It has been a week since the Notorious RBG (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) passed away and as the world celebrates all her accomplishments I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the great women in history who have changed the world’s landscape. Thank you to these women and the countless others who strive to make this a more inclusive world to grow and succeed.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
From law clerk, to professor, to Supreme Court Judge, Justice Ginsburg fought to ensure the values of the 14th Amendment would include equality no matter one’s gender. One of the many ways she opened doors for women was in her speech regarding the case between the United States, the state of Virginia, and the Virginia Military Institute. Both the school and state’s refusal to change the “men only” admission criteria was deemed unconstitutional. Nearly a year later in August 1997 the school admitted their first female cadets.
Once freed from slavery Sojourner Truth made it her life’s work to educate others on the harm of slavery. Her powerful sermons turned speeches were highly regarded as she joined the great Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton in the fight for racial and gender equality. Her work involved aiding those escaping slavery and during the Civil War black soldiers fighting for the Union’s goal to end slavery.
As the first woman in America to achieve a medical degree, Elizabeth Blackwell paved the way for future female health professionals. At the time Blackwell was ready to pursue a license to practice medicine women were not admitted into medical school. She was given the opportunity to attend Geneva College in New York as a practical joke but little did the men who ran the school knew that the joke would be on them. Despite experiences with discrimination Blackwell went on to graduate at the top of her class. Furthering her training in Europe she later returned to New York and opened a clinic for less fortunate women. During the Civil War she worked along side her sister and colleague to train women to aid in the medical care soldiers. Her legacy continues on in the college of medicine established in 1868 and in her educational pursuits thereafter.
Charity Adams Earley
Commanding Officer Charity Adams Earley is mostly notably known for leading the first all female unit in the army during WWII. Her early childhood was spent developing her knowledge in math science, and after college she taught both subjects while acquiring her graduate degree in psychology. In 1942 as the United States prepared forces for a war against Germany and Japan, Earley joined the efforts and began her training in the Women’s Army Corps. Her leadership and hard work throughout her time in the service awarded the highest position a woman could achieve in the army. Once completing her military term she went on to work for the rights of veterans and civil rights of all. In her later years she continued to educate and sat on the board of many organizations set out to teach African Americans how to be leaders among their communities.
There are no words that can express the amount of gratitude these women and so many others who dedicated their lives to right injustice. All we can do is strive each day to continue their work and to teach future generations to surpass their potential.
I am grateful and proud to be a woman. I am grateful for all the woman in my life and all that they have taught me.
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*For more information on these great historical pioneers and other women who have contributed to the prosperity of this country on all fronts check out https://www.womenshistory.org/womens-history.