Sunday, March 2, 2014

Celebrating Character, Courage & Commitment

Do you know about the National Women's History Project?

Each year they pick a theme that celebrates the lives and experiences of women.  For 2014, the theme is "Celebrating Character, Courage & Commitment." 

Here's a few of their honorees.  (The full list can be found here.)

Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (1858 – 1964)
African American Educator and Author
Anna J. Cooper was an author, educator, speaker, and among the leading 
intellectuals of her time. Born into enslavement, she wrote "A Voice from 
the South," widely considered one of the first articulations of Black feminism. 
Throughout her long life, Anna worked for the betterment of 
African American women’s lives, which she saw as the foundation 
for a more just society for everyone. Cooper worked at Washington D.C.’s
M Street -- now Dunham High School for nearly 40 years, focusing 
the all black high school on preparing students for higher education, 
successfully sending many students to prestigious universities.

Frances Oldham Kelsey (1914 – Present)
Pharmacologist and
Public Health Activist  
Frances Oldham Kelsey as the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 
 pharmacologist refused to approve thalidomide, a drug that was 
later proved to cause severe birth defects.  Kelsey required scientific rigor for all her 
clinical trials as well as ongoing oversight of drug testing at the FDA.   
In addition, her research led Congress to pass the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act greatly strengthening drug regulations by the FDA.  
Dr. Kelsey continued her work at the FDA until her retirement in 2005 
at age 91. In 2010 the FDA established the Frances Kelsey Award, 
an annual award given to a staff member for their 
commitment to scientific rigor.
Tammy Duckworth (1968 – Present)
Member of Congress and Iraq War Veteran
Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Representative from Illinois, is an
Iraq War veteran and former Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
In 2014, she became the first disabled woman elected to serve in the
House of Representatives. 
Duckworth has a strong record advocating and implementing
improvements to veteran’s services.
In 2004, she was deployed to Iraq as a
Blackhawk helicopter pilot.  She was one of the first Army women
to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom
until her helicopter was hit by an RPG on November 12 2004.
She lost her legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion
and was subsequently awarded a Purple Heart for her combat injuries.
What other women do you know that illustrate Character, courage, and Commitment?

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