Our Feminists

Our Feminists

A few of the women who inspired this project. Have a hero you'd like to see included? Email us at hello@beontherightsideofhistory.org

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Anita Hill

An American attorney and academic. She is a university professor of social policy, law, and women's studies at Brandeis University and a faculty member of Brandeis' Heller School for Social Policy and Management. She became a national figure in 1991 when she accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, her supervisor, of sexual harassment. Over the years, Hill has provided commentary on gender and race issues. In 1995 she co-edited Race, Gender and Power in America: The Legacy of the Hill-Thomas Hearings. In 1997 Hill published her autobiography, Speaking Truth to Power, in which she chronicled her role in the confirmation controversy and wrote that creating a better society had been a motivating force in her life. On December 16, 2017, the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace was formed, selecting Hill to lead its charge against sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A Nigerian novelist who’s published the novels Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah, The Thing Around Your Neck, and the book-length essay: We Should All Be Feminists. In 2008, Adichie was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant. Her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, was published in March 2017. Adichie has extensively discussed publicly what it means to be a feminist, drawing attention to the structural injustices experienced by women around the world. In 2013 Adichie was listed among New Africa’s “100 Most Influential Africans” and in 2015 as one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A Nigerian novelist who’s published the novels Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah, The Thing Around Your Neck, and the book-length essay: We Should All Be Feminists. In 2008, Adichie was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant. Her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, was published in March 2017. Adichie has extensively discussed publicly what it means to be a feminist, drawing attention to the structural injustices experienced by women around the world. In 2013 Adichie was listed among New Africa’s “100 Most Influential Africans” and in 2015 as one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”.

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Hillary Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton is an American politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker. She served as the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, U.S. Senator from 2001 to 2009, 67th United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, and as the Democratic Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election. While First Lady, Hillary chaired the Task Force on Health Care Reform which ultimately laid the groundwork for the Affordable Care Act. In 1994 she championed the Violence Against Women Act, providing financial assistance to programs aimed at stopping domestic and sexual violence. Through her public persona and unforgiving ambitions, Hillary has demonstrated that women belong in politics, opening the door for a new generation of women.

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Gloria Allred

An American women's rights attorney known for taking high-profile and often controversial cases, particularly those involving the protection of women's rights. Most recently, Allred has represented the sexual assault victims of Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, and Roy Moore. In 2018 she was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Organization for Women (NOW) for her enduring commitment to fighting injustices against women. Gloria’s fearless and self assured approach to civil rights has made her a leader and hero to women around the world.

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Michelle Obama

An American lawyer, university administrator, and writer who served as the First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the 44th U.S. President, Barack Obama, and was the first African-American First Lady. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, Obama is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. As First Lady, Obama served as a role model for women, and worked as an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity and healthy eating. Since leaving the White House, Michelle has continued to advocate for nutrition, education, and women’s rights. Her memoir Becoming was released November, 2018.

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Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke is an African-American civil rights activist from The Bronx, New York who founded the Me Too movement. In 2006, Burke began using the phrase "Me Too" to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual abuse and assault in society, and the phrase developed into a broader movement, following the 2017 use of #MeToo as a hashtag following the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations. Time named Burke, among a group of other prominent activists, "the silence breakers", as the Time Person of the Year for 2017. Burke attends public speaking events across the country and is currently Senior Director at Girls for Gender Equity in Brooklyn.

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Gloria Steinem

An American feminist, journalist, and social political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader and a spokeswoman for the American feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Steinem was a columnist for New York magazine, and a co-founder of Ms. magazine. In 1969, Steinem published an article, "After Black Power, Women's Liberation", which brought her to national fame as a feminist leader. In 2005, Steinem, Jane Fonda, and Robin Morgan co-founded the Women's Media Center, an organization that works "to make women visible and powerful in the media". To this day, Steinem travels internationally as an organizer and lecturer, and is a media spokeswoman on issues of equality.

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Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. She was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of black culture. Her books center on themes such as racism, identity, family and travel.

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Betty Friedan

A leading figure in the women's movement in the United States, her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique is often credited with sparking the second wave of American feminism. In 1966, Friedan co-founded the National Organization for Women (NOW), which aimed to bring women "into the mainstream of American society now in fully equal partnership with men." In 1970, Friedan organized the nationwide Women's Strike for Equality. The march in New York City alone attracted over 50,000 people. In 1971, Friedan joined other leading feminists to establish the National Women's Political Caucus. Friedan was also a strong supporter of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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Christine Blasey Ford

An American professor of psychology at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine. In September 2018, Ford publicly alleged that then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. She testified about her allegations during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination later that month. Although her testimony did not stop the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, Blasey Ford’s strength was an inspiration and a source of strength for women around the world. In 2018 Time magazine included Ford on its shortlist for Person of the Year.

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Dolores Huerta

An American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Cesar Chavez, is a co-founder of the United Farm Workers. Huerta helped organize the Delano grape strike in 1965 in California and was the lead negotiator in the workers' contract that was created after the strike. Huerta has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for workers', immigrants', and women's rights, including the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American Award, the United States Presidential Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was the first Latina inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, in 1993. Huerta is the originator of the phrase, Sí, se puede and is a role model to many in the Latino community.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg

An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She is the second female justice (after Sandra Day O'Connor) of four to be confirmed to the court. Ginsburg spent a considerable part of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women's rights, winning multiple victories arguing before the Supreme Court. Ginsburg has received attention in American popular culture; dubbed the "Notorious R.B.G."

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Angela Davis

An American political activist, academic, and author. She emerged as a prominent counterculture activist in the 1960s working with the Communist Party USA, of which she was a member until 1991, and was briefly involved in the Black Panther Party during the Civil Rights Movement. Davis is a professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in its History of Consciousness Department. She is also a former director of the university's Feminist Studies department. Her research interests are feminism, African-American studies, critical theory, Marxism, popular music, social consciousness, and the philosophy and history of punishment and prisons. She is also the co-founder of Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison–industrial complex.

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Shirley Chisholm

An American politician, educator, and author. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress, representing New York's 12th congressional district for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1972, she became the first black candidate for a major party's nomination for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. In 2015, Chisholm was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Chisholm's speech "For the Equal Rights Amendment", given in 1970, is listed as No. 91 in American Rhetoric's Top 100 Speeches of the 20th Century.

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Malala Yousafzai

A Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. She is known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Her advocacy has grown into an international movement. In 2015, Yousafzai was a subject of the Oscar-shortlisted documentary He Named Me Malala. The 2013, 2014 and 2015 issues of Time magazine featured her as one of the most influential people globally. In 2017, she was awarded honorary Canadian citizenship and became the youngest person to address the House of Commons of Canada. Yousafzai attended Edgbaston High School from 2013 to 2017, and is currently studying for a bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.

Be On The Right Side of History is a non-for-profit design project created with the aim to spread positive messages and unite the fight for equality and women's rights. To get in touch, email hello@beontherightsideofhistory.org
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