homicide by any means are male; and 80% of those arrested for all violent crimes — murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — are male. The reality is that we don’t know exactly why men are exponentially more prone to violence. If we are going to reduce mass shootings, officer-involved killings and the culture of violence in America, however, we need to talk about it.

Whatever your opinion is about gun rights, it’s hard to deny that the frequency of gun violence in America. The US has more civilian guns than literally any other country on Earth, with an estimated 270 million in circulation. There are many ways in which America is exceptional, this is NOT one to be proud of.


Let’s do our part to end gun violence through research, advocacy and community empowerment. Help support Girl Talk Marlton make our communities safer and healthier by fighting to end gun violence in America.


From the Evesham Police Department in reference to the above Incident:


At approximately 8:00 am this morning, Evesham Police assisted Mt. Laurel and Medford officers as they attempted to stop a vehicle that was involved in a crime with a handgun in Mt. Laurel. The suspect vehicle eventually crashed on Carlton Avenue and three subjects were taken into custody as they attempted to flee the stop on foot. DeMasi elementary/middle school was placed into a “shelter in place” as the event unfolded. The assigned SRO at DeMasi immediately secured the school as the surrounding officers apprehended the suspects involved in the crime.


This is another example of the importance of our agency’s school resource officer program as we immediately protected the school staff and students from a potential dangerous incident. The school resource officers and their assigned school staff prepare for these types of incidents on a daily basis.

no-gun-violence1-1Any witnesses to this incident should call (856) 983-1111 with any information.

Thank you again to our wonderful Evesham (and neighboring) Police Department.

-Mary Beth Iannarella
Girl Talk Marlton for The Wishwall



Take a stand against bullying!

In support of National Bullying Prevention Month this October, I thought I would write my wish to stomp out bullying. All of us go through those awkward preteen and teenage years, and chances are that you have either been bullied, witnessed someone being bullied or have been the bully yourself. It has become critical to talk about the issues of bullying and cyber-bullying because of the harmful effects it causes. Founder Ross Ellis recognized this and created the Stomp Out Bullying campaign in 2005. Its goal is to encourage communities to work together to stop bullying (and cyber-bullying) by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all ages.


Now in its 11th year, the kindness movement continues. This month, I will do my best to raise bullying prevention awareness by educating how to effectively deal with bullying situations peacefully. In my mentoring program chapter that I facilitate, Girl Talk Marlton, we have girls ranging in age from 10-18 years old, and we discuss this topic quite often. It is a sad statistic but 1 out of 4 students in middle school and high school have been bullied. There are three different types of bullying: physical, verbal and social. Experts say that girls tend to excel at social bullying. Some bullying is obvious, like psychical attacks. While verbal and social bullying can be more subtle behaviors like exclusion, mocking, teasing, spreading rumors, starting gossip, online attacks, and scare tactics.


Sugar and spice and everything nice. That’s what little girls are made of, right? Well, a lot of girls seem so innocent and nice to us adults but bullying and nasty cliques start as early as elementary school! A good portion of preteen and teen girls deal with friendship struggles and various degrees of social cruelty and feel as they are alone, but they are not. They allow their so-called “friends” to treat them in ways they don’t deserve. WHY and how can we help empower them to not be treated this way?


Let’s start by teaching our girls values to look for in real friendships such as kindness, loyalty, positive attitudes, and honesty. Focus on showing them the differences between healthy and toxic friendships. “Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry.” —Lyman Abbott. I agree with this quote because teaching them to use assertive communication skills and accepting the anger helps to be able to walk away from those fake friendships with confidence. We should teach our children to stand up for themselves and others and not to be bystanders who witness the assaults, harassment and threats and remain silent.


If your child shares with you that they are being bullied, don’t intervene too soon. However, no child should have to find her way through this painful conflict alone, help guide them through some effective resolutions they can try first. Creating a plan that works with your child’s strengths and abilities can help build self-confidence and resilience. Be sure to listen and support them through this inevitable pain of bullies disguised as friends. If the bullying continues, contact the school to develop a plan to stomp out these bullies.


Stay connected with your preteen/teen to know what is going on in their everyday life, even though they make it so difficult. They need you (even though they don’t think so) and it is your job as their parent or caregiver to guide them through these tough years. This isn’t the time for you to be their friend, there will be plenty of time for that later in life. Have discussions with them about what is acceptable behavior on social networking, websites and text messaging. Make sure they aren’t being cyber-bullied or perhaps being the bully. Know what apps and online activities they are involved in, get their passwords (YES, passwords-you pay the bill don’t you?). Let your child know that using these technological tools is a privilege and don’t hesitate to take them away if they are not used properly. Remember YOU are in charge and that you are investing the time and care into your child because you love them. Don’t let your child bully you!


Stopping bullying is everyone’s responsibility. You can help do your part by raising awareness through community events and sharing information with others. Pass it on.



Mary Beth
Girl Talk Marlton/for The Wishwall