"Never doubt that a
small group of
citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead
Who are we?
The Monumental Women of Kentucky Committee is a state government-organized committee comprising 14 members under the umbrella of the Historic Properties Advisory Commission. The committee has been tasked with overseeing the process of ensuring that Kentucky welcomes its first monument honoring a woman, Nettie Depp, in the State Capitol. The committee hopes that in giving women a well-deserved place among the men who already stand tall in places of significance, we can begin to shed an important light on those we have overlooked and forgotten, those who have dedicated themselves to worthy causes and have allowed all of us – regardless of gender, race, creed, religion, or sexual orientation – a place to stand. The historical accomplishments of women have too often been silenced and the committee hopes to leave a lasting impression on the commonwealth – one that will remain in our capitol building to inspire life-long Kentuckians and future change-makers alike.
As honorary chairs, Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman and First Lady Britainy Beshear lead the Monumental Women of Kentucky Committee. Rebecca Byers and Victoria Meyer serve as co-chairs. Additional committee members include Carol Mitchell, state curator and director of the Kentucky Division of Historic Properties, and Amanda Matthews, sculptor and founder of The Artemis Initiative.
What do we do?
The first project of the Monumental Women of Kentucky Committee is overseeing the addition of Nettie Depp's commemorative statue to the State Capitol. The committee is currently focusing on community outreach, coordination with state government and other organizations for upcoming events, and logistics regarding installation of the Depp statue, as well as fundraising. The unveiling of the Depp monument is tentatively scheduled for August 21, 2021, to coincide with the Kentucky Women's Suffrage Centennial Celebration, and will feature a celebratory march through the city of Frankfort, ending at the Capitol building for the unveiling of the statue.
Who is Nettie Depp?
Nettie Depp represents extraordinary leadership as a teacher, principal, elected official and outspoken advocate for suffrage and equal access to public education for all Kentuckians regardless of race or ethnicity. In 1913, seven years before women earned expanded voting rights, Depp was elected Superintendent of Barren County Schools, becoming the first female officeholder in the county. In May 1920, she participated as a voting member of the delegation that created the Kentucky League of Women Voters in Louisville. Depp’s powerful public addresses, writing and notable work in office reflect her passion as an advocate for full suffrage, resistance to corruption in government and, above all, as a stalwart activist on behalf of marginalized Kentuckians.
Depp will be honored with a bronze statue in the Kentucky State Capitol, the first honoring a woman on state-owned land in Kentucky’s 229-year history. Her image will help to fill a void of sorely lacking icons that honor the accomplishments of women and minorities in Kentucky and will serve as a proxy for the many unsung heroes who have dedicated their time, talents and hearts in service to our great Commonwealth.
Interested in contributing?
This site allows you to get a glimpse of who we are, what we do, and why we do it. As a committee of Kentuckians, we pride ourselves on our commitment to the wellbeing of this Commonwealth and the equality and celebration of its citizens. For more information about our Commonwealth, you can visit Governor Andy Beshear's site here, Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman's page here, or the Commonwealth of Kentucky's site here.