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famous women > activist list | a | b | C | d | e | f | g | h | i-j | k | l | m | n-o | p | r | s | t-u-v | w-z > Pioneers of Women’s Rights Movement Posters < social studies

Notable women activists ~

Helen Caldicott
Rachel Carson
Lillian Carter
Carrie Chapman Catt

Margaret Cavendish
Lydia Maria Child
Shirley Chisholm
Frances Power Cobbe

Marva Collins
Prudence Crandall
Juana Inés de la Cruz

Doctor Helen Caldicott, Photographic Print
Doctor Helen Caldicott, Photographic Print

Helen Caldicott
b. 1938; Melbourne, Australia

Helen Caldicott is a “physician, author, and anti-nuclear advocate who has founded several associations dedicated to opposing the use of depleted uranium munitions, nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons proliferation, war and military action in general”.

She was also active with Physicians for Social Responsibility. Currently she hosts a weekly radio program, If You Love This Planet.

If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Save the Earth (book)

Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson
b. 5-27-1907; Springdale, Pennsylvania
d. 4-14-1964; Silver Spring, MD

“The most alarming of all man's assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea with dangerous and even lethal materials.” Rachel Carson

Ecology posters

Lillian Carter
Lillian Carter

Lillian Carter, née Bessie Lillian Gordy
b. 8-15-1898; Richland, GA
d. 10-30-1983; Ameriicua, GA (cancer)

Lillian Carter, best remembered as Miss Lillian, the mother of former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, was also a life long social activist and humanitarian expressed primarily through her nursing work in her home state of Georgia.

She volunteered as a nurse at age 19 for the U.S. Army in 1917 (the program was cancelled before she serve), and as a Peace Corps volunteer in India at age 68.

Away From Home: Letters to My Family by Lillian Carter

Carrie Chapman Catt, American Suffragist and Peace Advocate, Giclee Print
Carrie Chapman Catt, American Suffragist and Peace Advocate,
Giclee Print

Carrie Chapman Catt
b. 1-9-1859; Ripon, Wisconsin
d. 3-9-1947; New Rochelle, NY

Carrie Clinton Lane graduated from Iowa State University and was a teacher and then superintendent of Mason City, IA schools in 1885.

Carrie, who was married to George Catt after her first husband, Leo Chapman, died, was Susan B. Anthony’s hand-picked successor to lead the woman suffrage movement nationally. For two decades her tactical skills, perserverance, and diplomacy laid the path passing and ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Catt also founded the League of Women Voters and later became a prominent figure in the internationalist and pacifist movements that arose in the wake of World War I.

Carrie Chapman Catt quotes ~
• “No written law has ever been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.”
• “There are whole precincts of voters in this country whose united intelligence does not equal that of one representative American woman.”
• “In the adjustment of the new order of things, we women demand an equal voice; we shall accept nothing less.”
• “Parliaments have stopped laughing at woman suffrage, and politicians have begun to dodge! It is the inevitable premonition of coming victory.” ~ International Woman Suffrage Association, 1913

Margaret Cavendish, Giclee Print
Margaret Cavendish,
Giclee Print

Margaret Cavendish, née Lucas, Duchess of Newcastle
b. 1623; England
d. 12-15-1673

Margaret Cavendish, an attendant of Queen Henrietta Maria, was a poet, philosopher, writer of romances (her romance, The Blazing World, is one of the earliest examples of science fiction), essayist, and playwright who published under her own name at a time when most women writers published anonymously. She addressed topics ranging from “gender, power, manners, scientific method, and animal protection”.

Margaret Cavendish quotes -
• “Marriage is the grave or tomb of wit.”
• “Indeed, I was so afraid to dishonour my friends and family by my indiscreet actions, that I rather chose to be accounted a fool, than to be thought rude or wanton.”

Paper Bodies: A Margaret Cavendish Reader

Lydia Maria Child: The Quest for Racial Justice
Lydia Maria Child:
The Quest for
Racial Justice

(no commerically
available image)

Lydia Maria Child, née Francis
b. 2-11-1802; Medford, MA
d. 10-20-1880; Wayland, MA

Novelist and journalist Lydia Maria Child was an abolitionist, women's rights and Indian rights activist, and opponent of American expansionism.

Child, who wrote anti-slavery fiction, helped author Harriet Jacobs with her Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and was associated with William Lloyd Garrison. Her most remembered work is Over the River and Through the Woods.

Lydia Maria Child quotes ~

1906 American Abolitionist Lydia Maria Child Home, Original Halftone Frint
1906 American Abolitionist Lydia Maria Childhood Home, Original Halftone Frint

• “It is my mission to help in the breaking down of classes, and to make all men feel as if they were brethren of the same family, sharing the same rights, the same capabilities, and the same responsibilities. While my hand can hold a pen, I will use it to this end; and while my brain can earn a dollar, I will devote it to this end.”
• “A reformer is one who sets forth cheerfully toward sure defeat.”
• “The eye of genius has always a plaintive expression, and its natural language is pathos.”
• “But men never violate the laws of God without suffering the consequences, sooner or later.”
• “Reverence is the highest quality of man's nature; and that individual, or nation, which has it slightly developed, is so far unfortunate. It is a strong spiritual instinct, and seeks to form channels for itself where none exists; thus Americans, in the dearth of other objects to worship, fall to worshiping themselves.
• “The cure for all ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrows and the crimes of humanity, all lie in the one word 'love.' It is the divine vitality that everywhere produces and restores life.”
• “Childhood itself is scarcely more lovely than a cheerful, kindly, sunshiny old age.”
• “Every human being has, like Socrates, an attendant spirit; and wise are they who obey its signals. If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do.”
• “Over the river and through the wood/To grandfather's house we go/The horse knows the way/To carry the sleigh/Through the white and drifted snow.” ~ Thanksgiving Day, 1845

Shirley Chisholm, Library of Congress
Shirley Chisholm,
Library of Congress

Shirley Chisholm
b. 11-30-1924; Brooklyn, NY
d. 1-1-2005

“I'm ‘fighting Shirley Chisholm,’ and I'm unbought and unbossed.” That was how U.S. Representative Shirley Chisholm usually introduced herself to crowds. It was a very good description. Shirley Chisholm has always been a fighter, with very strong opinions and very little patience for people who fought the idea of change. Because of this, she has been called difficult and stubborn. But the many children Shirley Chisholm taught in day care classes, and the many people she helped while she was in Congress know her as a warm and caring person who always took the time to listen to them. This desire soon led Shirley into politics. At first, she worked on the campaigns of other black candidates. At the same time, she worked as a teacher. But in 1964, whe was elected to the New York State Assembly. And in November of 1968, she became the first black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In Congress, Shirley worked to stop discrimination in housing and employment. And she continued to speak out in favor of equality for women. In 1972, she ran for President as a Democrat and lost. But Shirley always said the real reason she ran was not to win, but to draw attention ito the issues she felt strongly about. Shirley Chisholm has always been a pioneer, and her message is simple: Don't listen to those who say, “you can't.” Listen to the voice inside yourself that says, “I can.” (poster published prior to 2005) ...

• more Shirley Chisholm posters
• more Great Black Americans posters

Power and Protest: Frances Power Cobbe and Victorian Society
Power and Protest: Frances Power Cobbe
and Victorian Society

(no commerically
available image)

Frances Power Cobbe
b. 12-4-1822; Dublin, Ireland
d. 4-5-1904

Frances Power Cobbe was a social reformer, feminist theorist, and pioneer animal rights activist.

Frances Power Cobbe quotes ~
• “I think it is worse to be poor in mind than in purse, to be stunted and belittled in soul, made a coward, made a liar, made mean and slavish, accustomed to fawn and prevaricate, and ‘manage’ by base arts a husband or a father, — I think this is worse than to be kicked with hobnailed shoes.”
• “...men give us most rarely that which we really want, not favor, but — Justice. Nothing is easier than to coax them to pet us like children, nothing more difficult than to persuade them to treat us like responsible human beings.”
• “Science is but a mere heap of facts, not a golden chain of truths, if we refuse to link it to the throne of God.”
• “So immense are the claims on a mother, physical claims on her bodily and brain vigor, and moral claims on her heart and thoughts, that she cannot ... meet them all and find any large margin beyond for other cares and work. She serves the community in the very best and highest way it is possible to do, by giving birth to healthy children, whose physical strength has not been defrauded, and to whose moral and mental nature she can give the whole of her thoughts.”
• “I have often thought how strange it is that men can at once and the same moment cheerfully consign our sex to lives either of narrowest toil or senseless luxury and vanity, and then sneer at the smallness of our aims, the pettiness of our thoughts, the puerility of our conversation!”
• “Ours is the old, old story of every uprising race or class or order. The work of elevation must be wrought by ourselves or not at all.”

Inspirational Quotations - Marva Collins Poster
Marva Collins Inspirational Quotations, Poster

Marva Collins
b. 8-31-1936; Monroeville, AL

“Trust yourself. Think for yourself. Act for yourself. Speak for yourself. Be yourself. Imitation is suicide.”

Poster Text: Educator Marva Collins is famous for her creative teaching technique. In 1975 she founded the Westside Preparatory school in one of Chicago's planned neighborhoods. Westside Prep students, most of whom came from disadvantaced households, are taught to ... and are often ... recite passages from the classics. Regarded by many as a ‘miracle teacher,‘ Marva Collin's life was portrayed in a television drama in 1981.

• more Inspirational Quotations posters
Marva Collins’ Way at Amazon.com

Prudence Crandall, Historic Print
Prudence Crandall,
Historic Print

Prudence Crandall
b. 9-3-1803; Hopkinton, RI
d. 1-28-1890; Elk Falls, KS

Quaker Prudence Crandall founded a school for “Young ladies and Misses of color” in Canterbury, Connecticut, creating what is generally regarded as the first integrated classroom in the United States (1833). Her school was not without controversy: she spent a night in jail for breaking “The Black Law” passed in 1834 which prohibited such a school. After violence closed the school she married Rev. Calvin Phileo and moved from the state, finally living with a brother in Kansas.

The law was repealed in 1838, Mark Twain supported an effort to provide Prudence Crandall with a yearly pension in 1886, and she was declared State Heroine by the Connecticut General Assembly in 1995.

The Forbidden Schoolhouse: The True and Dramatic Story of Prudence Crandall and Her Students

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

series image no
longer available.

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
(Joan Agnes of the Cross)
née Juana Ines de Asbaje y Ramirez
b. 11-12-1651; near Mexico City, Mexico
d. 4-17-1695 (plague?)

Self-taught scholar and poet Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz was an early feminist, choosing to live as a nun in a convent, the only refuge for a female who wished to study. Eventually silenced by the church and forced to sell her library, she died of a plague epidemic.

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz ~
• “Ah stupid men, unreasonable in blaming woman’s nature, oblivious that your acts incite the very faults you censure.”

Poems, Protest, and a Dream: Selected Writings

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Pioneers of Women’s Rights Movement Posters

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