This Women’s History Month, we honor our personal and national heroes. And, we are reminded of how the past is present. This national celebration of women’s history was initiated just 40 years ago with a single week in March before growing into a month-long remembrance of the women who have shaped our country.
So many of the women then honored cracked opened the doors for women we now look to for inspiration.
Without U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm, there could be no Vice President Kamala Harris. Dr. Jane Goodall set in motion a female-driven environmental advocacy that’s been catapulted forward by teenager Greta Thunburg. Ninety-year-old labor and civil rights icon Dolores Huerta has told reporters she is “in awe” of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
And at our school dress up days, countless of our young scholars dress up like Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Michelle Obama, Mae Jemison, Serena Williams, Ellen Ochoa, Ida B. Wells, Simone Biles, and so many others. Our students’ futures will be fueled by what they know is possible. It is abundantly clear that the past is present.
Our children know they are Black Girl Magic. They feel the presence and power of their Latina identity. They know this because they see it all around them, in the incredible women present in their living rooms, their classrooms, and in the halls of Congress.
There is so much promise in that knowing.
It means our little girls not only see what they too can be, but also that they recognize women’s—and especially Black and Latina women’s—legacy of breaking new ground. Our scholars will walk tall in the footprints left by the giants who came before, and they’ll also chart paths that have not yet been imagined. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we celebrate this future so many great women have made possible.