Dr. Dolores Silas (94) ― an educator and civic leader. After several years of teaching in Tacoma’s elementary school systems, she moved into administration, becoming principal of DeLong Elementary. Notably, becoming the first Black woman to serve as a Tacoma Public Schools administrator. In 1978 she was elected President of the NAACP Tacoma Chapter, and in 1991, she was appointed to the Tacoma City Council, and the first Black woman to serve in that role. As of recently, Wilson High School, located in Tacoma, WA, will be renamed to Dolores Silas High School. Thank you Dr. Silas for blazing a trail for women, even when it seemed unimaginable!
Amanda Gorman (22) ― an esteemed poet and activist. Her work focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora. Gorman was the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate: a title held in the United States by youth who exhibit outstanding literary-artistic ability, like poetry. Infamously known for her ground-breaking speech delivered at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration, Gorman is a force to be reckoned with!
Mary Jackson ― Have you seen the film Hidden Figures (2016)? If so, you should be familiar with Ms. Jackson. Her audacious pursuit to overcome the barriers of racialized segregation and gender discrimination was successful, granting her the chance to create lanes for women of color in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) related profession. As a result, NASA's headquarters in Washington, D.C. will be named after Mary W. Jackson, the first Black woman to work as an engineer in the agency. Although Ms. Jackson passed in 2005, her legacy remains relevant!