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What Woman Is On The 2023 Quarter?

 Discover the significance of Jovita Idár's portrayal on the 2023 US quarter and her enduring legacy as a Mexican American suffragist and advocate for education and social reform. Learn how her inclusion on the coin reflects a departure from traditional representations in currency design and underscores the nation's commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Explore the inspiring story of Jovita Idár and her relentless pursuit of justice and empowerment, immortalized on this iconic piece of currency

Jovita Idár: A Symbol of Representation on the 2023 US Quarter

Releasing a new coin design in numismatics can reverberate across a nation as a punch of pride. So it was that on 30 January 2023 that the US quarter changed once again. This time, though, it was not just the introduction of a relievist medal. It was an important milestone in representation. At the heart of the story stands a woman whose image symbolises a moment in US history: Jovita Idár.

The better context for catching what is at stake with an image of the Mexican American suffragist Jovita Idár on the 2023 quarter is the general role of representation in the design of cash. For most of the previous two millennia, the chosen image on coins, notes and more has been about one thing: your history was largely written by dudes. And so too has all of our money. If women have acted in ways that influenced history, well, tough luck! You were a supporting cast member in the grand narrative. You were certainly present, but you did not get a starring role in the movie and hence not getting a starring role on a dollar bill. If Jovita Idár made it to the quarter, she represents a departure from this long tradition of masculinity in our pocketbooks.

Jovita Idár’s legacy represents the power of resilience and the desire to fight for the oppressed. Born in 1885 in Laredo, Texas, Jovita grew up during the early 20th century during a time of great upheaval in American society. At a young age, she learned firsthand about the power of oppression and injustice and decided to dedicate her life to fighting for others. For more than 40 years, Idár advocated for the rights of the disenfranchised through her work as a journalist, an educator, and an activist – specifically focused on Mexican Americans and women.

Perhaps Idár’s greatest legacy is her commitment to education and empowerment. She founded La Liga Femenil Mexicanista (The League of Mexican Women), the first national Mexican-American women’s organisation focused on education and social reform, in 1911. She visited Mexican-American communities in the Southwest, and wrote and spoke on the need to invest in the education of future generations. Through her work with La Liga, Idár helped to empower many people, and to create educational and intellectual resources that allowed individuals to engage and fight for their rights, and their chances to succeed.

Yet at the same time, she never restricted her advocacy to education alone; she was also a vocal critic of the circumstances that caused so many Mexicans to be denied access to education in the first place, and wielded her power as a columnist to rail against the constellation of injustices that wreaked havoc on Mexico and its people both north and south of the Rio Grande, all while speaking out in favour of political reform. Eventually, this brought her to the Tejano town of Laredo in 1911, where she gave Texas Rangers physically shutting down a school for Mexican Americans on the border what-for, and subsequently launched a crusade against unjust Texan-Mexican border practices that took place south and north of the Rio Grande, which earned her not only the ire of Texas Rangers but also salacious headlines in Laredo broadsheets. Idár, apparently, was the last person in the world who bent in the face of such harassment and intimidation, labouring throughout the 1910s with the same rigour for which she was known, all the while succumbing only with death to the rectitude of her cause.

Her inclusion on the 2023 quarter represents an apt recognition of her timeless value and ongoing significance, demonstrating that American society continues to embrace her for her pioneering work. By selecting Idár to grace a popular currency, the nation affirms that diversity and inclusivity remain as important as ever.

Furthermore, her portrait on the quarter tells people of the future and each time they use it at the grocery store checkout or anywhere else that they too can be brave and fight for justice and freedom and tell their own stories.

To sum up, the woman on the 2023 quarter, Jovita Idár, truly stands for more than a symbol, but she is testimony to the currents of resistance, courage and strength of women who have always existed and have kept history moving forward. The presence of Jovita Idár on this coin is a bold and significant step recognized by those who have not always been represented or acknowledged in the national American experience. I strongly recommend her as a historical figure you should know and know her story. She will be in our purses and pockets and that will help keep her story within our hearts and minds. We each have a hand in the histories we create, let’s keep her within our hearts and minds.