March is Women's History Month -- established around March 8th, International Women's Day, this month we recognize and highlight the many diverse contributions of women to our society. This is a collaboration between the Parents' Association of P.S. 144Q's Inclusion & Diversity Committee and the Russell Sage JHS190Q PTA.
Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in US history, an award-winning writer, and cum laude graduate of Harvard University. She was appointed the 1st ever National Youth Poet Laureate by Urban Word – a program that supports Youth Poets Laureate in more than 60 cities, regions and states nationally. She is the recipient of the Poets & Writers Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, and is the youngest board member of 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the United States. Watch her reading and read the full text here: and visit her website here:
Jasilyn Charger is a 23 year old Land Defender and was one of the few youth who ignited the Standing Rock Pipeline Resistance Movement. Jasilyn has also taken on issues of youth mental health in her community by founding the One Mind Youth Movement of the Cheyenne RIver Souix Tribe. Learn more about Jasilyn and her work here:
Yusra Mardini is an Olympic swimmer and a Syrian Refugee. While fleeing Syria, she helped save the lives of fellow refugees by helping swim their boat to shore. Learn more about her here:
Kamala Devi Harris is the first woman, the first African American and the first South Asian Vice President in the United States. Vice President Harris has also served as Senator from Californa and the Attorney General of California. Learn more about her here:
Clara Lemlich was a young, Jewish immigrant factory worker who inspired a 20,000 worker strike after speaking up in a large union meeting. Clara went on to organize for the rest of her life fighting against war, for voting rights and for workers rights. Her story is retold in this children's book:
Audrey Faye Hendricks was the youngest person arrested during the Civil Rights movement. She was one of thousands of children who took part in the Children’s Crusade, a series of marches in Birmingham to end segregation. The children were attacked by the police, who used dogs and firehoses to physically knock them down. The images of children being attacked by dogs and firehoses were so powerful that it inspired many people to get involved and forced the federal government to take action. Learn more about her: and check out this children's book about her story:
Miriam Makeba was a South African singer, musician and anti-apartheid activist. While exiled for 30 years, Miriam traveled the world, using her music to shine a light on the horrors of apartheid and to organize support for its abolishment. Hear her music, especially Pata Pata, here:
Helen Keller was an American educator, advocate for people with disabilities, suffragette, co-founder of the ACLU, and Forest Hills resident. Stricken by an illness at the age of 2, Keller was left blind and deaf. Learn more about her here
Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, an organic chemistry professor, leading biodiversity scientist, and advocate for women's education, became the first female president of Mauritius. Learn more about her and watch her Ted talks here
Political activists in the Dominican Republic, 3 of the 4 sisters (Patria, Minerva & María Teresa Mirabal) risked their lives fighting against the regime of dictator Rafael Trujillo. A fourth sister, Dedé, survived to honor her sisters' legacy. More:
Alicia Garza is an organizer and writer who is best known for working with Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi to found the Black Lives Matter Movement, learn more about this here: Learn more about Alicia and her work here:
Xian Zhang is a world-renowned Chinese-American conductor who was taught to play music by her mother on a piano that her father built. Learn more here
Ashley Fiolek, who was born profoundly deaf, is a four-time AMA women's motocross national champion and stunt actor. She chronicled her story in: "Kicking Up Dirt: A True Story of Determination, Deafness, and Daring". Learn more about her here
Kizzmekia Corbett is an immunologist whose research was key in the development of the COVID vaccine. She regularly shares her information on Twitter and takes part in programs to inspire youth in underserved communities. Learn more about her here:
Millo Castro Zaldarriaga was a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers. Her life inspired the vibrant picture book, "Drum Dream Girl". Read more and check out the book here
Sara Blazevic and Varshini Prakash founded the Sunrise Movement, a movement of young people fighting to end climate change including fighting for the Green New Deal. Learn more here:
Laverne Cox is an Emmy-nominated actress, documentary film producer and prominent equal rights advocate. Learn more about her work here:
Althea Gibson was the first African American to compete at the 1950 U.S. National Tennis Championship at the Westside Tennis Club in Forest Hills, NY. She went on to win 16 Grand Slams, including the 1956 French Open. Learn more here:
Zada Hadid was one of the world’s most celebrated and successful architects. She is known for her groundbreaking designs, such as the Summer Olympics Aquatics Center in London and the Guangzhou Opera House in China. See some of her work here:
Fadumo Qasim Dayib, a Somalian refugee who fled to Europe as a child, is the first woman to run for President of Somalia in its November 2016 election. An activist and public health expert in Finland, she returned to her home country with a goal of creating stability and prosperity. Learn more about her here:
Karen Gaffney was the first person with Down Syndrome to complete a relay swim of the English Channel and a 2 time Special Olympics gold medalist. She received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Portland for her work in raising awareness regarding the abilities of people who have Down syndrome. She created the Karen Gaffney Foundation, a non-profit organization "dedicated to championing the journey to full inclusion for people with Down Syndrome and other disabilities." Learn more about her here:
Melba Liston was an African-American known as a composer, arranger and a very skillful trombonist. She was one of the only successful Black female artists to share the stage with men during the 1940s. Learn more about her here:
Zoey Luna is a pioneering transgender Latinx youth activist and actress from LA. The documentary “Raising Zoey” chronicled her transition as a young girl. She was also featured in the HBO's "15: A Quinceanera Story" and starred in the 2020 film: "The Craft: Legacy" Learn more about her here:
Augusta Savage was an American sculptor, teacher, and advocate for equal rights for African Americans in the arts. Associated with the Harlem Renaissance, she influenced a generation of artists who would become nationally known. Learn more:
Maya Angelou was an acclaimed American poet, storyteller, activist, and autobiographer. She was heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s, working with both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Her works earned her 30+ honorary degrees as well as nominations for a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize, and she was the inaugural poet for Bill Clinton in 1993. Learn more about her here:
Frida Kahlo, one of Mexico's greatest artists, began painting self-portraits to help cope with illness and injury as a young woman. She is celebrated for her depiction of Mexican & indigenous culture & the female experience. Learn more:
Simone Biles is an American gymnast who is considered one of the sport’s greatest athletes. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she became the first female U.S. gymnast to win four gold medals at a single Games, and she was the first gymnast to win three consecutive world all-around titles. Learn more about her here:
Matilde Petra Montoya Lafragua was the first female physician in Mexico. Initially working as a midwife, she became one of the first women to attend & graduate Medical School, eventually earning her doctorate in 1887. Later she was a surgeon & obstetrician