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Six Women Making History Today

Graphic: Amber Harris

Words: Alanna Hadley

As Women's History Month concludes, it's a meaningful time to honor the impactful achievements of women worldwide. From pioneering leaders to groundbreaking artists, women continuously push boundaries and reshape our world. Thus, it is essential to acknowledge and spotlight extraordinary women making history today.

Quinta Brunson

In 2022, Quinta Brunson became the first Black woman nominated three times in the comedy category at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards. That year, she took home the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her show Abbott Elementary. The following year, she became the first black woman in 40 years to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy. The Philadelphia native started on a small scale, producing content on Instagram with a series, "Girl Who Has Never Been on a Nice Date." She began working for Buzzfeed in 2014, producing and acting on multiple projects until 2018. The award-winning actress, writer, producer, and comedian exemplifies the importance of black creatives as she fills a place in television that has been dormant.

Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in United States history at 22 years old when she performed her piece 'The Hill We Climb' at the inauguration of President Joe Biden. In 2017, Gorman became the pioneer recipient of the National Youth Poet Laureate, a title given to young individuals who have displayed dedication to spoken word and social justice. Additionally, Gorman was the first poet to grace the cover of VOGUE, photographed by the legendary portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz. Born with a speech impediment and auditory processing disorder, the California native initially used poetry to explore language. She has excelled in the art form, using it to advocate for marginalized groups.

Ava DuVernay

In 2012, Ava DuVernay became the first Black woman to win the U.S. Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival with her film Middle of Nowhere. DuVernay, acclaimed filmmaker, screenwriter, and producer, has paved her path to success by amplifying the voices of black people through film. Her work centers on black stories and perspectives, with her most notable works being Selma, A Wrinkle in Time, Queen Sugar, and When They See Us. At the time of its release, When They See Us became the most-watched series on Netflix’s streaming platform. Additionally, she directed A Wrinkle in Time, the first film directed by a black woman with a budget of $100 million. DuVernay's unwavering commitment to authentic storytelling and groundbreaking achievements have left an indelible mark on the film industry and opened doors for future generations of black filmmakers.

Simone Biles

With a whopping thirty World Championships medals (twenty-three gold ) and seven Olympic medals (four gold), Simone Biles has earned her title as one of the most decorated gymnasts in history. Biles, raised in Spring, Texas, did not have a conventional childhood. Shortly after her birth, the future Olympian was placed into the foster care system before being adopted by her grandparents. Around this age, Biles was introduced to gymnastics, which catalyzed her legendary career in the sport. In 2019, the six-time world-renowned champion broke the record for most World Championship medals. Additionally, she became the first gymnast to successfully perform the Yurchenko double pike at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Now officially known as the Biles II, it marks the fifth move with her namesake. Simone Biles' remarkable achievements and groundbreaking contributions to gymnastics have solidified her status as one of the greatest athletes ever.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is making history as the first woman and African to lead the World Trade Organization as Director-General. Her appointment to this prestigious position marks a significant milestone in international trade and diplomacy, breaking barriers and setting a new standard for global leadership. The Nigerian-born economist has had an illustrious career in public and private sectors before being named Director-General of the World Trade Organization in 2021. She was the first woman to serve as Nigeria's Finance Minister, a position to which she was elected twice, and she also held the distinction of being the first female Foreign Minister. Additionally, she served as Managing Director of the World Bank for 25 years. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's leadership is a beacon of hope and progress for global relations and economics, inspiring diversity and inclusion in leadership.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

On June 30th, 2022, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson made history as the first Black woman and former public defender to serve on the Supreme Court. Raised in Miami, Florida, surrounded by a family of high achievers, Jackson knew that she wanted to be a lawyer growing up. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard’s Law School. Before her appointment to the federal bench, she served as a federal United States Court of Appeals judge, a public defender, a law firm partner, and a federal prosecutor. Justice Jackson has earned widespread recognition throughout her career for her integrity and commitment to justice. She has demonstrated a deep understanding of the law and a dedication to upholding the Constitution of the United States of America. Justice Ketanji Brown’s appointment to the Supreme Court was a crucial moment in American judicial history that broke barriers and diversified the highest court.

In many sectors of society, women face maltreatment, are not given substantial opportunities, and are treated as second-class citizens. However, it is essential to recognize strides just as we do setbacks. As women become pioneers in various fields and defy limiting expectations, they pave the way for the women coming after them. The women making history today set a precedent for future generations to experience an equitable and sustainable world.


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