Women Creating Change

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Harriet Tubman

Ashley Longshore  

Harriet Tubman, 2019  

Acrylic on canvas  

Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery

HARRIET TUBMAN (c. 1822–1913) is known for being the “conductor” of the Underground Railroad, a secret network of individuals who helped enslaved people escape to freedom. Tubman was born into slavery, but in 1849, she managed to escape on her own to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She vowed that she would return to help other enslaved people gain their liberty. Aided by Black and white abolitionists and members of the Quakers religious group, Tubman is credited with liberating over 300 slaves before the American Civil War in 1861. She was never captured, and she continued working for the rights of enslaved people, women, the elderly, and all African Americans until her death. Though Tubman received no formal awards during her lifetime, she has been honored many times for her bravery, including receiving a commemorative United States postage stamp, since her death. 

Click to view TED-Ed video, The Breathtaking Courage of Harriet Tubman, by Janell Hobson.

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Ashley Longshore  

Rosa Parks, 2019  

Acrylic on custom wood panel Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery 

Rosa Parks

ROSA PARKS (1913–2005) was an African American civil rights activist who is best remembered for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man, triggering the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955. The segregation laws in Montgomery, Alabama at the time required Black people give up their seats to white bus riders. Parks’ actions and the success of the bus boycott encouraged other protests and helped the civil rights movement gain momentum in the United States. She has been honored for her bravery with the Spingarn Medal (1979), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1996), and a Congressional Gold Medal (1999). Parks is the first woman to “lie in honor,” meaning to receive a funeral service, in the United States Capitol. This honor is bestowed upon private citizens for their distinguished service, which only a few select Americans have ever achieved.

Click to view the story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott from the History Channel.

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Harriet Tubman

Ashley Longshore  

Harriet Tubman, 2019  

Acrylic on canvas  

Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery

HARRIET TUBMAN (c. 1822–1913) is known for being the “conductor” of the Underground Railroad, a secret network of individuals who helped enslaved people escape to freedom. Tubman was born into slavery, but in 1849, she managed to escape on her own to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She vowed that she would return to help other enslaved people gain their liberty. Aided by Black and white abolitionists and members of the Quakers religious group, Tubman is credited with liberating over 300 slaves before the American Civil War in 1861. She was never captured, and she continued working for the rights of enslaved people, women, the elderly, and all African Americans until her death. Though Tubman received no formal awards during her lifetime, she has been honored many times for her bravery, including receiving a commemorative United States postage stamp, since her death. 

Click to view TED-Ed video, The Breathtaking Courage of Harriet Tubman, by Janell Hobson.

Harriet Tubman. png.png
Harriet Tubman

Ashley Longshore  

Harriet Tubman, 2019  

Acrylic on canvas  

Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery

HARRIET TUBMAN (c. 1822–1913) is known for being the “conductor” of the Underground Railroad, a secret network of individuals who helped enslaved people escape to freedom. Tubman was born into slavery, but in 1849, she managed to escape on her own to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She vowed that she would return to help other enslaved people gain their liberty. Aided by Black and white abolitionists and members of the Quakers religious group, Tubman is credited with liberating over 300 slaves before the American Civil War in 1861. She was never captured, and she continued working for the rights of enslaved people, women, the elderly, and all African Americans until her death. Though Tubman received no formal awards during her lifetime, she has been honored many times for her bravery, including receiving a commemorative United States postage stamp, since her death. 

Click to view TED-Ed video, The Breathtaking Courage of Harriet Tubman, by Janell Hobson.

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Anne Frank

Ashley Longshore  

Anne Frank, 2019  

Acrylic on custom wood panel Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery 

ANNE FRANK (1929–1945) was a Jewish girl who is known for the diary that she kept from while she hid from the Nazis. Frank and her family moved from Germany to the Netherlands to avoid persecution in 1933, but in 1942, when Hitler occupied the Netherlands, she and her family were forced to hide in a secret annex of an Amsterdam apartment. Frank recorded her experiences there until 1944, when her family was betrayed and arrested. Frank died of typhus in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945 at fifteen years old. Published in 1947 after the diary’s discovery, The Diary of Anne Frank became an international best seller and has been translated into more than sixty languages. Though Frank’s life was cut tragically short, her writings have lived on as a tool to educate people, especially K-12 students, about the horrors of the Holocaust and the atrocities that the Nazis committed. 

Click to learn more about the life Anne Frank and her diary. 

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg

RUTH BADER GINSBURG (1933–2020) was the second woman to ever be appointed to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States and held her seat for twenty-seven years, from 1993 until her death 2020. Graduating first in her class from Columbia Law School in 1959, Ginsburg was a lawyer known for her civil rights advocacy before becoming a Supreme Court Justice. She actively supported gender equality, women’s rights, and argued and won many cases involving equality between the sexes during her time as general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization that champions the rights of citizens. In popular culture, Ginsburg is known for her iconic “dissent collar” that she wore when her opinions differed from the Supreme Court majority. Ginsburg became the first and only woman and first Jewish person to “lie in state,” meaning to receive a funeral service, in the United States Capitol. This honor is bestowed upon government officials and military officers for their distinguished service. 

Ashley Longshore  

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2019

Acrylic on custom wood panel Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery 

Click to see Ruth Bader Ginsburg answer the question, “Do you have any regrets?” in an interview with NPR

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Kamala Harris

KAMALA HARRIS (b. 1964) is the current Vice President of the United States and the highest-ranking female official in the country’s history. Taking the oath of office on January 20, 2021, Harris is the first woman, the first person of African American ancestry, and the first person of South Asian ancestry to serve as Vice President. Harris served as a United States senator and as California’s attorney general—the state’s chief law officer—before becoming Vice President to Joe Biden. Her work in California gained attention due to her efforts to combat transnational gangs and investigate banks accused of engaging in mortgage fraud.

Ashley Longshore  

Kamala Harris, 2019  

Acrylic on canvas  

Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery

Click to view Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina to ever serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, swearing in Kamala Harris as Vice President of the United States

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Michelle Obama

MICHELLE OBAMA (b. 1964) is a lawyer and writer who served as the First Lady of the United States during her husband Barack Obama’s presidency from January 2009 until January 2017. The first African American First Lady, Obama has been known for her leadership abilities and high academic achievement since her childhood in Chicago, Illinois. Obama studied sociology and African American studies at Princeton University and later earned her law degree from Harvard Law School. Before becoming First Lady, she served as the Vice President of the University of Chicago Medical Center. While Obama was known as a fashion icon during her terms as First Lady, she preferred to focus her attention on social issues such as poverty, healthy living, and education. One of the most important contributions that Obama made as First Lady was starting the “Let’s Move” campaign, an effort to promote healthy eating and exercise to combat the prevalent health issue of obesity in American children. 

Ashley Longshore  

Michelle Obama, 2019  

Acrylic on canvas  

Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery 

Click to view Michelle Obama’s “Message to Young Girls,” during her interview with Oprah Winfrey from her OWN (Ophrah Winfrey Network) Channel. 

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Malala Yousafza

MALALA YOUSAFZAI (b. 1997) is a Pakistani advocate for girls’ education. On Yousafzai’s sixteenth birthday in 2012, she became a symbol for her cause when she called for equal educational rights for girls all over the world during a speech in front of the United Nations. During this speech, the Taliban, an ultraconservative religious and political group that originated in Afghanistan, shot her in the head for her views. She survived but had to flee to the United Kingdom with her family for their safety. Yousafzai was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her continuing fight for the right of every child to receive an education. She gained additional international fame when an American documentary film, He Named Me Malala (2015), was made about her life. In 2017, Yousafzai became the youngest person to be named a UN Messenger of Peace. 

Ashley Longshore  

Malala Yousafzai, 2019

Acrylic on custom wood panel Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery 

Click to view a video about the life and work of Malala Yousafzai. 

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Indira Gandhi

INDIRA GANDHI (1917–1984) was the first woman to hold the office of Prime Minister of India and the second woman elected to lead a democratic country in history. Gandhi was known as the “Iron Lady of India” for her pragmatic skills as a politician and a stateswoman. She was imprisoned for thirteen months for her part in India’s campaign for independence from the United Kingdom. Her time in office was sometimes met with opposition and controversy, eventually leading her to be assassinated by her own security guards, who were members of the Sikh religious group that were unhappy with her policies. One of Gandhi’s most notable contributions to India was her role in the Green Revolution, which led to India’s self-sufficiency by improving agriculture and adopting modern farming technologies. 

Ashley Longshore  

Indira Gandhi, 2019  

Acrylic on custom wood panel Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery 

Click to view video footage of Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, during the queen’s visit to New Delhi, India in 1983

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Jacinda Ardern

JACINDA ARDERN (b. 1980) is the current Prime Minister of New Zealand, who became the world’s youngest woman head of government when she was first elected in 2017 at age thirty-seven. From an early age, Ardern was interested in politics and went on to champion issues related to social justice, children, and small business. She also worked to bring attention to New Zealand’s unique art, culture, and heritage. Ardern became the second woman to give birth while holding office in 2018, when she gave birth to her daughter. Some of Ardern’s most notable contributions as Prime Minister include her successful containment of the Covid-19 pandemic in New Zealand and the introduction of strict gun laws on automatic weapons as a response to the devastating Christchurch Mosque shootings, which killed over fifty people, in 2019. 

Ashley Longshore  

Jacinda Ardern, 2019  

Acrylic on custom wood panel

Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery

Click to view CBS Evening News’ footage of Jacinda Ardern and her new baby at the U.N. General Assembly