International Women’s History Month!

PINC is celebrating International Women’s History Month and since we are coming off of Black History Month, and we’re going to celebrate our nation’s most influential African-American Women past and present.

Rosa Parks, February 4, 1913-October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks

“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true…No the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” –R. Parks

Born in Tuskegee, Alabama, Rosa Parks is often noted as the ‘First Lady of Civil Rights.’ She became an icon of the civil rights movement after her refusal to give up her seat for a white passenger, spurring the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her actions of civil disobedience helped to lead to the Browder v. Gayle federal ruling, which rendered Montgomery bus laws or segregation unconstitutional. Rosa Parks continued to actively work as a leader of the civil rights movement, working closely with the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and civil rights organizations such as the NAACP.

Maya Angelou, April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014

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“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” –M. Angelou

Originally born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, Maya Angelou is known to be one of the most renowned and influential African-American writers of our time.  Her powerful story of her struggle through abuse and prostitution all perpetuate her poetic voice and insight, with one of her most emotionally raw publications, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings eventually propelling her to a state of national recognition. She was an active member of the Civil Rights movement, working with both Dr. King and Malcolm X. She is the author of a seven-series autobiography, as well as several essay and renowned poetry works, and continued on as a writer and political activist until her death in 2014.

Oprah Winfrey, January 29, 1954-Present

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“It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” –O. Winfrey

Born to humble beginnings in Kosciusko, Mississippi, Oprah Winfrey rose to become one of the most influential media moguls and television personalities of our time. She was the host of the famous Oprah Winfrey Show, a series that attracted hundreds of authors, singers, actors, and other influential personnel, as well as holding a viewer audience encompassing millions.  She is the founder and CEO of herleading Harpo Productions and Oprah Winfrey Network, her multilateral career also includes multiple movie roles, her most famous being her role as the character Sofia in The Color Purple, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award, and, more recently, The Butler and Selma, both movies encompassing the pinnacle of the African American Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. She has topped the Forbes list multiple times, having been named the wealthiest and most influential African-American figures, with a recent net worth comprising of $3Billion. Though her award-winning Oprah Winfrey Show ended in September of 2011, she continues to serve as an innovative media mogul and leading philanthropist.

 

Michelle Obama, January 17, 1964-Present

 

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“When you’ve hard, done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give folks the same chances that helped you succeed.” –M. Obama

Born in Chicago, Illinois as Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, the present Michelle Obama is much more than just a leading First Lady. Though Mrs. and President Obama made history as the first African-American President and First Lady, her own personal career is a force to be reckoned with. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. After corporate law she entered a career in public service shortly before her marriage to President Obama, and began working as assistant to the Chicago Mayor at the time. She eventually ascended to the position of assistant commissioner of planning and development, and was then named executive director of the Public Allies Chicago sector. In 2002, she became an executive director for the University of Chicago Hospitals, eventually becoming vice president on the board of the Chicago council of Global Affairs and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Aside from a successful career, Mrs. Obama has also managed to maintain a balanced family life, supporting her husband’s two presidential campaigns while also managing her duties as the First Lady and, most importantly, a wonderful mother and role model.

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