originally posted on www.WhattheFlicka.com by Erin K. Moffat
Long before Katy Perry roared, a singer by the name of Helen Reddy wrote a song called “I Am Woman.” The messages in both songs are similar: we all have a voice, and have the right to use it.
In this clip, Helen Reddy explains, that in 1975 the United Nations declared it National Women’s Year, and had chosen this song as the theme. How awesome is that? Check out Bryanne Salazar’s article from last year for more cool facts about the history of National Women’s History Month.
I’ve been researching women in history, and women making strides today. It brought back memories of when I was in elementary school and learned about Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Rosa Parks.
Here are a few women past who were movers and shakers of their time…
Angela Isadora Duncan was the pioneer of modern dance, and cultivated what she called the dance of the future; dancing to the sound of the ocean waves. She was the first American dancer to develop a philosophy of the dance tossing out the ballet slipper, and instead dancing barefoot. She was born in California but toured the United States, as well as throughout Europe. She mentored a group of young dancers dubbed “The Isadorables.” She was known for her simple Grecian costumes, forgetting the frills of dance that came before implying that the dancer was enough. She was also known for wearing long flowing scarves. Coincidentally, not only was there tragedy in her life, but her death was quite tragic as well. Duncan died in France, when a scarf she was wearing got caught in an open-spoked wheel of the motorcar that she was riding in.
For more information on Isadora Duncan click here.
Jovita Idár was born in Texas, and became a teacher who advocated for the rights of Mexican-Americans. She became a political activist, and civil rights worker using her skills as an educator to become the first president of the League of Mexican Women (La Liga Femenil Mexicanista) which was an organization that offered free education to Mexican children who were dedicated to fighting inequality and racism. Its mission: “unify the Mexican intellectuals of Texas around the issues of protection of civil rights, bilingual education, lynching of Mexicans, labor organizing and women’s concerns. She later became a journalist founding a newspaper, and co-editing a journal.
Zora Neale Hurston
Zora Neale Hurston was a folklorist, anthropologist, novelist, and short story writer who is known for writing the book Their Eyes Were Watching God. She is considered to be the influence on many other writers. While she was a student at Howard University, she co-founded the school newspaper The Hilltop. She transferred to Barnard College after receiving a scholarship, and became the only black student at the time. After she graduated from Barnard she went on to study anthropology at Columbia University. Her former home is a National Historic Landmark.
Some women trailblazers of our time include Oprah, Gloria Steinem, Maya Angelou, Carole King, Marlo Thomas, and Michelle Obama. Here are a few more:
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani woman who is a children, and women’s rights activist who campaigns for the right for women to receive an education. In attempt to silence her she was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in 2012 when she was just 15. She said “I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right.” Malala has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in both 2013 and 2014.
To learn more about Malala Yousafzai and her campaign click here.
Liu Yang is a Chinese Air Force Major, a veteran pilot and astronaut, and became the first Chinese woman in space when she served on the mission Shenzhou 9. Recognized for her public speaking ability she recently spoke at the first ever Wellesley College and Peking University Women’s Leadership: Making a Difference conference in June 2013 in Beijing, China.
Nicole Hockley is the mother of Dylan Hockley who was autistic, and was said to flap when he got excited calling himself a beautiful butterfly. He was one of the 26 lives taken on 12/14/12 in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. Finding a way to find hope through her tragedy by establishing and working with several non-profit foundations or charities in her son’s honor; The Dylan Hockley Fund, and Dylan’s Wings of Change which website states is “dedicated to the legacy of Dylan Hockley and a commitment to helping children with autism and other related conditions realize their full potential.” As well as serving as the Communications Director of the Sandy Hook Promise which is a non-profit committed to raising awareness about gun safety and responsibility, and making the changes necessary to prevent gun violence in our communities. Dylan Hockley would have been 8 years old on March 8th, on his birthday the Sandy Hook Promise posted this quote “It has been said that a butterfly flapping his wings can cause a hurricane halfway around the world. And if one butterfly can cause a hurricane 26 butterflies can change the world.”
Sheryl Sandberg is a graduate of Harvard University Business School, and the COO of Facebook. In 2012 she became the first female member of Facebook’s Board of Directors, and was named in Time Magazines Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She has not only been ranked one of the 50 “Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune Magazine but in 2007, she was the youngest woman on the list when she ranked at number 29. She is also serves as Board Member of many organizations including; The Walt Disney Company, Women for Women International, and the Center for Global Development. As well as V-Day: A Global Movement to End Violence Against Women and Girls the inspiration came from Eve Ensler’s play, The Vagina Monologues. More recently, her organization Lean In, teamed up with The Girl Scouts of America for a What The Flicka favorite organization, Ban Bossy. Sheryl Sandberg is also the mother of 2. Now that’s quite a Momtrepreneurright there!
Ironically enough I actually asked my Facebook friends what women that they felt were making a difference in the world today. My friend, a teacher said “Honestly, my current heroes are the women I see daily.” We pave the way for each other, we need to champion that. The steps we take matter, even if they’re baby steps, and the impression that we make on an everyday basis. Did you know that who you are makes a difference? #Roar
“Make-believe colors the past with innocent distortion, and it swirls ahead of us in a thousand ways-in science, in politics, in every bold intention. It is part of our collective lives, entwining our past and our future … a particularly rewarding aspect of life itself.” –Shirley Temple Black
Here are some links to classroom activities and if you want to learn more about National Women’s History Month: