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Celebrating Women’s History Month: A Tribute to Past and Present Female Leaders

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Kristina Nguyen is one of several members of the student-run Feminist Action Project.

March is Women’s History Month, an annual celebration of the many women who have shaped America’s history and its future—from the big names to the unsung heroes. It’s a time to honor those who made significant advancements in our society and spoke out for what’s right—even when they had to fight to be heard.

During this month of reflection, we asked Kristina Nguyen, a journalism senior and member of the Feminist Action Project, to shine the spotlight on past and present female leaders who continue to inspire her own activism work here on campus and out in the community.

A female leader that I admire is Grace Lee Boggs, an Asian American writer, activist and feminist who was prominent during the ’40s and ’50s. I am inspired by the ways she fought for communities that were not her own with her work in the Black Power Movement, which is something that I am always striving to do in my own activism.

As an Asian American, she faced immense discrimination, but used her personal experiences to inform her social justice work. Her commitment to her work is truly amazing. Even up until her death, she continued to engage in ways that she could. There aren’t a ton of widely-known Asian American activists (although we’re out there, I swear!), so she is a huge inspiration of mine, being an Asian American woman myself.  

Currently, I have been very impressed and moved by Guneez Ibrahim and Hannah McMorris, one of the teams running for executive alliance at UT in 2018. Their platform includes developing/improving student centers on and off campus, changing the culture of student government to make it more accessible and, most importantly, centering marginalized communities and addressing their concerns.

I believe their platform has some really original and essential points that would help improve the campus climate immensely. I admire these women for taking on the huge challenge of running and reaching out to students whose needs have been ignored by the system in the past. Guneez and Hannah are tenacious, determined and authentic, and will make great leaders for UT. 

More about the Feminist Action Project: A student agency within the Gender and Sexuality Center, the Feminist Action Project organizes activist programs, conversations and events for gender justice. Visit this website for more information.