Originally from Australia, I was fortunate to attend college in the United States where I met my American husband. During my college years in the US, I sometimes found it difficult to live as a non-citizen. Consequently, when I graduated, I ultimately decided I wanted to go home to Australia where I would have the opportunity to vote, find work freely without a visa, and live indefinitely without worry or extra paperwork. My now-husband/then-boyfriend graciously offered to come with me and build a life in Australia. After four years in Australia, we decided to return to the US, get married, and begin a new life. We brought with us only what could fit in several enormous suitcases, leaving everything else behind. This ERA cuff bracelet was the first in a now five-piece collection of ERA bracelets found and purchased by my husband since our arrival. The bracelets represent a shared cultural endeavor and, possibly, a shared hope for our future together in the United States. Originally sold by the League of Women Voters during the 70s as part of the campaign for an Equal Rights Amendment for women, the bracelet is emblematic not only of women's struggle for equality but the history of the country as a whole. The bracelet helps me feel connected to a history of civic participation, and reminds me to continue striving for this as a new immigrant to the United States.
– Jessica Konigsberg