Honoring the Work of Women of Color
March is a special time to recognize the valuable and diverse contributions of women of color, in spite of the physical, mental and spiritual challenges they experience, and usually successfully overcome on a daily basis.
We also recognize the difference cultural values and experiences that influence their physical mental and spiritual lifestyles and practices as well as their worlds of work, as African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American women, and multiple sub-groups among them. Dr. Goodwin’s Minority Health Minute for March discusses their outstanding work in responding to such challenges as:
- Being successful in their family lives;
- Being successful in their workplaces;
- For too many women, meeting the challenges associated with domestic violence.
Role Models in Health and Science
History is filled with the outstanding work and contributions of women of color in the fields of health, science, government, business, and virtually every other field . Consider the following women among Health Power’s 18 outstanding women honorees, such as: Antonio Novello, M.D., first woman to be U.S. Surgeon General; Elena Rios, M.D., President of the National Hispanic Medical Association; Vivian Pinn, M.D., Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Shiriki Kumanyika, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; and Soledad O’Brien, Special Correspondent of CNN, and Patti Labelle, legendary singer, author and health advocate.
March – Women’s History Month – is a good time to reflect on how these multicultural women, and many more like them, have made a difference. They’re not just role models, but leaders, pioneers and champions who have enriched all our lives by breaking new ground in a wide range of fields, and in their own unique ways.
Indeed, they represent jobs as diverse as TV correspondent, award-winning chef, corporate CEO, professor, researcher, administrative director and author. And their ethnic make-up ranges from African American and Hispanic to Asian American and Native American.
In the past, Health Power has honored 18 outstanding women for their historical contributions to minority and multicultural women. The passage of time has given their roles and accomplishments even greater weight, and we encourage you learn more about each of them:
Our 2013 Salute to Dr. Mae Jemison, First African American Woman Astronaut
Mae Carol Jemison came from a modest background, but through determination and enormous energy found her career soar – literally. Born in 1956 in Decatur, Alabama – her father was a maintenance supervisor and her mother an elementary school teacher – Dr. Jemison set her sights on becoming an astronaut as a young girl. She attended Cornell University Medical School, and served as a medical specialist in the Peace Corps in West Africa from 1985 to 1987. She was selected by NASA to join the astronaut corps, and ventured into space in 1992 aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor, becoming the first black woman to travel into space. Dr. Jemison resigned from NASA one year later to form a company researching the application of technology to daily life. In addition to holding nine honorary doctorate degrees in science, engineering, letters and the humanities, she is a dancer and actress who has appeared on television. Dr. Jemision says she was inspired throughout her career by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “When I think of Martin Luther King” she once said, “I think of attitude, audacity and bravery. [He taught us] the best way to make dreams come true is to wake up.”
All of the women of color addressed in the article, whether role models or not, show through their work that they understand the importance of the Health Power tagline, or motto:
Knowledge + Action = Power
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