Social Improvements

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Dorothy Pitman Hughes is a Black feminist and civil rights activist. She co-founded Ms. Magazine, a second-wave feminist publication, and organized the first shelter for battered women in New York City. She's spent her entire life improving the condition of women and people of color, largely in partnership with her lifelong friend Gloria Steinem.

Dorothy Pitman Hughes is a Black feminist and civil rights activist. She co-founded Ms. Magazine, a second-wave feminist publication, and organized the first shelter for battered women in New York City. She's spent her entire life improving the condition of women and people of color, largely in partnership with her lifelong friend Gloria Steinem.

Dorothy Pitman Hughes

Betty Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to bring a peaceful end to the violent conflict in Northern Ireland. Williams became an activist after witnessing the death of three children, hit by a car driven by an IRA member who had just been fatally shot by a British soldier. She remains politically active, largely advocating for peace and women's rights.

Betty Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to bring a peaceful end to the violent conflict in Northern Ireland. Williams became an activist after witnessing the death of three children, hit by a car driven by an IRA member who had just been fatally shot by a British soldier. She remains politically active, largely advocating for peace and women's rights.

Betty Williams

Dulce Matuz came to the USA to be reunited with her mother as an undocumented immigrant when she was 15. After difficulties navigating her college experience while undocumented, she co-founded the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, an organization that promotes higher education and paths to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. In 2012, she was named one of Time's most influential people and became a US citizen in 2016.

Dulce Matuz came to the USA to be reunited with her mother as an undocumented immigrant when she was 15. After difficulties navigating her college experience while undocumented, she co-founded the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, an organization that promotes higher education and paths to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. In 2012, she was named one of Time's most influential people and became a US citizen in 2016.

Dulce Matuz

After a visit to an all-girls orphanage in India just after turning 10, Aakanska Saxena wondered why the girls there did not have the same resources and opportunities that she did. At age 14 in 2013, she did something about it, organizing a summer program to tutor the girls in the orphanage she'd visited. The next year, she founded Literacy Spree, a nonprofit to raise funds for the education of underprivileged girls. Today, Saxena is a student at Stanford.

After a visit to an all-girls orphanage in India just after turning 10, Aakanska Saxena wondered why the girls there did not have the same resources and opportunities that she did. At age 14 in 2013, she did something about it, organizing a summer program to tutor the girls in the orphanage she'd visited. The next year, she founded Literacy Spree, a nonprofit to raise funds for the education of underprivileged girls. Today, Saxena is a student at Stanford.

Aakanksha Saxena

Alva Myrdal was a key force in the establishment of social welfare programs in Sweden. She was a prominent activist for nuclear disarmament, even representing Sweden at the 1962 Geneva disarmament conference. Her disarmament work earned her the Nobel Peace Prize.

Alva Myrdal was a key force in the establishment of social welfare programs in Sweden. She was a prominent activist for nuclear disarmament, even representing Sweden at the 1962 Geneva disarmament conference. Her disarmament work earned her the Nobel Peace Prize.

Alva Myrdal

Azucena Villaflor was an Argentine social activist. She was a founder of Mothers of the Plazo de Mayo, which brought attention to people who had been disappeared by the military dictatorship in power. After less than a year of demonstrations, Villaflor was forcibly removed from her own home by a military force on December 10, 1977. In 2003, her demise in 1977 was confirmed by forensic anthropologists.

Azucena Villaflor was an Argentine social activist. She was a founder of Mothers of the Plazo de Mayo, which brought attention to people who had been disappeared by the military dictatorship in power. After less than a year of demonstrations, Villaflor was forcibly removed from her own home by a military force on December 10, 1977. In 2003, her demise in 1977 was confirmed by forensic anthropologists.

Azucena Villaflor

Emily Greene Balch was a pacifist who devoted her entire life to the betterment of society in the form of women's suffrage, child labor, and racial justice, among others. She was let go from a teaching position at Wellesley College due to her dedication to pacifism at the outbreak of WWI. She worked extensively with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She moved away from pacifism toward the end of her life due to the cruelty of Nazism, and aided the resettlement of refugees from Nazi Germany.

Emily Greene Balch was a pacifist who devoted her entire life to the betterment of society in the form of women's suffrage, child labor, and racial justice, among others. She was let go from a teaching position at Wellesley College due to her dedication to pacifism at the outbreak of WWI. She worked extensively with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She moved away from pacifism toward the end of her life due to the cruelty of Nazism, and aided the resettlement of refugees from Nazi Germany.

Emily Greene Balch

Along with her two daughters, Dr. Hawa Abdi runs a camp in Somolia for people, mostly women and children, seeking food and care. Abdi was also Somolia's first female gynecologist. Her camp began as a rural health clinic and grew into a hospital, but expanded further during the Somali Civil War as people took shelter on her land. Within her land, Hawa has outlawed domestic violence and provides a safe space for people without clan associations.

Along with her two daughters, Dr. Hawa Abdi runs a camp in Somolia for people, mostly women and children, seeking food and care. Abdi was also Somolia's first female gynecologist. Her camp began as a rural health clinic and grew into a hospital, but expanded further during the Somali Civil War as people took shelter on her land. Within her land, Hawa has outlawed domestic violence and provides a safe space for people without clan associations.

Hawa Abdi

Ai-jen Poo is a Taiwanese-American labor organizer, particularly of domestic workers. She is the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which advocates for labor protections for domestic workers, a field primarily made up of immigrants and women of color. Ai-jen also advocates for the rights of aging seniors and disabled people, emphasizing the need to value and respect them.

Ai-jen Poo is a Taiwanese-American labor organizer, particularly of domestic workers. She is the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which advocates for labor protections for domestic workers, a field primarily made up of immigrants and women of color. Ai-jen also advocates for the rights of aging seniors and disabled people, emphasizing the need to value and respect them.

Ai-jen Poo

Yelena Bonner was an famous Jewish Soviet dissident. Bonner was a nurse during the Second World War and after, but moved into dissidence after the suppression of the Prague uprising. Bonner married perhaps the best known Soviet dissident, Andrei Sakharov. Both were sentenced to internal exile. Even after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Bonner continued advocating for human rights and was an outspoken critic of Putin for the remainder of her life.

Yelena Bonner was an famous Jewish Soviet dissident. Bonner was a nurse during the Second World War and after, but moved into dissidence after the suppression of the Prague uprising. Bonner married perhaps the best known Soviet dissident, Andrei Sakharov. Both were sentenced to internal exile. Even after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Bonner continued advocating for human rights and was an outspoken critic of Putin for the remainder of her life.

Yelena Bonner

Emma Ray was born into slavery in Missouri, but ended up in Seattle in 1889 in an attempt to get a fresh start in regard to her husband's alcoholism. She ministered to the poor and imprisoned in Seattle, aiming to help people with addiction. Ray even brought people into her home for long enough to get their feet back under them. Emma spent her entire life caring for those that the dominant society in Seattle had cast aside.

Emma Ray was born into slavery in Missouri, but ended up in Seattle in 1889 in an attempt to get a fresh start in regard to her husband's alcoholism. She ministered to the poor and imprisoned in Seattle, aiming to help people with addiction. Ray even brought people into her home for long enough to get their feet back under them. Emma spent her entire life caring for those that the dominant society in Seattle had cast aside.

Emma Ray

Dolores Huerta is a lifelong labor and civil rights activist. She is probably best known, along with Cesar Chavez, as a cofounder of United Farm Workers and organizer of the Delano grape strike. Huerta remains politically active--she was arrested during a union protest for better wages at age 89 in 2019.

Dolores Huerta is a lifelong labor and civil rights activist. She is probably best known, along with Cesar Chavez, as a cofounder of United Farm Workers and organizer of the Delano grape strike. Huerta remains politically active--she was arrested during a union protest for better wages at age 89 in 2019.

Dolores Huerta

Florence Kelley was an American social reformer around the turn of the twentieth century. She advocated for children's rights and the minimum wage, and against sweatshops. Kelley also aided in the creation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and served as the National Consumers League's first secretary.

Florence Kelley was an American social reformer around the turn of the twentieth century. She advocated for children's rights and the minimum wage, and against sweatshops. Kelley also aided in the creation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and served as the National Consumers League's first secretary.

Florence Kelley

Emma Goldman is perhaps history's best known anarchist. Particularly after the 1886 Haymarket Riot, Goldman advocated for and lectured on anarchist causes across the USA, as well as publishing an anarchist paper: Mother Earth. Goldman was arrested many times for her activism and was ultimately deported to Russia in 1919. Although initially excited by the socialist revolution, she became disillusioned with the anti-Semitism and suppression in the country. She spent the remainder of her life travelling North America and Europe, supporting human rights and anarchist causes.

Emma Goldman is perhaps history's best known anarchist. Particularly after the 1886 Haymarket Riot, Goldman advocated for and lectured on anarchist causes across the USA, as well as publishing an anarchist paper: Mother Earth. Goldman was arrested many times for her activism and was ultimately deported to Russia in 1919. Although initially excited by the socialist revolution, she became disillusioned with the anti-Semitism and suppression in the country. She spent the remainder of her life travelling North America and Europe, supporting human rights and anarchist causes.

Emma Goldman

Olivia Hooker lived a storied life. She survived the Tulsa Race Riots at age six, going on to become one of its last known survivors, and founded the Tulsa Race Riot Commission to work for justice for survivors. Hooker then joined the US Coast Guard as its first African American woman. After retiring from the Coast Guard, she became a psychologist and worked with women and children with learning disabilities.

Olivia Hooker lived a storied life. She survived the Tulsa Race Riots at age six, going on to become one of its last known survivors, and founded the Tulsa Race Riot Commission to work for justice for survivors. Hooker then joined the US Coast Guard as its first African American woman. After retiring from the Coast Guard, she became a psychologist and worked with women and children with learning disabilities.

Olivia Juliette Hooker

Dorothea Dix was an activist for the rights and treatment of the mentally ill in the 19th century. She traveled across the USA, touring mental hospitals and lobbying for better conditions, successfully establishing asylums in several states. During the Civil War, Dix oversaw Union army nurses, setting high standards and treating all soldiers.

Dorothea Dix was an activist for the rights and treatment of the mentally ill in the 19th century. She traveled across the USA, touring mental hospitals and lobbying for better conditions, successfully establishing asylums in several states. During the Civil War, Dix oversaw Union army nurses, setting high standards and treating all soldiers.

Dorothea Dix