March is Women’s History Month, and this March, we are highlighting many amazing women who have made a tremendous impact on our world!
Daisy was a sexual assault advocate who starred in the 2016 documentary, Audrie and Daisy. This powerful documentary explores Daisy’s experience of sexual assault at a party when she was 14 years old. After the assault and trial, Daisy attended Missouri Valley College. As she began healing from her own assault and PTSD, Daisy began to advocate for others with similar experiences.
Daisy and her brother, Charlie, began to advocate all around America for sexual assault survivors. Daisy co-founded an organization called SafeBae (Before Anyone Else). SafeBae is a non-profit organization working towards their goal of ending sexual assault in schools around the country. Daisy used her experiences to help advocate for survivors around the country, and she has inspired so many others to do the same!
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Ruth was born in 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. She would go on to teach at Rutgers University Law School and then at Columbia University, where
she became its first female tenured professor. She served as the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union during the 1970s during which she argued six landmark cases on gender equality before the U.S. Supreme Court. She was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1980.
In 1993, Ruth was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton. She continued to argue for gender equality and believed that all groups were entitled to equal rights, regardless of gender. One of the cases she won before the Supreme Court involved a portion of the Social Security Act that favored women over men because it granted certain benefits to widows but not widowers.
During her 27 years of serving the Supreme Court, Ruth continued to dedicate her tenure to women’s rights issues and gender equality. During the election year of 2020, she became popular with the younger generation and was recognized for her actions. She is also portrayed in a 2019 movie, RBG.
Kamala Devi Harris was born on October 20th, 1964, in Oakland, California. She is the daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father. In 1989, Kamala graduated from Howard University with a law degree. She worked as a deputy district attorney during the 90s in Oakland where she earned a reputation for toughness as she prosecuted cases of gang violence, drug trafficking, and sexual abuse. Kamala rose through the ranks, becoming district attorney in 2004. In 2010, she was elected attorney general of California. This made Kamala the first female and the first African American to hold the post.
In early 2015, Kamala declared her candidacy for a seat in the senate, and on the campaign trail she called for immigration and criminal-justice reforms, increases to the minimum wage, and protection of women’s reproductive rights. She won the election in an almost landslide in California and became the first Indian American in the Senate and the second Black woman!
In the early part of 2019, Kamala announced her decision to run for the presidential nomination for the 2020 presidential election. During the campaign, she had multiple head to head arguments with former Vice President Joe Biden during a primary debate over his opposition to school busing in the 1970s and ’80s, among other race-related topics. Even though she seemed popular in the race, Kamala didn’t make the nomination.
In August of 2020, Biden chose Kamala as his VP, and she became the first Black woman to appear on a major party’s national ticket. This past November, she became the first Black, South Asian woman to be elected vice president of the United States. Some of her moments in the campaign trail are popular memes. The latest new craze of memes is her reaction to finding out that she and Joe Biden had won the presidency!
Mae C. Jemison
Mae C. Jemison is an American astronaut and physician. On June 4, 1987, she became the first African American woman to be admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program. Mae was born on October 17, 1956, in Decatur, Alabama. She is the youngest child of Charlie Jemison, a roofer and carpenter, and Dorothy Jemison, an elementary school teacher. Her parents were very supportive of her throughout her highschool and college career.
Mae graduated from Stanford with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the university in 1977. In 1981, Mae also gained her MD, later interning at University of Southern California Medical Center and working as a general practitioner.
In 1985, Mae made a career change and decided to follow a dream she had nurtured for a long time: becoming an astronaut. Mae applied for admission to NASA’s astronaut training program and was accepted! On September 12, 1992, Jemison finally flew into space with six other astronauts aboard the Endeavour on mission STS47, becoming the first African American woman in space. In recognition of her accomplishments, Mae has received several awards and honorary doctorates.
Dr. Sally Ride
Sally Kristen Ride was born on May 26, 1951, in Encino, California to Carol Joyce and Dale Burdell Ride. In 1973, she received a Bachelor of Science in physics and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford. She would then continue to study at Stanford and earn her Master of Science and doctorate degrees in physics in 1975 and 1978.
In 1977, NASA began a search for young scientists to serve on future space flights by putting ads in local newspapers. Sally answered one of those ads that same year. Sally joined 4 other women for NASAs class of ‘78 astronauts. Sally was one of five crewmembers aboard the space shuttle Challenger STS-7 (not the Challenger that crashed). On June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman in space, and the youngest American in space. While in space, Sally was the flight engineer. She conducted experiments, launched two communication satellites and operated the shuttle’s mechanical arm.
In a 2008 interview, Sally began to reminisce, “On launch day, there was so much excitement and so much happening around us in crew quarters, even on the way to the launch pad, I didn’t really think about it that much at the time—but I came to appreciate what an honor it was to be selected to be the first to get a chance to go into space.”
Article by Jasmine Adams