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Five BIPOC womxn you need to know

In honor of Women’s History Month, each week Culturas will be sharing five womxn of color who are noteworthy.

This week focuses on historical figures that history brushes over.

Dolores Huerta

Courtesy of Dolores Huerta Foundation

Dolores Clara Fernandez Huerta is best known for her work as an American labor leader and civil rights activist. Huerta was born April 10, 1930, in Dawson, New Mexico. 

She co-founded the United Farmworkers Association (UFW). Huerta  was honored with the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She is the first Latina to be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993. 

Huerta  also coined the phrase “Si, se puede,” which roughly means “Yes, it can be done.” It became the rallying cry and motto of UFW. In California, April 10 is celebrated as Dolores Huerta Day. 

Barbara Jordan

Courtesy of Austin Independent School District

Barbara Charline Jordan was a lawyer, educator and politician. Jordan was born in Houston, Texas February 21, 1936.

She was a leader during the Civil Rights Movement and the first African American elected to the Texas Senate post Reconstruction. A notable moment in her career was her opening statement at President Richard Nixon’s impeachment hearings. She was the first African American as well as the first woman to deliver a keynote address at the 1976 Democratic National Convention. 

Wilma Mankiller

Courtesy of The Wilma Mankiller Foundation

Wilma Pearl Mankiller was an American Cherokee activist, social worker and first woman to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Mankiller was born November 18, 945 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. 

Eleven-year-old Mankiller and her family were relocated to San Francisco as part of the Indian Relocation Act of 1956, which was an effort to remove Natives from their reservations to assimilate. 

Mankiller returned to Oklahoma to become the economic stimulus coordinator for the Cherokee nation. She created the Community Development Department of the Cherokee Nation. During her time serving as Principal Chief, Mankiller established education initiatives, health clinics and job training programs. She was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton in 1998. 

Coretta Scott King

 

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Coretta Scott King was an American author, civil rights activist and wife of Martin Luther King Jr. She was born April 27, 1927, in Heiberger, Alabama.

King was also a singer and incorporated music in activism. After the assassination of her husband, King took on a leadership role in the fight for racial equality. She joined forces with the Women’s movement and founded the King Center. Her advocacy spread past racial injustice, to LGBTQ rights and opposing apartheid. She worked to mobilize African American voters in the 1960 election. She is also known as  the “First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement,” and is honored in the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Grace Lee Boggs

Courtesy of American Revolution

Grace Lee Boggs was a social activist, American author and philosopher. Boggs was born to Chinese immigrants on June 27th, 1915 in Providence, Rhode Island. 

Her activism was born in Chicago when she got involved with the Workers Party. She participated in the 1941 March on Washington, advocating for marginalized groups and women of color. Bogg’s philosophy rejects stereotypical expectations of a capitalist society. 

“You cannot change any society unless you take responsibility for it, unless you see yourself as belonging to it and responsible for changing it,” Boggs said. 

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Sophia Ungaro
Sophia Rose Ungaro is Culturas resident writing intern. Ungaro hails from San Pedro, California. Growing up with a Navajo/Meztizo mother and a Sicilian father has given Ungaro a unique perspective on the world. In 2021 Ungaro will graduate from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Journalism. Her beats are race, pop culture, and entertainment.
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