Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Jean Davenport Lander

(1829-1903)

Actor, Hospital Superintendent

A celebrated actor of the mid-nineteenth century, Jean Davenport Lander was a child prodigy who debuted onstage at the age of eight in a production called The Spoiled Child. She toured the United States and Europe in her teens, playing a variety of classical roles. One contemporary writer praised her as “a refined actress, presenting no rough point for the critic to censure,” who “thrilled and charmed the audience.” Davenport married Frederick Lander in 1860. He became a general in the Civil War; in 1862, he died after being wounded in battle. Jean Lander immediately tried to establish a hospital to aid wounded soldiers. She was temporarily foiled by Dorothea Dix, in charge of recruiting Union nurses, who ruled that no woman under thirty or good-looking could work in government hospitals. Lander instead moved to South Carolina, where she turned an empty building into a hospital. She furnished it through persistent and persuasive appeals to local residents and served as superintendent with her mother. Lander did not return to the stage until the war’s end, when she appeared in her own translation of the play Mesalliance.

Julia Clifford Lathrop

(1858-1932)

Social Worker

One of the five “maiden aunts” of Chicago, along with other notable women like Jane Addams and Mary McDowell, Julia Lathrop lived a full and eventful life of service to her community, including relentless effort against faulty government systems. After attending Vassar College, Lathrop began volunteering at Chicago’s Hull House, a settlement house that became the center for a national social-reform movement. She visited tenement areas and state institutions for the blind, the mentally ill, prisoners, and delinquent children, as well as counterpart institutions throughout Europe, and believed that through care, attention, and active therapy, the number of people in need of such services could be reduced. In 1912, President Taft appointed her chief of the federal Children’s Bureau, where Lathrop worked toward a uniform system for documenting births and for the passage of laws to restrict child labor. She retired after twelve years at the bureau but continued as an activist for the League of Women Voters. She also examined over-crowded conditions at the immigration point at Ellis Island, and in 1925 was appointed to serve on the Child Welfare Committee of the League of Nations.

Agnes Elizabeth Ernst Meyer

(1887-1970)

Journalist, Activist, Philanthropist

When her father refused to finance her college education, Agnes Ernst took matters into her own hands. Awarded a scholarship at Barnard College, she took odd jobs to pay her way. After graduation, she became the first female journalist at the New York Sun newspaper and studied in Paris, where she found herself in the company of artists, writers, composers, and scientists, including Gertrude Stein and Marie Curie. In 1910 she married financier Eugene Meyer, and the couple soon had their first child. Despite the responsibilities of motherhood, Agnes Meyer attended graduate school, publishing her first book– on Chinese art and philosophy– in 1923. She was appointed chairman of the Recreation Commission of Westchester County that year, promoting community events and programs for disadvantaged children. Her penchant for social reform increased as she wrote for her husband’s newly acquired newspaper, The Washington Post. She traveled around England and the United States, reporting on conditions of child labor, delinquency, and the decline of public education, as well as post-war rejuvenation projects.



CHECK IT OUT!!!!!!!

Wednesday Notes – December 15, 2010 | Operation Beautiful.

Congrats Caitlin! and everyone around the world who participate! I’ve been participating for several months now. I keep post-it notes and a sharpie in my purse wherever I go! I encourage everyone to participate. We can all make a difference. Keep it up ladies! We are all beautiful, don’t ever forget it!

The $10,000 prize money will go directly to creating a scholarship fund for Girls on the Run.

http://girlsontherun.org/

http://operationbeautiful.com/

Inspiration for Iconic Rosie the Riveter Image Dies — History.com Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts.

The woman who inspired J. Howard Miller’s “We Can Do It!” poster, Geraldine Doyle, passed on December 26th, 2010 at the age of 86. After four decades, Doyle finally learned that she had become the face of Rosie the Riveter.

Just 17 when the photographer captured her, she had taken a factory job after graduating high school, one of 6 million women who entered the workforce during World War II to plug gaping holes in the industrial labor force.”


“The “original” Rosie the Riveter, who inspired Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb to write the 1942 song of the same name, was Rosalind P. Walter, who came from a wealthy New York family and worked as a riveter building fighter planes on the night shift.”

Although these two women have since passed on, their spirits will live forever and always and continue to be an inspiration to women all over the world.


I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE

I love being a girl.
I can feel what you’re feeling
as you’re feeling it inside
the feeling
before.
I am an emotional creature.
Things do not come to me
as intellectual theories or hard-shaped ideas.
They pulse through my organs and legs
and burn up my ears.
I know when your girlfriend’s really pissed off
even though she appears to give you what
you want.
I know when a storm is coming.
I can feel the invisible stirrings in the air.
I can tell you he won’t call back.
It’s a vibe I share.

I am an emotional creature.
I love that I do not take things lightly.
Everything is intense to me.
The way I walk in the street.
The way my mother wakes me up.
The way I hear bad news.
The way it’s unbearable when I lose.

An excerpt from Eve Ensler’s book I am an Emotional Creature.

Eve Ensler has also written:

The Vagina Monologues

Necessary Targets

The Good Body

Insecure at Last

A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer (editor)

Ensler is the founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. And she is one of my role models. Rock on woman.

VDAY: A Global Movement

Buy I am an Emotional Creature (it\’s AMAZING!)

The V-day logo

Image via Wikipedia

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Posted: November 23, 2010 in Inspiration
Tags:
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

 

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Friends may come and go, but my sisters are forever.

“Live it. Talk it. Dream it. Work for it.”


The purpose of Alpha Sigma Alpha is to foster close friendships between members and develop women of poise and purpose. Our mission is that we promote high ideals and standards for our members throughout their lives by emphasizing intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual development.

 

 

This weekend, I had a big conference to attend for my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha. I am always super excited to be apart of anything that involves my sisters, but these things mean even more to me than they did a year or two ago, and I always learn something from them. My sisters have always been a huge part of my life, since my very first weeks of college. I never thought about joining a sorority, not because of all the negative stereotyping gossip I’d heard, but mostly because I was always too busy with other organizations and didn’t have a clue about what a sorority did or meant.

Nothing but happiness 🙂

In one of my freshman introduction classes, there was a senior who was basically a student assistant for our class. She was so friendly and always made me feel like we should be friends, even though I knew nothing about her. She invited me to hang out with her and some friends one night to watch Grey’s Anatomy. I didn’t know her, I didn’t know her friends, and I had never watched Grey’s. I went with a friend, and of course we had a great time! We had so much in common with these girls already, and they didn’t make us feel like we were any different than them. A week or two later I started going to the recruitment events around campus, and the rest is history 🙂 She graduated the following semester but we’ve still kept in touch. I owe so much of happiness and wisdom to the one woman who took it to the extra degree to extend her friendship and sisterhood with me. She will always be important to me, no matter where we live, or what changes we experience throughout our lives.

The point is that you never know what little things can change your life. How do you know what you’re capable of unless you try? My sisters have shown me so much about friendship, love, uncertainty, and life in general. Sometimes we lose ourselves in the routine of every day life; deadlines, work, family, other commitments, and we forget the larger scale, we forget what’s really important to us.

I was lucky enough to be completely surrounded by my sisters for two years. After I transferred schools, it didn’t hit me until I started my new life, that I would never get those moments back. I would never be able to stay up late and make pizza while we studied all through the night, I wouldn’t get as many chances to laugh until I cried, or go on last minute road trips, or even just come home to friends everyday. I would never be able to surround myself with that many people who really understood me and helped make me who I am today. I still get those chances every now and then, but it’ll never be the same as having them there every day.

It’s been a while since I transferred, girls have graduated and new girls have joined, and I too have made friends with other sisters who came before me. What is amazing is that no matter what, we always seem to pick up exactly where we left off. Whether I saw them 3 months ago, or 2 years ago, we still talk the same and still have a really strong bond. I’m not sure about others, but I’ve never had that with another group of people, sometimes not even my family. We share a bond that we pledged to the group of women because each and every one of us took a leap to better ourselves, and to put effort into improving the lives of our friends too. Some may not know it now, but I believe this is something we could all agree to.

Branching out from my original chapter, I have built relationships with many alumnae who have all different backgrounds, it doesn’t matter where you came from, or where you’re going, even if there’s 20 or 30 years between us, we can still foster that bond, because we’re all sisters.

Spending the conference with the alumnae, we shared many experiences with each other that only close friends and family members could know or understand. Learning so much about the path of their lives, what they have accomplished, and what they still strive to accomplish, gave me a sense of great hope and faith. Learning that some of my sisters have gone through unimaginable struggles and have experienced true happiness, really helped me to put my own life in perspective. I have been going through many, many transitions in all parts of my life in the past few months, and I had an idea of direction, but I still hadn’t found that balance I was looking for. Talking with sisters who’ve been through life and through death, through losing close friends and close family members, marriage and divorce, careers and social movements; made me realize again who I am, where I have been, the experiences I’ve had that have changed my life, the accomplishments and the failures I’ve made, and gave me a glimpse of who I want to strive to be in the coming years.

I only hope that the new women from my original chapter got somewhat of the same happiness that I experienced this weekend. I know that no matter what happens, I have a sister who will be there for me. Some have already experienced so much in their lives, I only hope I can stand as they do in my future. I feel I can learn so much from them, the new members, and the alumnae members. My point is that, try every once in a while, to step back and evaluate what’s going. Step back, take a breath, and consider the larger picture and consider all the things you are grateful for, who or what you cannot live without.

My sisters show me what love and friendship means in all different ways and I am so thankful for every last one of them.

Friends may come and go, but my sisters are forever.

Alpha love.

Amy Johnson

(1903-1941)

Aviator

Born six years after her American counterpart Amelia Earhart, English flying sensation Amy Johnson made her own impression. After a long duration of flying lessons begun when Johnson was twenty-five, she received her pilot’s license in 1929, despite her instructor’s assertions that she had no aptitude for flying. Upon discovering that she could not make a living by flying planes, but still desiring to work around them, Johnson achieved her British Ground Engineer’s License, making her a qualified mechanic while she also retained her simple clerical job. After buying a secondhand single-engine plane to have for personal use, Johnson became the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia in 1930, and broke numerous flying records throughout her career as an amateur pilot. She was often referred to as “The Flying Secretary” by newspapers that followed her stories. In a tale to rival that of many of today’s celebrities, Johnson met celebrated pilot Jim Mollison in 1932. The couple was engaged less than eight hours later, but divorced after six years due to Johnson’s increasing fame and popularity.

Irene Joliot-Curie

(1897-1956)

Chemist

A member of one of the most important families in the history of science, Irene Joliot-Curie inherited a love of chemistry and interest in radioactivity from her mother, Marie Curie. While Marie was the first person and so far the only woman to win two Nobel Prizes, her daughter also won a Nobel Prize; in 1935 she shared the award in chemistry with her husband, Frederic Joliot, for their synthesis of new radioactive elements. Triumphing through sheer tenacity, Joliot-Curie once said: “I consider science to be the paramount interest in my life.” After winning the Nobel Prize she went on to receive a professorship at the Faculty of Science in Paris (1937), be named an Officer of the Legion of Honor, and assist with development of France’s nuclear energy program (now the main source of energy for France). While more concerned with the pursuit of knowledge through science rather than politics, she also stated: “I believe that men’s and women’s scientific aptitudes are exactly the same.”

Mary Harris “Mother” Jones

(1837-1930)

Labor Organizer

“Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living,” said Mother Jones, called by attorney Clarence Darrow “one of the most forceful and picturesque figures of the American Labor movement.” Jones emigrated to Canada as a child, then moved to the United States. After losing her husband and four children to a yellow fever epidemic in 1867, and her dressmaking business to the Chicago fire in 18 71, she became a full-time labor organizer. She worked throughout the United States with groups ranging from coal miners to garment workers to steelworkers. “My address is like my shoes. It travels with me,” she said. “I abide where there is a fight against wrong.” Jones was particularly incensed about the use of child labor. At an Alabama mill, she observed, “by 5:30[AM, the children] are all behind the factory walls, where…they grind their young lives out for fourteen long hours each day.” In 1903 she led a march of young textile workers to President Theodore Roosevelt’s home in protest. Radical in her politics, Mother Jones remained an uncompromising advocate for workers.

Barbara Jordan

(1936-1996)

Congresswoman

Barbara Jordan rose to national attention during the impeachment hearings for President Richard Nixon in 1974. By then she already enjoyed a well-earned reputation for integrity and compassion, gained during her years in the Texas state senate (1966-1972). Jordan has been the first African American to serve in that legislative body since 1883. She was also the first black person to preside over the Texas senate and to chair one of its major committees (Labor and Management Relations). Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1973, she served on the House judiciary Committee and spear-headed legislation to expand the guarantees of the 1965 Voting Rights Act to include Mexican Americans.

Jordan was the keynote speaker for both the 1976 and 1992 Democratic National Conventions. After her retirement from office in 1978, she taught at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. “I [tell] the young people that if you’re dissatisfied…with the way things are, then you have got to resolve to change them,” said Jordan.

Source: Women Who Dare, from the Library of Congress