Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a champion of gender equality. She started out her career as an attorney, judge, and then a Justice of the Supreme Court. She graduated top of her class from Columbia and became the first person on both Harvard and Columbia Law Review. Justice Ginsburg fought for pay equality for herself and her fellow professors, and gender based discrimination. She co-founded the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. She not only fought for women’s rights but for the LGBTQ community, undocumented people, and disabled people.
Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928)
“We are here, not because we are lawbreakers; we are here in our efforts to be law-makers.” Pankhurst was a strong-willed leader in the Women’s Franchise League and later the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). SHe fought for women’s right to vote in the UK and her efforts were not in vain because in the year of her death, British women were finally granted the right to vote.
Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
Frida Kahlo became one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century, but many don’t know she spent much of her early life bedridden in pain with polio. During her long recovery from a horrific bus accident when she was 18, she discovered her love of art. She created a unique style that is recognized around the world now. She was one of only 35 girls enrolled in Mexico City’s National Preparatory School. At this school she became involved in the school’s political and artistic circles. She became passionate about her Mexican identity and this greatly influenced her art.
Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
Maya Angelou was an actress, dancer, and journalist. She is recognized as one of the most important women in modern American literature. Due to horrific childhood sexual abuse and trauma, Angeloou was unable to speak for many years. She found her voice through her writing. She played a part in the civil rights movement and was friends with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.. She wrote an autobiography called “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” where she speaks on her experience as a young Black woman in America.