Mathematical genius Katherine Johnson. Literary icon Maya Angelou. Hollywood pioneer Cicely Tyson. Activist Angela Davis. Inventor Patricia Bath.
These are the names of just some of the giants we (rightfully) celebrate during Women’s History Month. At the same time while we uphold our past, it’s just as important to embrace the future and make space for the newest wave of boundary-bucking, glass ceiling-shattering, history-making ladies.
That’s why we are proud to unveil this month’s new series: theGrio’s 20 Millennial Women Making Moves. It’s a countdown of change agents who are currently getting their shine on in entertainment, politics, technology, social justice, business, sports and other industries. The ladies we’ve handpicked for this inaugural honor are not only outsized talents, but they are leveraging their influence to uplift The Culture.
All month long, we’ll be highlighting female forces of nature who made an impact over the last year, sharing why they’re so definitively dope and how their accomplishments will shape the future.
Surgeon General’s Warning: Reading these profiles could cause side effects of an obsession with greatness, an overwhelming sense of to share their #BlackGirlPower stories and the urgent need to shout “alright sis” at random.
Politician, History Maker and Democratic Dynamo
You could say that this freshly elected U.S. Representative from Illinois is concerned with the health of our nation. A nurse by trade, Lauren Underwood, 32, is also a newly minted politician who made history on two fronts during the fall mid-terms.
First off: She is the youngest Black woman ever elected to Congress, period. Secondly, her election win represents the second time in over 70 years that a Democrat has been chosen to lead that district. And best believe, she is there to work on behalf of her constituents.
Shortly after her swearing in, Underwood shared the following source of inspiration with The Cut: “I’m motivated by the people at home who really need to feel an impact for having elected me. Where I’m from, it’s half-suburban, half-rural, and there are a lot of moms who are busy taking care of their families and are not sitting around watching the cable shows all day. They’re not caught in the minutia, but they know that D.C. is a chaotic place with a lot of dysfunction, and they are looking for someone to break through that noise and get something done.”
Happy #WomensHistoryMonth! Our concerns are not niche concerns. In Congress, I’m proud to have stood up to assaults on our reproductive care & joined the fight for paid family leave & other priorities that will better the lives of women and families across #IL14 and our country.
— Lauren Underwood (@LaurenUnderwood) March 1, 2019
Her #BlackGirlPower is..She’s on the Hill and in the history books, but isn’t satisfied with being a Black History Month headline. Underwood is already gunning for gun control reform and is leaning into her impressive health industry experience to propose laws that stop discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions.
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