Our vision at CCS is for all people to live full, free, expressive and empowered lives in a safe, vibrant, healthy and peaceful community. In honor Women’s Equality Day on August 26th, we recognize some of the ground-breaking, incredible women who embody this vision.
Briget “Biddy” Mason
After being granted freedom from slavery by a California court, Mason became economically independent by working as a nurse. Mason provided food and shelter for the impoverished and was among the first African American women to own land. Mason was fluent in Spanish and a well-known figure in the city of Los Angeles, and an instrumental founder of a traveler’s aid center and an elementary school for black children.
Foltz was an influential advocate for the women’s voting rights movement. Foltz was the first female lawyer on the west coast of the United States of American and the first woman to become deputy attorney of the public defender’s office. Foltz was also the first woman to run for governor in the state of California and helped author the Women’s Vote Amendment and wrote the Woman Lawyer’s Bill.
As an elementary school teacher in Stockton California, Huerta worked to improve social and economic conditions of many children of farm workers. Huerta worked arduously against the discrimination of farm workers by forming the United Farm Workers (previously the National Farmworkers Association).
An attorney, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, feminist, former White House Fellow, and former deputy attorney general in the office of the California Attorney General, Schenk is a founding member of the Lawyers Club of San Diego, which worked for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and on other women’s rights issues. In 1971, with two other female lawyers, Schenk broke the gender barrier at The Grant Grill in the downtown San Diego U.S. Grant Hotel, where women were prohibited during lunch.
An astrophysicist and astronaut, Ride was the first woman in space. After working for NASA, Dr. Ride was the director of the California Space Institute at The University of California San Diego. Dr. Rice advocated for young women’s educational opportunities by creating a company that focused on increasing access to math and science.
A native Californian, Kwan is a five-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist in figure skating. Additionally, Kwan has served as an adviser to the U.S.-China Women’s Leadership Exchange and Dialogue and in December 2012, Kwan was appointed as a State Department senior adviser for public diplomacy and public affairs.
This August, remember to honor those in your life who continue to work for equality, progress and social justice in our communities.
Collaborate with us: If there is a woman you think should be added to the list, please share in the comments! We will be adding to our “Mighty Women List” throughout the month of August.