Women’s History Month is about more than suffrage and Susan B. Anthony. Women have made history and are still shaping our country’s future. This year, the National Women’s History Project is honoring civic leaders and we’re celebrating those women who are currently making strides toward equality and representation in the U.S. Here are some of the NWHP’s 2016 honorees:
- Suzan Shown Harjo: As a journalist and activist, Suzan Shown Harjo’s commitment to Native American civil rights resulted in the return of one million acres of tribal land. Of Native American ancestry herself, Harjo previously served as Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians and in 2014, President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- Karen Narasaki: A civil rights lawyer and advocate for Asian-American rights, Karen Narasaki is known for her legal strides including contributing to the passage of stronger laws on hate crimes and voting rights and challenging limitations on the family immigration system. Appointed by President Obama, Narasaki is currently a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
- Nancy Grace Roman: A pioneering scientist and astronomer, Nancy Grace Roman was the first woman executive at NASA, a very rare achievement, especially in the 1950s. She was instrumental in establishing NASA’s space astronomy program. Roman is even nicknamed “Mother of Hubble,” a title she earned for her role in developing the Hubble Telescope. Today, Roman continues to encourage women and girls to pursue careers in science.
- Nadine Smith: A former journalist and current civil rights advocate, Nadine Smith is the executive director of Equality Florida, an organization dedicated to achieving justice and equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Smith was one of four national co-chairs who organized the historic 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation. In 2013, Smith was recognized by the Florida Diversity Council as one of the “Most Powerful and Influential Women” in Florida. Today, Smith continues to fight discriminatory legislation and enact tougher laws on hate crimes and bullying.