The Pulitzer Prize winning author behind the world renowned book The Color Purple (1982) that told the story of an African American woman dealing with the issues of both racism and patriarchal culture within African American communities. She started her career as an activist at Spelman College where she met her mentor Howard Zinn who is best known for his activism during the Civil Rights movement. Through her capacity as an author she became a leader in the Black Arts movement. Walker has dedicate her life to boast social justice and activism through both her writings and time.
Molly Burke February 8, 1994 - Present
A social media activist for people with disabilities, Bruke is best known for her motivational speeches that she has held in collaboration with Malala Yousafzai, Demi Lovato, and Martin Luther King III to name a few. Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of four, life became difficult for her and with time her vision began to fade to almost nothing. Through her trials she became a motivational speaker for people with disabilities. In 2009, she was the torch bearer for the Winter Paralympic Games. Currently, Burke is focused on posting YouTube videos on dealing with her condition in her day to day life and of course motivational work. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwf9TcLyS5KDoLRLjke41Hg
Frederick Douglass February 1, 1818 - February 20, 1895
Douglass is a historical figure that is often explored in history classes in grade school and onward for his autobiography on his own life from slavery to freedom. It is an important firsthand account of slavery during the waning years of slavery in America. He pushed himself to learn to read and once he had safely escaped his bondage in 1830 (after several attempts) he became an activist for abolition and for both black and women's rights to vote. However, he did argue that black Americans should be granted the vote before women, since slavery was the key issue during his time. In this capacity, Douglass lived his life to aid in the end of oppression of black Americans and to end other oppressions.
Gauri Lankesh was a political activist and journalist in India who led the fight to end old and outdated cultural norms within her country, which ultimately led to her death by an opposition group in front of her home in 2017. In her articles she criticized Hinduism, India’s main religion for its lack of inclusivity and sought for a resolution. Additionally, Lankesh condemned the orthodox demand that women be subservient to men, with Indian society going as far as to still treat women as second-class. Lastly, she spoke out against the caste system, which although illegal still witnessed the discrimination of lower castes. Lankesh’s work continues on in her students who she inspired at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Fred T. Korematsu January 30, 1919 - March 30, 2005
Fred T. Korematsu was a political and social activist who spoke out against the internment of Japanese citizen during the Second World War. Korematsu is one of the least known activist within the country, why this is can be anyone’s guess, but he was a cause of a lot of headaches within the judicial system. His resistance to Order 9066 included plastic surgery and a complete overhaul of his name, changing it to Clyde Sarah professing to be of Spanish and Hawaiian heritage. While he was eventually captured and tired for resisting the order, he continued to argue for his rights that had been stolen from him by his government. While he was not a lawyer Korematsu often stood out in the courts system with the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) in the hopes of returning the rights to the many Japanese Americans who had them taken from them with the start of the Second World War. While the war ended and Japanese American were able to return to some form of normality, Korematsu still fought for the United States to recognize that it had committed a wrong. It was not until 1988 when President Reagan proclaimed that Order 9066 and the resulting treatment of Japanese Americans was unconstitutional and recompensed all Japanese Americans who had endured internment during the war. Korematsu was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton in 1998. After his death in 2005, Korematsu’s birthday was declared as a day of remembrance for his actions.
Heather Mills January 12, 1968-Present
Heather Mills is best known for her marriage to Paul McCartney of Beatles fame. However, what is less known is her philanthropic endeavors to provide the means to remove landmines form war-torn countries, and for providing prosthetic limbs to those who cannot afford them. The loss of her own leg from a collision with a police motorcycle being a heavy influence on her charitable work. The majority of her funding comes from her own income as a model and of course from donations from others. The money granted to her from her accident being used to startup her charity known as the “Heather Mills Health Trust.”
Shifting Narratives: The Strength of Women Survivors
The Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Gender Equity Team are partnering to host an art exhibit commemorating Women’s History Month, March 2019. The exhibit will center on the strength of women who have experienced homelessness, domestic violence, and human trafficking through the theme “Shifting Narratives: The Strength of Women Survivors.” The launch of the art exhibit and a special event in recognition of the artists will take place on Friday, March 8, 2019, International Women’s Day. The goal of the exhibit is to celebrate art that:
Raises awareness of the strength of women survivors of homelessness, domestic violence, and human trafficking;
Draws attention to the intersection of female homelessness, domestic violence, and human trafficking;
Increases public understanding of a survivor’s journey while addressing misleading narratives and perceptions;
Mobilizes support and resources to address the specific needs of survivors and unsheltered women.