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The Mirabal Sisters

While under the tyranny of a corrupt dictatorship, three brave sisters – Minerva, Patria and Maria Mirabal – set out to create a safe, just world for the people of the Dominican Republic. The Mirabal Sisters, who called themselves “Las Mariposas” (“The Butterflies”), resisted the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo and participated in clandestine acts against his political reign. They were assassinated on his orders on November 25, 1960, which turned them into folk legends and symbols of the power of feminine resistance. November 25th was chosen as the International Day For The Elimination of Violence Against Women to commemorate the day of their assassination. These brave women grew up in a middle-class family on a farm in the Dominican Republic. They were intelligent, college-educated women who went on to marry and have families of their own, in addition to their political activities. Due in part to the influence of their…

Oprah Winfrey

There simply is no way to talk about women in media without talking about the incomparable Oprah Winfrey. Breaking every stereotype, Oprah Winfrey has seen an extraordinary rise from newscaster to talk show host to producer to media mogul. Often called the Queen of All Media, she’s also an actress and producer. A few of the firsts Miss Winfrey has achieved: only multi-billionaire African American woman youngest news anchor WLAC-TV in Nashville first black female news anchor at WLAC-TV Talk Show Host The Oprah Winfrey Show premiered in 1986. Originally styled along the lines of a tabloid talk show, Winfrey was instrumental in steering The Oprah Winfrey Show to more respected programming. The show began tackling topics like breast cancer and domestic violence and conducting A-list celebrity interviews. The Oprah Winfrey Show launched the careers of prominent guests including Dr. Phil McGraw and Iyanla Vanzant. Book Club Oprah’s Book Club…

Women’s Equality Day

The first petition for the national holiday, Women’s Equality Day, was made in 1971 when New York Congresswoman and Democratic Representative, Bella Abzug, successfully petitioned Congress to set August 26th aside as a designated holiday. August 26th was specifically selected to coincide with the 19th constitutional amendment that gave women the right to vote. Women’s Equality Day further commemorates the Women’s Strike for Equality that was held on the same date in 1970, marking the 50th anniversary of the successful ratification of women’s suffrage. The first official celebration of Women’s Equality Day was held on August 26, 1973. Women’s Equality Day celebrates more than women’s right to cast their vote in all US governmental elections. It also celebrates the plethora of contributions women have made to society and to this country. In 1973, then President Richard Nixon stated, “The struggle for women’s suffrage, however, was only the first step toward…

Angelica Hale and Eva Bolando

Angelica Hale is taking America by storm with her amazing voice and spunky stage presence. Angelica won the hearts of the judges and audience members on the hit TV show, America’s Got Talent, singing a stirring rendition of Andra Day’s, Rise Up. There’s more to this pint-sized voice than mere power and poise, though. Audra is a survivor of a bacterial lung infection that quickly escalated and developed into double pneumonia. The pneumonia caused her to become septic and nearly claimed her life when she was a mere four years old. Left with severely destroyed kidneys, Angelica was placed on life-support for two weeks. After spending that time in intensive care and a total of eighty days in the hospital, the preschooler finally went home to her family. Her struggle for a life of normalcy continued over the next year and a half as she underwent hemodialysis followed by…

Celebrating Women – All Year Long

Women have made significant contributions toward making society what it is today. In the US, UK, and Australia, Women’s History Month acknowledges and celebrates these contributions. In 1911, the first International Women’s Day was held. In 1978, the Sonoma, California School District spawned the first Women’s History Week, commencing annually on March 8th. In 1979, Sarah Lawrence College hosted a two-week conference centered on women’s history. When its participants were informed of the success of the Sonoma County’s Women’s History Week celebration, they started similar commemorations in their organizations and school districts. Women’s History Week became a national day of celebration in the US in 1980 when then President Jimmy Carter, issued a presidential proclamation reading, in part, “From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women…

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys, is a singer, songwriter, producer, and actress. Born in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, she is an only child of mixed racial heritage. Her mother is Italian, Scottish, and Irish, while her father is African American. Keys’ parents separated when she was a toddler and she was raised by her single mother. Determined to show her daughter a better life, Alicia’s mother enrolled her in music and dance classes. Her aptitude for classic music had her playing classic pieces by Beethoven and Chopin at the age of twelve. As a teen, she attended the prestigious Professional Performing Arts School, where she started writing songs at fourteen. She graduated as valedictorian of her class. Soon after her high school graduation, Keys briefly attended Columbia University. Soon after she resigned from the school to focus on her musical career, she met Jeff Robinson, who went on to become her manager. He introduced…

Susan Burton

Susan Burton is an amazing woman who proves that no matter what life throws your way, you can overcome it! She’s proof that it’s never too late to recreate yourself, improve your future, and create a life you’ll love living! Born and raised in the projects of East Los Angeles, her childhood was harrowing and full of challenges. She was further devastated in her young adulthood when her five-year-old son was accidentally struck and killed by a police car. Devastated by the loss of her son, Burton turned to drugs to alleviate her grief and was eventually arrested and convicted for her use of crack cocaine. She became addicted to crack cocaine while struggling through the grief process with no therapy in an underprivileged, disadvantaged community. Burton went on to spend most of the 1980s and 90s in and out of jail. She was arrested and confined to jail or…

Sherri Dickson

Sherri Dickson is an amazing woman. Most women consider their childbearing years over by the time they reach their fiftieth birthday. In fact, they’re often into the joys of being a doting, grandmother by that time. Being a grandmother comes with a special set of privileges. It has many of the same joys of motherhood without the months of heartburn, extra weight, stretchmarks, diaper duty, and terrible twos. That’s part of what makes Sherri such an exceptional woman. Amazingly, Sherri gave birth – to her own granddaughter. Not only that, she did so while battling multiple sclerosis, a debilitating autoimmune disease that wreaks havoc on the central nervous system. Sherri’s daughter, Mandy Stephens, looked forward to having children soon after her marriage in 2013. The couple was heartbroken to learn that natural conception wasn’t working for them. Stephens eventually became pregnant, but miscarried the baby boy they had decided to…

Margaret H. Woodward

Margaret H. Woodward is a decorated member of the United States Air Force. Born in 1960, Woodward was raised in India and Pakistan, where her father was employed by the US Agency for International Development. Her family later relocated to California. She went on to graduate from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering. She then attended Air Command and Staff College at Air University. Woodward went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Aviation Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. A great believer in education, she earned a second Master’s Degree in National Security Strategy from National War College. Woodward joined the US Air Force the year after obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree. She spent the majority of her military career refueling aircraft. While she was growing up in Pakistan, she dreamed of one day flying an aircraft. She was saddened an annoyed when…

Malala Yousafzai

The youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for the education of girls and women. In a culture where girls were at one time banned from attending school, Malala’s efforts at education reform for girls has become an international movement. Injuries she suffered in 2012 following an assassination attempt by a Taliban gunman, ignited an outpouring of support for Malala and her cause. Dubbed the most famous teenager in the world, she used the ensuing fame to become a rising activist for the education of women and girls. Her story is chronicled in the documentary, He Named Me Malala. Other notable achievements include: Named one of Time magazine’s Most Influential Global People from 2013 to 2015 Received Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize in 2012 Was the co-recipient, along with Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 Of Sunni Muslim decent, Malala was named after…