Women Making History

These women are unapologetically charting their own course!
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Women Making History

Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court last year, when President Biden announced her as his pick to replace retiring Justice Stephen G. Breyer, for whom Jackson clerked in 1999. She became the third African American to ever sit on the court in its 200+ year history.

When Zara Rutherford, a 19-year-old Belgian-British aviator, finished a five-month adventure covering five continents and more than 32,000 miles in January, she became the youngest woman to fly around the world alone. Rutherford, the daughter of two pilots, accomplished this feat by shattering two Guinness World Records: one for being the youngest woman to complete the tour and another for being the first woman to fly a microlight aircraft around the world.

At 13 years old, Alena Analeigh Wicker is on her way to medical school. Wicker, who lives just outside of Forth Worth, Texas, learned in May that she had been accepted into the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine for 2024. The child prodigy is more than 10 years younger than the average incoming medical student. And she is the youngest Black person to ever get accepted into a medical school in the U.S.

Autumn Lockwood, an assistant sports performance coach with the Eagles, became the first Black woman to ever coach in the Super Bowl. Lockwood, a University of Arizona alumna and former women's soccer player, joined the Eagles in August of 2022. She previously worked at the University of Houston from 2021 to 2022 as a coordinator of Sports performance. She also worked at East Tennessee State, the Atlanta Falcons and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. After graduating from Arizona, she worked as a student sports information director and Olympic strength and conditioning paid intern at the university. Lockwood was the fourth woman to coach in a Super Bowl.

Claudine Gay was announced as Harvard’s 30th president, making her the first black president of the university. She is also the second woman to be president of the Ivy League institution. Gay’s role as president begins July 1st, 2023, replacing Lawrence Bacow in his role. She is currently a dean at the university and a democracy scholar. According to NBC News, “With Gay’s appointment, women will outnumber men as chiefs of the eight Ivy League schools. Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania appointed women earlier this year, joining Brown and Cornell.” Gay will still be the only black president running an Ivy League institution and the second Black woman ever to do so.

Jennifer Hudson is The Youngest Woman to Get a "EGOT" Winning an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award." Hudson, who originally gained notoriety as a participant in Fox's popular reality show "American Idol," became the youngest woman to ever win all four. She attained the honor by co-producing the musical "A Weird Loop" and winning a Tony.

Jane Campion is the first female director to receive multiple Oscar nominations. No woman had ever received two nominations in the same category for the Academy Awards prior to this year. She received a second nomination for her "The Power of the Dog" Netflix drama. After Chloé Zhao and Kathryn Bigelow, Campion became only the third female filmmaker to win an Oscar.

After being overwhelmingly elected in November, 62-year-old democratic socialist Xiomara Castro took office as Honduras' first female president in January. She received 1.7 million votes, the most in any election in the history of the nation. According to Axios, Castro's victory put an end to the National Party's 12-year reign, which U.S. prosecutors claimed supported a "narco-state." Castro, who ran for president in 2013 and 2017 and served as first lady under the administration of her husband, Manuel Zelaya, laid out her objectives to combat corruption in the nation, take on drug traffickers, and lessen poverty in her inaugural speech, which Vice President Harris attended. “Two hundred years have passed since our independence was proclaimed,” Castro said in her speech. “We’re breaking chains and we’re breaking traditions.”

Karen Bass, a Democratic US congresswoman, became the first woman to lead the nation's second-largest city, when she was elected Mayor of Los Angeles in November. "The people of Los Angeles have sent a clear message: It is time for a change and it is time for urgency," Bass said, adding that she would "hit the ground running" on homelessness and crime.

When the US Mint began issuing the coin on January 11, 2022, the late American author and activist Maya Angelou became the first Black woman to be featured on the US quarter. According to the US Mint, Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American Hollywood film star, is also featured on the coin, which is a part of the American Women Quarters Program.