Marley Dias, the precocious and purpose-driven 14-year-old founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, author of Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! and former Editor in Residence of her own digital 'zine Marley Mag on Elle.com whose successful campaign has garnered over 7 billion media impressions. #1000BlackGirlBooks, is an international movement to collect and donate children’s books that feature Black girls as the lead character. Marley launched the #1000BlackGirlBooks drive in November of 2015, leveraging the power of social media to reach a larger audience. The goal was to collect 1,000 books featuring Black female protagonists by February 2016. The story went viral and was picked up by media outlets around the world as well as bloggers, schools, youth-focused organizations and millions of individuals who wanted to participate in the project. Marley has collected over 12,000 books to-date. Marley has spoken at the White House's United State of Women alongside Michelle Obama and Oprah, The Forbes Women's Summit, United Nation's Girl Up, Inbound, CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, the Social Innovation Summit and several others.
In light of the campaign’s huge success, Marley has appeared on Ellen, CBS This Morning, and The Today Show. In her Editor in Residency at ELLE, Marley has interviewed Ava DuVernay, Misty Copeland and Hillary Clinton for Elle.com. Marley has been featured in a Microsoft Commercial and a Disney World Resorts digital campaign. Marley is a 21 under 21 Teen Vogue Ambassador and the youngest member of the Forbes 30 under 30 list for 2018. Marley resides in West Orange, NJ with her mother and father. Learn more.
Jamaica Gilmer is a brilliant example of dreams realized, translated and carried out in real life. She is the Founder and Executive Director of The Beautiful Project (TBP), a collective of black women and girls that use photography, writing and care to create and support spaces where we can explore and redefine who we are. Gilmer has a decade-long background creating and implementing provoking images and identity curriculum. Her work as a photographer allows her to capture realities that are often overlooked and misunderstood. Gilmer helms The Beautiful Projects’ curating and organizing efforts in partnership with families, organizations, and institutions. When she is not behind the camera she takes every opportunity to enjoy her longtime sweetheart and their sweet baby boys. A graduate of Howard University’s John H. Johnson School of Communications, she is also a speaker, informing and sharing insight across the nation as a guest lecturer, keynote, and panelist. Jamaica is passionate, bold, and one to watch as a champion for Black girls everywhere. Learn more.
Chicken & Egg Pictures supports women nonfiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change, creating a space where women can challenge the status quo in film and learn from one another. Founded by Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger, and Judith Helfand, the organization breaks new ground for artists and activists with a shared belief in the power of women storytellers. Over 13 years, the organization has grown into a bold community of artists, mentors, activists, and friends who celebrate each other’s talent and foster one another’s growth in the industry. Learn more.
Barbara Poma, owner of Pulse Nightclub, was raised in Coral Springs, Florida. She graduated from the University of Central Florida and worked as an educator in the Orange County Public School system for three years. Ms. Poma has built and operated several businesses, most significantly Pulse Nightclub, which was established in 2004 as a tribute to her brother John who passed away from HIV/AIDs.
On June 12, 2016, Pulse Nightclub became the scene of one of the nation’s worst mass shooting in modern American history. Since then, Barbara has shifted her focus to preserving the memory of those who lost their lives, survivors, and their loved ones. She now serves as Executive Director of OnePulse Foundation, Inc. which has been established to oversee a community initiative to create a permanent memorial to Pulse and those who perished. Learn more.
Alana Simmons, 28, of Columbia, SC, is the founding CEO of the non- profit, Hate Won’t Win Movement, Inc. The Hate Won’t Win Movement was founded in June of 2015 after her grandfather, Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., along with eight others were murdered in the hate crime known as the “Mother” Emanuel AME Church Massacre in Charleston, SC.
Since then, Alana has dedicated herself to working in communities, churches, schools, and businesses as a motivational speaker and organizer of unity. Alana’s work with the Hate Won’t Win Movement has been awarded and featured by a number of organizations and outlets such as the King Center, the Anti-Defamation League, Essence Magazine, Glamour Magazine, Public Allies, and many others. Learn more.
Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based positive youth development program that is designed to enhance girls’ social, emotional and physical skills and behaviors to successfully navigate life experiences. Over the course of the program, girls will develop and improve competence, feel confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and oneself with care, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make a meaningful contribution to community and society. Learn more.
For over 25 years, activist and advocate Tarana J. Burke has worked at the intersection of racial justice and sexual violence. Fuelled by commitments to interrupt sexual violence and other systemic inequalities disproportionately impacting marginalized people, particularly black women and girls, Tarana has launched initiatives focused on increasing access to resources and support for impacted communities. A proud native of the Bronx, NY, Tarana's passion for community organizing began in the late 1980s when as a young girl, she joined a youth development organization and led campaigns around issues like racial discrimination, housing inequality and economic justice. In 2007, she founded JustBe Inc., an organization committed to the empowerment and wellness of black girls. It was during that time that ‘me too.’ was born as a tool to help heal and provide a safe space for young people to share their stories. Her theory of using empathy to empower survivors is changing the way the world thinks about and engages with survivors. Her belief that healing isn’t a destination but a journey has touched and inspired millions of survivors who previously lived with the pain, shame and trauma of their assaults in isolation. Learn more.
Erin Vilardi is the Founder and CEO of VoteRunLead, the nation’s largest and most diverse training program for women to run for office and win. She first launched VoteRunLead as Vice President of Program and Communications at The White House Project. She has served as a Leadership Development Consultant for clients, including Fortune 100 companies, global girls’ initiatives and the U.S. Department of State, reaching women leaders in a dozen international cities. Vilardi is the co-author of the Athena CORE10© – an innovative set of leadership competencies for 21st-century women leaders based on the latest research and gender analysis for the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College. She has appeared on the mainstage at Personal Democracy Forum, on CNN, BBC, and Fox News and her work has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, New York Magazine as well as numerous international and domestic articles on women and leadership. She is an Executive Producer of Ann Richards’ Texas, a documentary about the late pioneering governor.
Equality Now is an international human rights organization that works to protect and promote the rights of women and girls around the world by combining grassroots activism with international, regional and national legal advocacy. Our international network of lawyers, activists and supporters achieve legal and systemic change by holding governments responsible for enacting and enforcing laws and policies that end legal inequality; sex trafficking; sexual violence; and harmful practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation. Learn more.
Eighteen year old Natalie Hampton is a Stanford freshman, anti-bullying activist, app developer, and the CEO of a non-profit called Sit With Us, Inc. Natalie was severely bullied in middle school, and was forced to eat lunch alone nearly every day. After she switched schools, and quickly fell in with a great friend group, she would invite anyone who was eating alone to join her lunch table. Those people became not only her friends, but friends with everyone in the group, and were invited to social gatherings. She saw that one simple act of kindness made a big difference in their lives. This inspired her to create the award-winning Sit With Us mobile app at age sixteen, which serves as a free lunch planning tool for middle and high school kids so that no one has to eat lunch alone. Kids can use the app’s features to coordinate lunches with their friends. They can also volunteer to be Sit With Us Ambassadors for their schools and post open lunch events on campus so that anyone looking for a table to join can find one. The app has won numerous awards, has been featured by Apple under “New Apps We Love” in the App Store, has been downloaded by 120,000+ people in eight countries worldwide, and has garnered the attention and acclaim of international media and press. Learn more.
Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson are co-founders of Kind Campaign, the nonprofit organization has been operating for over 10 years, committed to put an end to girl-against-girl bullying. In addition to touring schools nationally and giving heartfelt assemblies about the dangers of bullying (leveraging their personal past experiences) and offering interactive, non-judgmental discussions, Lauren and Molly have become leading advocates for kindness - especially among other women. Learn more.
Nancy Woodhull is born. She was a founding editor at USA TODAY and worked to redefine how women are covered in the news.
Karen Carpenter is born. The three-time Grammy-award winning singer and drummer brought attention to eating disorders, which affect 20 million women in the U.S.
Helen Keller meets Anne Sullivan, her teacher and life-long friend. Sullivan helped Keller become the first blind-deaf person to graduate from college, and the pair advocated for people with disabilities.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee is born. The six-time Olympic medalist is considered one of the world’s greatest female athletes and holds the world record in the heptathlon.
Jeannette Rankin, R-Mont., takes her seat as the first female member of Congress. Rankin was a life-long pacifist and opposed both World Wars while in office.
Geraldyn (Jerrie) Cobb is born. She became the first woman to pass qualifying exams for astronaut training in 1959 but wasn’t allowed to train because of her gender.
Georgia O’Keefe dies. She was a pre-eminent artist who laid the foundation for American modernism with her paintings of enlarged flowers and New Mexico landscapes.
Janet Guthrie is born. She became a female race car driver and qualified for and competed in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500 in 1977.
International Women's Day is held. After the 1914 celebration and push for equality, the day has become an annual staple for global awareness around women’s issues.
The first Barbie doll debuts. The fashion toy has become a symbol of both female empowerment and unrealistic beauty standards.
Sue Lee is born. The San Francisco labor organizer led a 15-week strike against a garment factory, fighting for better working conditions and increased wages.
Graciela Olivarez is born. The first woman and Latina graduate from Notre Dame Law School, she fought for Mexican-American rights and worked to decrease poverty.
Clare Booth Luce is born. She served as ambassador to Italy in the 1950s, one of the top ambassador positions held by a woman at the time.
Janet Reno is confirmed as the first woman to be U.S. Attorney General.
First-ever Girl Scouts meeting is held in Savannah, Ga. The organization has grown to 2.7 million members.
Tammy Duckworth is born. She became the first disabled woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and the second Asian-American woman in the Senate.
Susan Butcher wins Iditarod, becoming the second woman ever to win the Alaskan dog sled race.
Simone Biles is born. She becomes the most decorated American gymnast, winning four gold medals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is born. She is the second female U.S. Supreme Court Justice and spent her legal career advocating for women’s rights before taking the bench.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is published. Hawthorne’s work explored women’s societal roles in Puritan Boston.
Hamm was the face of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA), the first professional women's soccer league in the United States. In 2013, Hamm became the first woman inducted into the World Football Hall of Fame.
Julia Roberts becomes the first female actor ever to earn $20 million for a single film in Erin Brockovich.
Bonnie Blair is born. She is a five-time Olympic speed skating gold medalist and the most decorated female Winter Olympian in U.S. history.
Glenn Close is born. A multi-time Emmy, Tony and Oscars Award winner, she has also advocated for women's and LGBT rights.
Joan Jett’s I Love Rock 'n Roll hits No. 1 on Billboard charts. Jett is a pioneer for female rock musicians.
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin is published and becomes the best-selling book of the 19th century.
Debi Thomas becomes the first African-American woman to win the World Figure Skating Championship.
Congress passes the Equal Rights Amendment, which granted equal rights for women but was never ratified by the required number of states.
Bette Nesmith Graham is born. She invented Liquid Paper correction fluid, a brand of white-out.
Dorothy Height is born. She served more than 40 years as president of the National Council of Negro Women and worked to foster interracial dialogue.
Gloria Steinem is born. She became a leader of "second wave" feminism and remains one today.
Nancy Pelosi is born. She became the first and so far only female U.S. speaker of the House in 2007.
Sandra Day O’Connor is born. She became the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice in 1981.
Margaret Butler is born. She was the first female fellow at the American Nuclear Society and advocated for women in science and math fields.
First NCAA women’s college basketball national championship game: Louisiana Tech vs. Cheyney 76-62. (Before it was the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.)
A multi-platnium musician and award-winning actress, Lady Gaga is also known for her philanthropy and social activism, including her work related to LGBTQ rights, and for her nonprofit organization, the Born This Way Foundation, which focuses on empowering youth and preventing bullying.
Joan Kelly is born. She was a leading Italian Renaissance historian and challenged dominant notions of women’s roles during that time.
Ellen Swallow Richards dies. She was the first woman admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also its first female instructor.
Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Julia Ward Howe and Sojourner Truth, among others, organize The National Council of Women of the U.S., the oldest American non-sectarian women’s organization.