At LUV, we strongly believe in the collective power of women. That we are stronger when we build each other up. We look to amazing women to inspire us in our work and in our lives. Today, we're celebrating some incredible trailblazing women who have changed the world:
“The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams.”
Oprah Winfrey, “Queen of All Media” is an American talk show host, actress, television producer, media executive, and philanthropist. The Oprah Winfrey Show was the highest-rated program of its kind in history and ran in national syndication for 25 years. The richest African American of the 20th Century, and North American’s first black multi-billionaire, Oprah has also been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in American history. In 2007, she was ranked by some as the most influential woman in the world.
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
Margaret Thatcher was Europe’s first female Prime Minister. She was a remarkable leader and the only British Prime Minister in the 20th century to win three general elections consecutively. At 11 years, Dame Thatcher was one of the longest serving Prime Ministers since 1827. Margaret Thatcher became one of the most influential and respected political leaders worldwide, and led the way for what it means to be a woman in politics.
“Like what you do, and then you will do your best.”
Katherine Johnson was a mathematician, who contributed to NASA landing the first man on the moon. She used her genius in mathematics and applied it to space travel. Being one of the only women in a roomful of NASA meetings, she continued to show up, share her talent, and eventually got hired by NASA to be a team member. With her math, she created the technique for the spacecraft to orbit Earth and to land on the Moon. Katherine Johnson wildly influenced women in STEM, and proved to the world that women are capable in whatever field they are passionate about.
“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”
Jane Goodall is a primatologist and anthropologist who has studied chimpanzees for over 60 years. Her work has been groundbreaking in protecting animal species, and starting the conversation around animals, our environment and conservation. An environmental and animal activist, Jane spreads the mission of urging us to take action on behalf of all living things and our sacred planet.
“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”
Angela Davis is a civil rights and social justice activist, as well as a writer, teacher, and scholar. Still actively fighting for racial justice today, she has left a profound mark on the activist community. She has dedicated her life to the work of fighting for the oppressed and advocates for racial equity, prison reform, gender equity and much more. She currently teaches at The University of California, Santa Cruz and is an author of multiple books.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
Maya Angelou was a civil rights activist, memoirist, poet, and educator. She worked for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X to fight for racial justice, and was one of the biggest influences for the civil rights movement, and for advocating for racial and social justice in the United States. She was also an educator and teacher at Wake Forest University. Angelou was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton, and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Not only an activist, Angelou was an incredible author, and her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), is widely used in colleges and schools everywhere in the United States to speak on racial inequality, and gender inequality. An incredibly strong woman, she wrote over six autobiographies, and was awarded over 50 honorary degrees before she passed in 2014.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
Audre Lorde was a social justice activist, poet and writer, and set the tone for fighting for injustices everywhere in America. She dedicated her life to fighting racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism. An incredible poet, she often used poetry to confront these injustices and to speak on the powerful topics that need to be addressed. A breast cancer survivor, in The Cancer Journals, Lorde speaks about how close she came to death through her battle with cancer, and addresses the silence surrounding cancer. A survivor and an incredibly strong woman, her determination and talent for fighting injustice paved the way for activists everywhere.