Women About Biz is proud to introduce to you the 2016 Women's History Month Honorees! Each of these women have contributed to a better world through their tireless efforts and passion to encourage, educate and help others.
Pictured below: Sister Mary madona Ashton, CSJ, Daisy Bates, Sonia Pressman Fuentes, Isabel Gonzalez, Ella Grasso, Suzan Shown Harjo; Judy Hart, Oveta Culp Hobby, Barbara Mikulski, Inez Milholland, Karen Narasaki, Nancy Grace Roman, Bernice Sandler, nadine Smith, Dorothy C Stratton, and Betty Mae 'Pa-Tuth-Kee' Tiger Jumper,
Review more about the 2016 National Women's History Month Honorees below and make sure you visit the Women's History Month Project (click here to vist now!) to read about the honorees in detail!
Source: National Women's History Project
Sister Mary Madonna Ashton, CSJ (1923-Present)
Public Health Leader and Minnesota Commissioner of Health
"Mary Madonna Ashton, CSJ has an impressive Minnesota-based career in public and private service. She served as president and CEO of St. Mary’s Hospital in Minneapolis, State Commissioner of Health under Governor Perpich, and founded St. Mary’s Health Clinics."
Daisy Bates (1912-1999)
Civil Rights Organizer, Leader of the Little Rock School Integration
"Daisy Gatson Bates was a journalist and Civil Rights activist who famously facilitated the 1957 integration of public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. Growing up in southern Arkansas during the early 20th century, Bates experienced first hand the poor conditions and discrimination of the segregated school system. She spent her entire adult life standing up to physical threats and other forms of intimidation in order to champion causes of racial equality."
Sonia Pressman Fuentes (1928-Present)
NOW co-founder, first woman attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the EEOC
"Sonia Pressman Fuentes is a lawyer, author, speaker and pioneering feminist leader who fought for women’s equality in the work force and helped initiate the Second Wave of the women’s rights movement.
Fuentes was born in 1928 in Berlin, Germany. When she was five years old, she immigrated to the US with her parents and brother to escape the Holocaust, arriving in New York City in 1934. In 1957 Fuentes graduated first in her class at the University of Miami School of Law."
Isabel Gonzalez (1882-19711929-Present)
Champion of Puerto Ricans securing American Citizenship
"Isabel González was a Puerto Rican woman who fought for 15 years to ensure full U.S. citizenship rights for all Puerto Ricans. The United States acquired Puerto Rico from Spain in 1898 promising dignity to its people.
Isabel González left Puerto Rico in 1902, with plans to meet family and wed the father of her yet-to-be-born child in New York. While she was enroute, the U.S. tightened immigration restrictions on Puerto Ricans and upon arrival her ship was sent to Ellis Island, where she and many others were labeled aliens. González was additionally targeted as a feared “ward of the state” because of her pregnancy. Her family vouched for her at multiple hearings, confirming they had the financial means to support her and her child and that she would not become a government burden, but the authorities refused to release her from detention."
Ella Grasso (1919-1981)
Governor of Connecticut, First Woman Governor of any US State Elected in Her Own Right
"Ella Grasso was the first woman elected governor of a U.S. state in her own right, serving as Governor of Connecticut from 1974 through 1980. Grasso’s political career spanned over 45 years and she won all ten elections she ever ran in. The daughter of Italian immigrants, Ella Tambussi gained a commitment to public service at her alma mater Mount Holyoke College.
After serving as a speechwriter for the Connecticut Democratic Party during the 1940s, Grasso first ran for elected office in 1952 and won a seat in the Connecticut General Assembly. Serving in the CT Assembly until 1959, she became the first woman elected Floor Leader in 1955."
Suzan Shown Harjo (1945-Present)
Native American Public Policy Advocate and Journalist
"Suzan Shown Harjo is a Native American activist whose 50-year career includes work in journalism, poetry, curating, and policy advocacy. Descended from Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee Nations, her accomplishments include helping Native peoples regain more than one million acres of tribal lands.
Harjo’s activism dates back to the mid 1960s when she co-produced the nation’s first Native American news radio show. It was also around this time that Harjo began her work with museums, first working with the Museum of the American Indian in New York, where she helped return sacred garments to their tribes and helped the museum change its policies to more respectfully present Native artifacts. Harjo has continued working with museums throughout her career, including working with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, which opened in 2004."
Judy Hart (1941-Present)
National Park Founding Superintendent of Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front Historical Park and Women's Rights National Historical Park
"Judy Hart is a civic activist and consultant whose 27-year career with the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) and other seminal work has helped legitimize and raise awareness of women’s history in America.
After receiving a graduate degree in Law from Goddard College, Hart began her career in publishing. After working as an editor at Little, Brown and Company, Hart went on to work for the Federal Highway Administration on Environmental Impact Statement reviews, later becoming the Director of the Bureau of Relocation for Massachusetts. Hart began her career with the NPS in 1976, working both in Washington, D.C. and the Boston area. She helped establish the Marsh Billings National Historical Park, the Mary McLeod Bethune National Historic Site, the Petroglyphs National Monument, along with other park units."
Oveta Culp Hobby (1905-1995)
WWII Director of the Women's Army Auxilliary Corps and first Secretary of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
"Oveta Culp Hobby was a pioneer military leader who helped define women’s initial role in the Army during World War II. She served as the first commanding officer of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), was the first secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and was the Chairperson of the Board of the Houston Post.
After receiving her law degree from the University of Texas in 1925, she worked as a parliamentarian for the Texas House of Representatives and, in 1930, was appointed the assistant to the city attorney of Houston. A year later she married William P. Hobby, a former Governor of Texas and then publisher of the Houston Post. Hobby helped her husband run the Post for ten years before moving to Washington, D.C. to work as the head of the War Department’s Women’s Interest Section."
Barbara Mikulski (1936-Present)
Longest Serving Woman in the United States Congress
"Barbara Mikulski is the Senior Senator from Maryland representing the Democratic Party. Starting her career as a social worker, In Congress Mikulski has championed such efforts as equal pay, a woman’s right to choose, improving health care for and medical research on women, and subsidizing child-care for low-income families.
Mikulski earned a master’s of social work degree from the University of Maryland in 1965 and returned to her hometown of Baltimore to work with at–risk children and educate seniors about Medicare. Her work soon evolved into community activism when she successfully organized communities against a plan to build a 16–lane highway through the heart of Baltimore."