Social Activist She-roes

Being honored as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Women's eNews is a tremendous honor for me. Even more amazing was to be in the company of so many women and men who are changing the world. Their social activism continues the work started by our foremothers. Match the woman with her accomplishment:

____ 1. Led the pecan shellers strike in 1938 in San Antonio, Texas who went on strike after their wages were cut in half.
____ 2. This Nobel Peace Prize recipient established Hull House, a settlement house in Chicago, to provide services to immigrants and industrial workers.
____ 3. A major force in the civil rights movement, she founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
____ 4. The founder of AARP who was galvanized to action upon seeing the perilous financial situation of many retired teachers, including her own mothers.
____ 5. Appointed the first female principle chief of the Seminole Nation.

A. Jane Addams
B. Alice Davis
C. Emma Tenayuca
D. Ella Baker
E. Ethel Percy Andrus

A pioneer in the settlement house movement and recipient of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize, Jane Addams decided to establish a settlement house in Chicago after visiting one in London. Settlement houses were community centers established in immigrant or industrial districts that provided services to neighborhood residents. Hull House in Chicago provided, among many others, English as a Second Language courses, information on health and food preparation, an art gallery, a library, employment services - in short, services that helped to better the lives of those who lived near Hull House. By its second year of operation, Hull House was serving 2,000 people every week. Addams was able to expand her sphere of influence to the Greater Chicago area and later the world through her work to enfranchise women and her activism in the peace movement. She has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

A member of the Seminole tribe, Alice Davis was born into a legacy forged through "The Trail of Tears" (1832) - the forced removal and migration of her tribe from Florida to Oklahoma. She continued the family tradition of serving others, first as a teacher, later as the postmistress. After the death of her husband, Davis served as a school superintendent and as an interpreter. Appointed as the first female principal chief of the Seminole Tribe (1922) by President Warren G. Harding, she refused to cede lands of individual Seminole people to either the Creek Nation or the Federal Government. The "leader of her people" has been inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and the American Indian Hall of Fame.

Arrested when she joined a picket line at age 16, labor activist Emma Tenayuca fought for the rights of laborers, particularly Mexican-Americans, at a time when that group was afforded few rights. Respected as an orator and organizer for the National Workers' Alliance, in 1938, when she was 21, Tenayuca organized a strike of the pecan shellers of San Antonio, Texas after their wages were cut in half. Many historians consider that strike the first successful victory in the fight for Mexican-American rights in the U.S. Her speech in 1939 at the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium led to what is today still considered the biggest riot in San Antonio history. Later, Tenayuca served as a teacher and the principles she fought for have become integrated into our way of life - minimum wage, disability benefits, and unemployment benefits, among others.

Human rights and civil rights activist Ella Baker formed many of her opinions as she grew up listening to her grandmother talk about life as a slave. She joined what is today the NAACP in 1940 and worked with that organization until 1946. Determined to work against the discriminatory Jim Crow laws of the South, she co-founded In Friendship in 1955 and then helped organize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. After black student sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina, Baker founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She was driven by her belief that voting was one significant key to freedom. Baker, who remained a strong advocate for human rights throughout her life, has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

The founder of AARP, Ethel Percy Andrus was an educator whose second career has had a huge impact on society. Her concern for the retired population had its impetus in the perilous financial situation faced by many retired teachers, including her own mother. Andrus started the National Retired Teachers Association in 1947, which is today part of AARP. A huge advocate for older individuals, Andrus fought not just for health insurance and pensions, but showed the way for retirees to have active lives. By 1967, when she died, AARP had grown to one million members. Andrus has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Learn about more she-roes and celebrate amazing women.
These women who changed the world through their social activism are among the more than 850 women profiled in the book Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. I understand that I am the beneficiary of their activism and admire their passion, determination, and persistence in bettering everyone's lives.

(Answers 1-C, 2-A, 3-D, 4-E, 5-B)