10 Women Who Made History

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 4, 2022


Here at Facing History, we see awareness months as opportunities to deepen our knowledge of and attention to the histories and contemporary experiences of historically marginalized communities. However, the focus on celebrating these communities over one particular month can further marginalize the very experiences we are hoping to elevate. With this in mind, what follows is an invitation to engage with important themes raised by Women’s History Month this March
and throughout all of the months of the year.

This Women’s History Month, we invite teachers to take a deeper dive into the histories and experiences of women around the nation in work with their students. One powerful way to do this is to learn more about individual women’s lives both past and present.

Below are 10 Facing History profiles and interviews capturing a number of key figures from women’s history and contemporary life:

Daisy Bates

Journalist, civil rights activist, mentor to the Little Rock Nine, and speaker at the March on Washington.

For more, see “Celebrating Daisy Bates: Black Female Orator at the March on Washington”

Grace Lee Boggs
Chinese American philosopher and radical activist known for groundbreaking, ongoing collaboration with African American activists in Detroit, Michigan.

For more, see "Remembering Grace Lee Boggs"

flhFannie Lou Hamer
Political activist, celebrated orator, co-founder of the Freedom Democratic Party, and co-organizer of Freedom

For more, see “Fannie Lou Hamer: Unsung Woman of the Civil Rights Movement”



bell hooks
Influential scholar, professor, and public intellectual in domains including race, feminism, and education.

For more, see
“bell hooks Taught Us to Transgress”

Dolores Huerta
(1930 - )
Legendary Chicana activist with an emphasis on labor and civil rights; cofounder of the National Farmworkers Association.

For more, see "Dolores Huerta's Life of Indefatigable Resistance"


Audre Lorde
Lesbian writer, activist, and pioneer in intersectional thought.

For more, see “Exploring Audre Lorde’s Legacies”


morrisonToni Morrison
Acclaimed novelist, poet, playwright, and essayist.

For more, see “Remembering Toni Morrison”



Lucy Schwob
(1894 - 1954)
French lesbian photographer, writer, and activist known in artistic circles as “Claude Cahun”; resisted the Nazis with partner Suzanne Malherbe a.k.a. Marcel Moore.

For more, see "How One Lesbian Couple Defied the Nazis: An Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Jackson"


Mary_church_terrell_largeMary Church Terrell
One of the first Black women to earn a college degree; suffrage and civil rights activist; cofounder of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs.

For more, see "Women's Suffrage at 100: The Key Role of Black Sororities"


Helen Zia
(1952 - )
Chinese American journalist, author, and leading activist in Asian American struggles for the last 40 years; recipient of honorary doctorates from the University of San Francisco and CUNY Law School for her significant social contributions. 

For more, see "Helen Zia on the Asian American Movement"




Facing History and Ourselves invites educators to use our Teaching Idea, The Equal Rights Amendment: A 97-Year Struggle.

Access Resources

Pictured above: Mary Church Terrell (large image); Lucy Schwob a.k.a. Claude Cahun (small image next to "Lucy Schwob"); credits for other images found on individual pages noted above.

Topics: Women's History Month, Black History, Asian American and Pacific Islander History

At Facing History and Ourselves, we value conversation—in classrooms, in our professional development for educators, and online. When you comment on Facing Today, you're engaging with our worldwide community of learners, so please take care that your contributions are constructive, civil, and advance the conversation.


Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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