11 Women to Inspire the Next Generation

Check out our list of female role models below! By Anji Herman
11 Women to Inspire the Next Generation

Throughout history, courageous women have faced adversity to change the world around them. In honor of Women's History Month, the Common Sense Kids Action team compiled a list of change makers to inspire the next generation. The 11 women listed below exemplify the core values we hope to teach all kids, regardless of gender, such as persistence, resilience, and confidence. Most importantly, these role models prove the importance of standing up for oneself and for one's beliefs.

Hillary Clinton: Clinton has attempted to break the glass ceiling with her career in politics in her roles as first lady, senator, and secretary of state. On July 2016, she was nominated as the first female major party presidential candidate and went on to earn 66 million votes. As the founder of Onward Together, she works to encourage people of all backgrounds to get involved and make their voices heard.

Laverne Cox: A celebrated actress and advocate, Cox was the first-ever transgender woman of color to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy. An outspoken LGBT advocate, Cox has won numerous awards for her activism. 

America Ferrera: Best known for her role on the TV show Ugly Betty, Ferrera has jumped from the screen to the political scene. With her position as artist coalition co-chair at Voto Latino and her involvement with the Anti-Bullying Alliance, Ferrera is without a doubt a Hollywood role model who is unafraid to take a stance.

Nikki Haley: United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is no stranger to making history: She's the first woman to serve as governor of South Carolina, the second governor of Indian descent, and the youngest governor to ever serve. Haley also delivered the Republican response to President Obama's 2016 State of the Union address.

Kamala Harris: Senator Kamala Harris of California is the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history. During her tenure in California state politics, she was also the first female, the first African-American, and the first Asian-American attorney general of California.

Tara Houska: Creator of NotYourMascots.org, Houska hopes to eliminate disparaging images of Native Americans and transform how schools teach children about First Nations people. She is a fearless advocate for Native American nations across the United States and Native American advisor to Senator, and presidential hopeful, Bernie Sanders.

Megyn Kelly: Kelly's no-nonsense attitude and willingness to ask the hard questions during the 2016 presidential debates have made her a respected journalist and moderator. She has weathered public personal attacks with dignity, responding with the best tools: intellect and self-confidence.   

Nza-Ari Khepra: After the shooting of a close friend in high school, Khepra worked hard to make sure that others would never have to face the same tragedy. She led other youth in the creation of a violence-awareness campaign called Project Orange Tree, which spurred the internationally recognized Wear Orange campaign as a symbol for gun violence prevention in 2015. 

Gloria Steinem: A feminist icon, Steinem defined and led the second wave of the American feminist movement. She is an author, organizer, political activist, and role model to many in her pursuit of gender equality. 

Elizabeth Warren: Senator Warren of Massachusetts is a leading legal scholar and policymaker who has built a career representing low- and middle-income families. She has taught law at Harvard for over 20 years, has written multiple books, and is credited with leading the efforts to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the Great Recession. 

Malala Yousafzai: A strong advocate for girls' education access and equality, Yousafzai is the youngest-ever Nobel Prize recipient. Her fearless spirit and ability to create change inspired the 2015 documentary, He Named Me Malala, about her life story. 

This article was originally published on March 15, 2016. The descriptions for Hillary Clinton, Nikki Haley, and Kamala Harris have been updated for accuracy and clarity.

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