Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month. Every weekday this month, NAFC will honor a woman in history whose legacy positively impacted change.

This month is a celebration of women in history who have shattered glass ceilings, paving the way for today's women. The ceilings today's women will shatter will pave the way for tomorrow's women.

 

2021.03.31
Ladies, today is the last day of Women's History Month and we have saved the very best for last.

Meet YOU.

Legacy:

‘Still I Rise’ – Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt but still, like dust, I’ll rise.


Does my sassiness upset you? 
Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells pumping in my living room.


Just like moons and like suns, w
ith the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high, still I’ll rise.


Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops, weakened by my soulful cries?


Does my haughtiness offend you? 
Don’t you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines diggin’ in my own backyard.


You may shoot me with your words, y
ou may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise.


Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs?


Out of the huts of history’s shame 
I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, welling and swelling I bear in the tide.


Leaving behind nights of terror and fear 
I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.


 


March 30, 2021: Carrie Chapman Catt

Legacy: "... Carrie Clinton Lane Chapman Catt was a suffragist and peace activist who helped secure for American women the right to vote. She directed the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and founded the League of Women Voters (1920) to bring women into the political mainstream ... Catt founded the International Woman Suffrage Alliance to spread democracy around the globe ... Catt founded the League of Women Voters to educate women on political issues and served as the organization’s honorary president until her death in 1947. She published a history of suffrage in 1923, Woman Suffrage and Politics: The Inner Story of the Suffrage Movement. She also gave her attention to other issues such as child labor and world peace ..."


March 29, 2021: Ida B. Wells

Legacy: "Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a prominent journalist, activist, and researcher, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In her lifetime, she battled sexism, racism, and violence ...In 1884, Wells-Barnett filed a lawsuit against a train car company in Memphis for unfair treatment. She had been thrown off a first-class train, despite having a ticket. Although she won the case on the local level, the ruling was eventually overturned in federal court ... She was a founder of the National Association of Colored Women’s Club which was created to address issues dealing with civil rights and women’s suffrage ... Although she was in Niagara Falls for the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), her name is not mentioned as an official founder ..."


March 26, 2021: Jane Addams

Legacy: "... A progressive social reformer and activist, Jane Addams was on the frontline of the settlement house movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She later became internationally respected for the peace activism that ultimately won her a Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, the first American woman to receive this honor ... she was instrumental in successfully lobbying for the establishment of a juvenile court system, better urban sanitation and factory laws, protective labor legislation for women, and more playgrounds and kindergartens throughout Chicago. In 1907, Addams was a founding member of the National Child Labor Committee, which played a significant role in passage of a Federal Child Labor Law in 1916. Addams led an initiative to establish a School of Social Work at the University of Chicago, creating institutional support for a new profession for women ..."


March 25, 2021: Dolores Huerta

Legacy: "... Dolores Huerta is a living civil rights icon. She has spent most of her life as a political activist, fighting for better working conditions for farmworkers and the rights of the downtrodden, a firm believer in the power of political organizing to effect change ... the movement's famous slogan, Sí se puede — Spanish for "Yes, we can" — which inspired President Obama's own campaign battle cry and has often wrongly been attributed to Chavez. (Obama acknowledged Huerta as the source of that phrase when he awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012) ... At a time when the feminist movement was taking root, Huerta was an unconventional figure: the twice-divorced mother of 11 children ..."


March 24, 2021: Aretha Franklin

Legacy: "... In 1987 Franklin became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Detroit ...self-taught, she was regarded as a child prodigy. A gifted pianist with a powerful voice ... Franklin's chart dominance soon earned her the title Queen of Soul, while at the same time she also became a symbol of Black empowerment during the civil rights movement ..."


March 23, 2021: Mary Edwards Walker

Legacy: "In all of United States History, there has only been one woman to receive the Presidential Medal of Honor. Mary Edwards Walker is that woman. As a surgeon, women’s rights advocate, abolitionist, and spy, Walker became the first female U.S. Army surgeon during the Civil War ... Walker had just finished helping a Confederate doctor with a surgery when she was captured by Confederate troops as a spy. She was held as a prisoner of war for four months ... In addition to her work with the army, she began to advocate for women’s rights. She famously wore pants and advocated for “dress reform.” She was arrested in New Orleans in 1870 because she was dressed like a man ..."


March 22, 2021: Susan B. Anthony

Legacy: "Susan B. Anthony was the first woman in America depicted on a coin. ... Suffragette Susan B. Anthony spent the majority of her life fighting for women's right to vote and other libertie ... Anthony spent her life working for women’s rights. In 1888, she helped to merge the two largest suffrage associations into one, the National American Women’s Suffrage Association. She led ...Champion of temperance, abolition, the rights of labor, and equal pay for equal work, Susan Brownell Anthony became one of the most visible leaders of the women’s suffrage movement. Along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she traveled around the country delivering speeches in favor of women's suffrage ...[Anthony ans Stanton] formed the National Woman Suffrage Association, to push for a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote ... In 1872, Anthony was arrested for voting ..."


March 19, 2021: Belva A. Lockwood

Legacy: "Blazing the Trail for Women in Law...Lockwood rejected dependency, for herself and for other women, and did not hesitate to confront the male establishment that kept women from voting and from professional advancement. She began practicing law in Washington only after fending off the "growl" of the young men of the National University Law School, who declared they would not graduate with a woman...when the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court refused to admit her to its bar, stating, "none but men are permitted to practice before [us] as attorneys and counselors," she single-handedly lobbied Congress until that body passed "An Act to relieve certain legal disabilities of women,"...On March 3, 1879, on the motion of Washington attorney Albert G. Riddle, who had long been her champion, she became the first woman admitted to the Supreme Court bar, sworn in amidst "a bating of breath and craning of necks." A year later, she argued Kaiser v. Stickney before the high court, the first woman lawyer to do so....she was inducted...Lockwood was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.


March 18, 2021: Arabella Mansfield

Legacy: "Arabella Mansfield became the first woman lawyer in the United States when she passed the bar examination in Henry County in 1869. Born in 1846, she did not attend law school but studied for two years in her brother's law office in Mount Pleasant to prepare for the exam. She was also a pioneer in the Iowa suffrage movement, chairing the first Iowa Suffrage Association state convention in 1870. She was the group's first secretary and campaigned for equal educational opportunities for women as well as voting rights ..."


March 17, 2021: Harriet Tubman

Legacy: "Known as the “Moses of her people,” Harriet Tubman was enslaved, escaped, and helped others gain their freedom as a “conductor" of the Underground Railroad. Tubman also served as a scout, spy, guerrilla soldier, and nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War. She is considered the first African American woman to serve in the military ... After the war, Tubman raised funds to aid freedmen, joined Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in their quest for women’s suffrage ...Tubman died in 1913 and was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York."


March 16, 2021: Amelia Earhart

Legacy: "... in her brief life, Amelia Earhart became a record-breaking female aviator whose international fame improved public acceptance of aviation and paved the way for other women in commercial flight ... Earhart’s life changed dramatically in 1928, when publisher George Putnam—seeking to expand on public enthusiasm for Charles Lindbergh’s transcontinental flight a year earlier—tapped Earhart to become the first woman to cross the Atlantic by plane. ... Earhart became a media sensation and symbol of what women could achieve ... On June 1, 1937, she left Miami with navigator Fred Noonan, seeking to become the first woman to fly around the world ..."


March 15, 2021: Katharine Graham

Legacy: "When Katharine Graham, known as “Kay,” took over leadership of The Washington Company in 1972, she became the first woman to be CEO of a Fortune 500 Company. Under her leadership, The Washington Post flourished and famously broke the story of the Watergate scandal to the world ..."

"The renowned publisher Katharine Graham took over the management of the Washington Post after the death of her husband. She quickly guided the Post to national prominence while expanding her publishing empire ..."


March 12, 2021: Rosa Parks

Legacy: "Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist who refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her defiance sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Its success launched nationwide efforts to end racial segregation of public facilities ..."


March 11, 2021: Maggie Lena Walker

Legacy: "... Maggie Lena Walker was the first Black woman in the nation to organize and run a bank. And she did it in the segregated South in the former capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia ... Maggie Lena Walker was born on July 15, 1864, to Elizabeth “Lizzie” Draper, a formerly enslaved woman, and Eccles Cuthbert, an Irish-born Confederate soldier and nurse. Draper and Cuthbert were never in a long-term relationship. After the abolition of slavery, Draper cared for her family by working as a laundress ..."


March 10, 2021: Alice Paul

Legacy: "Suffragist Alice Paul dedicated her life's work to women's rights and was a key figure in the push for the 19th Amendment ... 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 as a result of the protests ..."


March 9, 2021: Mary Whiton Calkins

Legacy: ...Mary Whiton Calkins was among the very first generation of American psychologists. In 1905 she served as the first female President of the American Psychological Association and in 1908 was ranked twelfth on a 1908 list of the top 50 psychologists in the country ..."


March 8, 2021: Sally Ride

Legacy: "... Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. She made her journey into history on June 18, 1983. Throughout her life, Dr. Ride broke barriers and worked to ensure that girls and women were encouraged to do the same ..."


March 5, 2021: Madam C.J. Walker

Legacy: "... Madam C. J. Walker (1867-1919) was the first Black woman millionaire in America ... Born Sarah Breedlove to parents who had been enslaved, she was inspired to create her hair products after an experience with hair loss, which led to the creation of the “Walker system” of hair care ... The self-made millionaire used her fortune to fund scholarships for women at the Tuskegee Institute and donated large parts of her wealth to the NAACP, the Black YMCA and other charities ..."


March 4, 2021: Jeannette Rankin

Legacy: "In November 1916, four years before the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteed the right of women to vote, Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to the United States Congress...Rankin was also a tireless activist who worked to expand voting rights for women, to ensure better working conditions for laborers across America, and to improve health care for women and infants. Ultimately, she was a pathbreaker. “I may be the first woman member of Congress,” Rankin observed in 1917. 'But I won’t be the last.'..."


March 3, 2021: Sojourner Truth

Legacy: "... Sojourner Truth was an African American abolitionist and women's rights activist best-known for her speech on racial inequalities, "Ain't I a Woman?", delivered extemporaneously in 1851 at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention ... Truth was born into slavery but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. She devoted her life to the abolitionist cause and helped to recruit Black troops for the Union Army. Although Truth began her career as an abolitionist, the reform causes she sponsored were broad and varied, including prison reform, property rights and universal suffrage ..."


March 2, 2021: Elizabeth Blackwell

 

Legacy: "... Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to graduate from medical school in the United States. She became a leading public health activist during her lifetime ... Elizabeth Blackwell was a British physician and the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States. As a girl, she moved with her family to the United States, where she first worked as a teacher. Despite widespread opposition, she later decided to attend medical college and graduated first in her class ..."


March 1, 2021: Harriet Robinson Scott

Legacy: "... Harriet Robinson Scott could not have known that her legal fight for freedom, first started when she was about thirty in 1846, would eventually contribute to civil war and the end of slavery in America. Her decision to file a suit for freedom and to stay with it until its final conclusion were acts of high courage and determination ..."


 

 

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