Timeline: Race, Gender, Class, Sex

course logoThis timeline is part of ENGL 202's build assignment. Research a topic that teaches us something about race, class, gender, or sexuality and then contribute what you have learned to our shared class resource. As the assignment states, "Add one timeline element, one map element and one gallery image about race, class, gender, or sex to our collective resources in COVE Editions. Provide images, sources and sufficient detail to explain the historical or cultural element that you are presenting. Interlink the three objects." A few timeline elements have already been added (borrowing from BRANCH). 


Chronological table

Displaying 51 - 71 of 71
Date Event Created by Associated Places
17 Jun 1911

Women's Suffrage Procession at Coronation of George V

Newspaper photo showing "From Prison to Citizenship" banner in Coronation Procession
The "From Prison to Citizenship" banner at the Women's Coronation Procession, London, 1911. Photo by the Museum of London/Heritage Images/Getty Images.

In this famous suffrage procession marking the Coronation of George V, the banner designed by Laurence and created by Clemence in 1908 for the Kensington Women’s Social and Political Union made one of its numerous appearances in public parades. The striking banner, “From Prison to Citizenship,” features the suffragist colours, depicting a white figure on a purple background, decorated with green vines. The design was so popular it was also incorporated into a postcard for wider distribution. Clemence personally enacted this slogan later in 1911, when she spent a week in Holloway Prison for refusing to pay property taxes until she was granted full citizenship. Her act of civil disobedience did not grant her full citizenship, but it did add strength to the movement.  Some women got the vote in 1918, but it took until 1928 for universal female suffrage to be achieved in the United Kingdom  (Liddington, Vanishing).

Lorraine Kooistra
29 Sep 1911 to 6 Oct 1911

Clemence Housman imprisoned for tax resistance

Laurence Housman escorts his sister Clemence Housman to Holloway Prison for her arrest, 29 September 2011. Wikimedia Commons.
Laurence Housman escorts his sister Clemence Housman to Holloway Prison for her arrest, 29 September 2011. Wikimedia Commons.

On Friday, September 29th, 1911, Clemence Housman was arrested for purposefully resisting the payment of taxes. This action was born out of her active participation and creative leadership within suffrage movements. Both Clemence and Laurence, who lived in Kensington, were geographically central to the suffrage movements, and loaned their creative skills to the Women’s Freedom League, through their efforts at their Suffrage Atelier. Clemence, with her considerable sewing skills, was the “chief banner-maker of the suffrage movement,” and collaborated with Laurence on the famous banner bearing the slogan “From Prison to Citizenship.”

Clemence’s own tax resistance was part of a larger movement of the Women’s Tax Resistance League (WTRL), which used strategies of civil disobedience to campaign for women’s suffrage. Clemence, who lived with her brother, did not legally have any property on which to pay taxes, so she rented out a house in the rural community of Swanage, where she eluded the census of 2 April 1911. An entry in her diary at this time was “No Vote No Census Clemence Housman.” Along with other WTRL members, Clemence refused to pay taxes on her rental property in 1911, and was admonished in a government letter in July, to which she replied that she was on holiday and unable to pay taxes. Finally, on September 29th, the tax authorities caught up with her, and she was arrested from her Kensington house. The suffrage community gathered at her house to show support, and Laurence himself escorted her to Holloway Prison. Immediately after her incarceration, Clemence petitioned the home office explaining her reason for alluding taxes, that she felt that she had “personally fulfilled a duty, moral, social and constitutional, by refusing to pay petty taxes into irresponsible hands.” At this time, Laurence commented to the press: "when they give her her freedom, she will do it again until representation has been granted." Clemence was released from Holloway quietly on 6 October, an event that attracted considerable press because of the position of her and her family within the artistic and suffrage communities. A special cable to the New York Times called Clemence a "Suffragette Martyr" (Liddington, Vanishing for the Vote; "Suffragette Martyr," The New York Times).

Emily Hunsberger

1918 Representation of the People Act Passed

The 1918 Representation of the People, or 1918 Reform Act, was passed at the end of World War I and extended the rights for certain people to vote in Scotland.  Although some women were given the right to vote once the 1872 Education (Scotland) Act passed, these rights were reserved for women who “were owners or occupiers of property above £4 annual rental” (McDermid 334).  Therefore, although some women were able to begin voting in the nineteenth century, this privilege almost always only applied to school boards and left most women without a voice in politics (McDermid 334-336).  Instead, women had to wait until the 1918 Representation of the People Act was passed to be granted voting rights more equal to those of men at the time; this act allowed most women over 30 years of age to vote (Cameron 101-105).  This act did not change the discriminatory attitude towards women who were under 30 years of age, though, and still regarded women with “property qualifications” (Cameron 101-102).  Lower-class women, particularly unmarried working women, were the most disadvantaged by this system, as these women often did not own property, were not wealthy, and did not have many “economic opportunities,” making them ineligible to vote (Cameron 105).  One member at the 1918 Labour Party Conference, John Bromley, pointed out the faults in the 1918 Representation of the People Act, stating that the act “failed to give votes to women under 30 years of age [and] denied them the right to sit in Parliament” and emphasizing the need to make “the right of becoming electors in [the] kingdom . . . based on a basis of humanity and not property” (Wrigley 66).  Although ideas such as Bromley’s were certainly present at this time, it took another ten years until the 1928 Representation of the People Act was passed.  This act did lower the minimum age for legal female voters and finally gave women the same voting voting rights as men (Cameron 101-102).


Works Cited


Cameron, Ewen A. “The 1918 Reform Act, Redistribution and Scottish Politics.” Parliamentary History, vol. 37, no. 1, WILEY, 2018, pp. 101–15, https://doi.org/10.1111/1750-0206.12340.

McDermid, Jane. “School Board Women and Active Citizenship in Scotland, 1873 - 1919.” History of Education (Tavistock), vol. 38, no. 3, Routledge, 2009, pp. 333–47, https://doi.org/10.1080/00467600902859761.

Wrigley, Chris. “The Labour Party and the Impact of the 1918 Reform Act.” Parliamentary History, vol. 37, no. 1, WILEY, 2018, pp. 64–80, https://doi.org/10.1111/1750-0206.12338.

Brynne Mills
4 Jun 1919 to Aug 1920

19th Amendment Passed and Ratified

On June 4, 1919, the 19th Amendment is finally passed by the House and the Senate. The amendment, previously called The Woman Suffrage Amendment, was first introduced to Congress in 1878 and written by Susan B. Anthony. For four decades, the amendment was overlooked and never taken seriously, despite being discussed frequently. At last, it was passed on that fateful in 1919. After being passed, it was sent to the states for ratification. Eight states rejected the amendment, and five did not vote: but after a year, thirty-six states finally ratified the amendment. Tennessee was the crucial and final vote that allowed this to happen. After the ratification, the amendment to the Constitution was now certified as law. This amendment guaranteed that no U.S. citizen will be denied their right to vote on the basis of sex. The ratification took place in August 1920.

At last, the work of the many suffragists finally paid off. Groups such as the National American Woman Suffrage Association dissolved as their goal had been reached. Although women were officially granted the right to vote, many women knew their work was far from done. Women still faced discrimination in many other ways. The women's rights advocates moved on to fighting for equal rights after gaining their inalienable right to vote in 1920. 

Image courtesy of History.com

Works Cited: 

"Suffrage Timeline." Americanbar.org, https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/19th-ammendment-cent...

"Woman Suffrage Centennial." U.S. Senate: Woman Suffrage Centennial, 16 July 2020, https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/People/Women/Nineteenth_Ame...


Beth Noble
The end of the month Winter 1924 to The end of the month Winter 1924

Vladimir Lenin Perishes and Joseph Stalin Emerges

Joseph Stalin.

Vladimir Lenin was the father of the Soviet Union. The extremely frigid temperatures of Russia's winter in the year 1924 led to Lenin's body decomposing at a much slower rate than normal; thus, the Russian residents decided to preserve his body. The professor of medicine Vladimir Vorob'ev and the biochemist Boris Zbarskii were tasked with embalming Lenin's deceased body; their method worked. Lenin's body became recognized among the Soviet people as, of course, Vladimir Lenin, but also as the embodiment of Communision; this birthed the term "Leninism," which pertained to a person's legacy that they left behind even after thier physical body had died. The individuals who continue to preserve Lenin's body today refer to it as a living sculpture. While Lenin had been the one to lay the foundation for Communism, one of his most motivated and devoted followers, Joseph Stalin, was the one who began to build upon his foundation.

Joseph Stalin became a devoted follower of Vladimir Lenin in 1905; so much so, that he committed numerous bank heists in 1907 to fund Lenin's Bolsheviks. Eventually, in 1912, Lenin departed from the Social Democratic Party and and appointed Stalin as his new party's Central Committee; he viewed him as ruthless and dependable. Finally, in 1917, the Bolsheviks overthrew the Russian government; Lenin appointed Stalin to his cabinet as the Commissar of Nationalities. Stalin was described as not being intelligent, but being determined and hard-working enough to reach his aggresive goals. Stalin loved doing office work and eventually worked his way up more in the system that Lenin had devised. In the year 1922, Lenin suffered the first of many critical strokes which eventually led to his death in 1924; afterwards, a group of Lenin's closest companions were left to rule over Russia. However, Stalin was able to manipulate the competition and took full control of the party and had the others eliminated.

The Russian Revolution was an example of how regular citizens of a country could manipulate the class system and gain power by utilizing their intellect to make smart moves. While Stalin was not described as being particulaly intellectual, he had learned how power was passed on and how much weight it carried. Stalin was smarter than he appeared, and the Revolution was one example of how easily power could be handed off to the wrong person and how the Communistic government never completely abolished the class system.


Works Cited

"Joseph Stalin." Tribune Content Agency Photos, 2013. Gale In Context: Collegelink.gale.com/apps/doc/YGWNWU421704033/CSIC?u=purdue_main&sid=bookmark-CSIC&xid=29f084cd. Accessed 8 Nov. 2021.

"Joseph Stalin." UXL Biographies, UXL, 2011. Gale In Context: Collegelink.gale.com/apps/doc/EJ2108102152/CSIC?u=purdue_main&sid=bookmark-CSIC&xid=8593adca. Accessed 8 Nov. 2021.

Yurchak, Alexei. "Communist Proteins: Lenin's Skin, Astrobiology, and the Origin of Life." Kritika, vol. 20, no. 4, fall 2019, pp. 683+. Gale In Context: World Historylink.gale.com/apps/doc/A607387978/WHIC?u=purdue_main&sid=bookmark-WHIC&xid=de903246. Accessed 8 Nov. 2021.


Kat Payne
17 May 1954

Brown v Board of Education Timeline -Schlemmer

Brown v Board of Education is a Supreme Court case from 1954 which ruled that segregation in schools violates the fourteenth amendment. An order from the Topeka School Board in Kansas forced an 11-year-old girl to attend a school for black children, which caused the NAACP to take on the case, leading it to the supreme court. Four more cases involving segregation also reached the Supreme Court in 1954.These cases were upheld by an organized legal campaign, consisting of African American lawyers from Howard University Law School and the NAACP. The hard work and struggle to “fulfil the American dream set in motion sweeping changes in American society” when the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional (National Museum of American History, Behring Center). Chief Justice Earl Warren recognized that people would need time to adjust to these newly desegregated schools and realized that gradual change was necessary; he chose not to set a schedule for desegregation. Although, in 1955 ‘all deliberate speed’ was called for by the Supreme Court.  

The Brown decision was a cornerstone of the Civil Rights Movement, establishing that “separate but equal” is not in fact equal at all. This was a significant ruling because it directly reversed the decision of Plessy v Fergusion (1896). Plessy v Fergusion had ruled that segregation was not a violation of the fourteenth amendment and that the “separate but equal” doctrine would provide sanction for segregation in public places. Undoing Plessy v Ferguson marked a great turning point in the history of race relations.  

While the impact of Brown v Board of Education was a radical advancement of the time, it is important to recognize that this individual case did not solve racial inequality. The case of Brown left our nation with a promise, and that promise still hasn’t been completely fulfilled. Schools remained segregated even after Brown and are still somewhat segregated now because the location of neighborhoods remains racially and ethnically segregated. Due to systemic racism, people of color are more likely to have a low socioeconomic status. They live in neighborhoods with less adequate school districts than those found in neighborhoods of people with a higher socioeconomic status. Once housing becomes desegrated, further desegregation of schools can follow (Rothstein). In 1954, schools for Black children suffered enormous resource shortages, and while these inequalities have grown significantly smaller over time, students of color often require greater resources than middle class white students. Some of these resources include early childhood education, smaller class sizes, more skilled teachers, and full-service school health clinics. These resources can be harder for people of color to obtain due to their lower socioeconomic status, which shows that as a country, we are still working to fulfil the promise left by the Brown case.  

Works Cited 

Brown V Board of Education of Topeka (1954). (1999). In D. Townson, A dictionary of contemporary history - 1945 to the present. Blackwell Publishers. Credo Reference: https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/bkchist/brown_v_board_of_education_of_topeka_1954/0?institutionId=2001  

Rothstein, R. (2017, April). Brown v. board at 60: Why have we been so disappointed? what have we learned? Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from https://www.epi.org/publication/brown-at-60-why-have-we-been-so-disappointed-what-have-we-learned/. 

Staff of the National Museum of American History, Behring Center. (n.d.). Separate Is Not Equal. Separate is not equal - brown v. Board of Education. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from https://americanhistory.si.edu/brown/history/index.html. 

Stefanie Schlemmer
Winter 1960 to Spring 1962

Djamila Boupacha's Trial and the Sexualized Torture of Female Freedom Fighters During Algeria's War of Independence



Djamila Boupacha was born February 9, 1938 in Algiers, French Algeria to a middle class family. She grew up in a revolutionary time; Algerian liberation was nigh, and she would prove to be an important figure in the liberation to come. Although she was initially sympathetic to the FLN (the Algerian National Liberation Front) and their activities, she only became one of their militants around the time she worked at the Beni Messous Hospital in Algiers as a teenager. Whilst working towards her practical certificate in nursing, she was told by the French administration that she would never be able to obtain it, on account of her ‘race’ as a ‘Moslem’. From then on, she would steal medical supplies from the hospital for the FLN, participate in intelligence gathering for the party, and shelter members of the resistance in times of need during the revolution. 


On the 10th of February, 1960 Boupacha was arrested alongside her family and temporarily held in El Bier - a French military barracks turned prison. She was being held under the suspicion of her involvement of the café bombings performed by female FLN members in months previous during the Battle of Algiers. During her short time in the barracks, she was tortured; revealing nothing about the inner workings of the FLN. 


A mere week later, on the 17th of February 1960, she was transferred to the infamous Hussein Dey prison, where she was subjected to horrendous, unfortunately common torture practices (I will include a trigger warning for the next few sentences; the graphic nature of the descriptions is not gratuitous, it plays a role in later events). They tortured her with “electroshock on her face, nipples, and genitals, water torture in a bathtub, and lit cigarettes ground in her skin…Eventually, a group of French officers penetrated her vagina with an empty beer bottle, leaving her “passed out in a pool of her own blood...she was a virgin.”’ (Kunkle). 


These horrors continued until the 15th of March, 1960 where at her trial, Boupacha confessed to planting the bomb. History would later prove this to be a false confession, spoken simply to stop the torture inflicted upon her. In the same breath as her admission however, came an accusation of the French officials for assault, torture, and rape during her time in detainment. Boupacha was met with officers who feigned ignorance, doctors who falsified documents, and Frenchmen who laughed at the idea that an Arab woman had any purity to protect in the first place. 


Here, Boupacha meets Gisèle Halimi, a French-Tunisian lawyer who takes her case. Halimi herself had been adversely affected by racism in France, and was sympathetic to the liberation movement and the FLN. She was determined to publicize Boupacha’s case so that it could not get swept under the rug as so many other torture scandals had been during the revolution. And so Halimi enlisted the help of prominent feminist and sympathizer to Algerian liberation, Simone de Beauvoir.


Boupacha’s tide turned on the 3rd of June, 1960, when de Beauvoir’s Le Monde article detailing the very graphic details of Boupacha’s time in prison, including the rape with a glass bottle. Not only was the recounting horrifying, ‘her intervention in Le Monde…highlighted this disturbing (act as) commonplace in order to make a difference: she focused on indifference, rather than ignorance, as a locus of a scandal.’ (Surkis). The story was shocking yet well-timed; international support for France from the U.N. and the U.S. was wavering as it was; the war was bloody, expensive, and more and more horrifying accounts of French torture methods were coming to light in the international community. De Beauvoir’s letter scandalized not only those in the leftist upper crust, but the French populace at large. Halimi’s desired effect had taken place; Boupacha would not - could not - be forgotten as so many other women were. 


Boupacha was not sentenced to death, but was kept imprisoned until March of 1962, when the Evian Accords were signed and Algeria won it’s hard-earned independence from the French. Stories of the torture Algerians suffered during the revolution are infamous, the women spared no mercy: just the opposite, the sexual violence inflicted upon female ‘insurgents’ seemed coded and pointed in it’s content; women were raped as commonplace practice, as Fanon notes in Wretched of the Earth; his section on Colonial War and Mental Disorders is taken directly from is time working as head of a hospital, witnessing the medical distress of the men and women brought there. Although the French understood precious little about the actual workings of Algerian culture, they grasped the knowledge that ‘defiling’ a woman not only broke the spirit of the victim, but brought shame in men, at their inability to protect them. It was psychological warfare on the most degrading scale, and the violence was even more widespread in the countryside, where women had no chance at any retributive justice against the oppressors. 


Djamila Amrane-Minne ad Louisette Ighilahriz were two young FLN members also imprisoned during the Battle of Algiers and subjected to similar if not worse torture than Boupacha. They are similarly iconic women of the revolution; upon their releases after Algeria won it’s independence they dedicated their lives to telling the stories of the fellow women they had been imprisoned alongside. The men of the revolution had their glory- their pin was spoken aloud and understood, while the women were left to at once be the heart of tradition and virtue, to never speak or think of the horrors they had lived or the freedom they had espoused. Amrane-Minne and Ighilahriz used their unique privileges of wealth and literacy, bringing to light hundreds of women’s stories chronicling their lives, strengths, woes, and at times deaths. Amrane-Minne used her unfortunate understanding of the pain these women faced to conduct 88 interviews of imprisoned women and FLN members, documenting their lives and dedication to the cause. Ighilahriz, after 40 years of silence forced on her by fellow (male) comrades, family members, and countrymen she fought alongside, published her highly detailed memoir Algerienne of the revolution and her time in prison. 



Works Cited:

Fanon, F. (2021). The wretched of the Earth. Grove Press. 

Kunkle, R. (2013). "we must shout the truth to the rooftops:” Gisèle Halimi, Djamila Boupacha, and sexual politics in the Algerian War of Independence. The Iowa Historical Review, 4(1), 5–24. https://doi.org/10.17077/2373-1842.1022 


Mortimer, M. (2012). Tortured bodies, resilient souls: Algeria's women combatants depicted by Danièèle Djamila Amrane-Minne, Louisette Ighilahriz, and Assia Djebar. Research in African Literatures, 43(1), 101. https://doi.org/10.2979/reseafrilite.43.1.101 


Surkis, J. (2010). Ethics and violence: Simone de beauvoir, Djamila Boupacha, and the Algerian War. French Politics, Culture & Society, 28(2). https://doi.org/10.3167/fpcs.2010.280204 

Heline Ayverdi-Natali
15 Sep 1963 to 15 Sep 1963

Birmingham Church Bombing

Image of the Baptist Street Church Bombing
The Baptist Street Church Bombing Investigation

On September 15th, 1963 at 10:24am, a terrorist attack occurred at the Birmingham Church located in Birmingham Alabama which targeted the black members of the community that attended the church. The nineteen sticks of dynamite bomb detonated in the early morning at in the basement of the church where there were four young girls helping to prepare for the Sunday service. Addie Mae Collins, 14 years old. Cynthia Wesley, 14 years old. Denise McNair, 11 years old. Carole Robertson, 14 years old. Several more were injured and maimed.

These four girls lost their lives in the attack which occurred as a result of hatred and fear of the black community. The individuals responsible were initially unknown while the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened a case on the bombing in conjunction with local police forces at 10:00pm that same day. Two years after the initial event there were four individuals who were strongly suspected of having perpetrated the terrorist attack. Robert E. Chambliss, Bobby Frank Cherry, Herman Frank Cash, and Thomas E. Blanton Jr. All of these individuals were part of the local KKK. Heavy pressure was exerted to question any and all affiliates and released documents from the “FBI Records: The Vault” show that numerous instances of wiretapping, polygraphing, and on ground surveillance were being used throughout the months of September and October in an attempt to find concrete evidence on the individuals responsible.

The case was initially closed by FBI director Edgar Hoover in 1968 with no charges filed but external pressure by the Alabama attorney general Bill Baxley caused the case to reopen in 2971. Eventually Robert Chambliss was incarcerated in 1977 for life as being responsible for the event. The case was closed due to lack of further evidence but reopened in the late 90’s when more witnesses came forward. Thomas Blanton and Bobby Cherry were sentenced to life in 2000 as a result.

The event rocked the community to the core due to the horrific and unhuman nature of the attack. Churches and residences had been attacked before but an event of this scale was one of the worst to ever occur in the public eye. The resulting protests and riots over these murders as well as the act of terrorism is considered one of the main reasons the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were implemented. It was confirmed that the primary reason the church was targeted was due to it being a gathering place where many civil rights groups would meet and discuss how to further fight for equality.


“Baptist Street Church Bombing.” Baptist Street Church Bombing, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 18 May 2016, https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/baptist-street-church-bombing.

Brown, DeNeen L. “Thomas Blanton's Role in the 1963 Church Bombing That Killed Four Black Girls.” Thomas Blanton’s Role in the 1963 Church Bombing That Killed Four Black Girls, WP Company, 27 June 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2020/06/26/thomas-blantons-role-1....

Gurrentz, B. T. (2008). Events: Birmingham Church Bombing: Timeline: The Association of Religion Data Archives. Events | Birmingham Church Bombing | Timeline | The Association of Religion Data Archives. Retrieved November 15, 2021, from https://www.thearda.com/timeline/events/event_376.asp.

“Sixteenth (16th) Street Church Bombing.” Sixteenth (16th) Street Church Bombing, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 6 Dec. 2010, https://vault.fbi.gov/16th%20Street%20Church%20Bombing%20/.


David Israbian
28 Jun 1969 to 3 Jul 1969

The Stonewall Uprising and the Spark of the Gay Rights Movement

Image of the Stonewall Inn's front window
The Stonewall Inn

The Stonewall Uprising, otherwise known as the Stonewall Riots, was a monumental progression towards gay rights in the mid-20th century. The uprising began on June 28th, 1969 and lasted until July 3rd, 1969. The riots began when Stonewall Inn, a haven for members of the LGBTQ+ community which still stands in Greenwich Village, New York City, was invaded by police officers who harassed and arrested patrons and employees. This was not the first offense, and onlookers usually fled the scene, but this time, they didn’t. The witnesses chose to stand up to the officers, during a time of strict oppression and cruelty towards the LGBTQ+ community. Coincidentally, the Civil Rights Movement had erupted in the previous decade, and the Stonewall Riots are another example of how humans who deserve rights and respect fought for that.

During the mid-19th century, there were restrictive laws for the LGBTQ+ community. It was illegal to serve alcohol to them, and for people of the same sex to dance with each other. But with restrictions and oppression, follows uprising and a demand for freedom and rights. Illinois was the first state to decriminalize homosexuality, which happened in 1962. After the Stonewall Uprising, the first gay pride parade was held in New York where thousands marched to commemorate the historical and monumental event. Shortly after, June became “Pride Month”, and several large pride parades still occur in areas all around the world.

Works cited

The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. “Stonewall Riots.” Edited by Amy Tikkanen, Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., https://www.britannica.com/event/Stonewall-riots.

Kelly, Bob. “The Birthplace.” The Stonewall Inn, The Stonewall Inn, 5 Dec. 2017, https://thestonewallinnnyc.com/the-stonewall-inn-story/2017/4/4/ntmsg5ni....

“Milestones in the American Gay Rights Movement.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/stonewall-milestone....

Morgan McCarron
26 Sep 1973 to 26 Sep 1973

Signing of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

After two previous versions of the bill were vetoed by President Richard Nixon, he finally signed the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 on September 26th, 1973. The bill focuses on the employment of people with disabilities, and drew special attention from the disability community and disability activists because of its Section 504.

Section 504 states:
"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 705(20) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service."


1. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 701 (1973). https://www.dol.gov/agencies/oasam/centers-offices/civil-rights-center/s...
2. Heumann, Judith, and Kristen Joiner. Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist. Beacon Press, 2020.


Liz Currie
5 Apr 1977 to 30 Apr 1977

Section 504 Sit Ins

A group of protestors, many are wheelchair users, with Judy Heumann in the forefront holding a handwritten sign that says "Sign 504 regs NOW."
Judy Heumann advocates for disability rights

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was signed on September 23rd, 1973, which included Section 504 that caught the attention of the disability community and activists. 

Section 504 stated: 
"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 705 (20) of this title, shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service."

This was a huge win for disabled people's rights, as they were continually barred access from schools, public transportation, state and federal government buildings and so much else based solely on their disability. However, after a bill is signed into law, it still needs enabling regulations to tell the court systems how to interpret the law. Without these enabling regulations, the law is unenforceable. Nixon resigned from office before the enabling regulations were signed. Then President Ford’s administration said they needed time to study the law and the proposed enabling regulations already on the table. His term ended and still the enabling regulations were not signed. When campaigning, the then Governor Jimmy Carter promised that, if elected, his administration would sign the regulations. When he took office, he then claimed that they also needed more time to study the regulations, more than three years after they had originally been proposed.

The department in charge of signing the regulations was the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, also called HEW. The man at the head of this department was Secretary Joseph Califano. A group called the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities had been keeping track of the progress of the Rehabilitation Act and the Section 504 regulations for more than three years now. They gave the Carter Administration and Secretary Califano a deadline of April 5th, 1977 to sign the enabling regulations. When Secretary Califano failed to sign the regulations in that time, they organized protests around the country. One rally was held at the national HEW offices in Washington DC, and nine others were held at regional offices in Atlanta, Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

San Francisco’s protest was led by a collection of people, Ed Roberts, Kitty Cone, Judy Heumann, Mary Jane Owen, Steve McClelland and many more. They had a rally in front of the regional HEW offices with around 300 protestors of various disabilities and races, and many from different social activism groups, truly a diverse crowd. There were speakers lined up who talked about their disabilities and how the regulations (or lack of regulations) would impact them personally. There was a sound/microphone system set up, ramps built to get onto the stage and sign language interpreters so that the rally was accessible to all. Near what seemed to be the end of the rally, after pumping everyone up with their stories and chanting, Judy Heumann rolled onto the stage and said “Let’s go and tell HEW the federal government cannot steal our civil rights!” She immediately turned and rolled straight towards the offices and much of the crowd followed her inside. The protestors took the elevators up to the HEW offices and marched in to see the regional director, Joe Maldonado. When asked about the status of the enabling regulations for Section 504, Maldonado said “What is Section 504?” When they asked more employees of HEW, no one had ever heard of Section 504 before. When told that the protestors would not be leaving until they got assurances that the enabling regulations would be signed, regional director Maldonado left the office. The protestors decided to stay the night in the offices and continue their protest. 75 protestors and a few personal care attendants decided to stay. They started using the HEW offices as their own base of operations and called to check in on the other groups in the other cities. Only a few cities had also refused to leave the HEW offices: Denver, DC, Los Angeles and New York City, but the largest other group was DC with around 50 protestors.

Secretary Califano met with the DC protestors and told them he planned on signing the regulations, he just needed more time to study them. He then ordered the protestors to be guarded and would not allow any food or medicine to enter the building. The DC protestors only lasted 28 hours with no access to basic health necessities or nourishment, but this poor treatment of their DC compatriots gave the San Francisco group a resurgence of energy and purpose. The second day of the protest, they held a press conference in the HEW offices and first educated the press on the correct terminology to use, and then continued to go through why they were there and what they were doing. By the end of the 2nd day, the San Francisco group had grown to 110 protestors who all committed to staying another night.

On the 3rd day, security was told to not allow anyone into the building, meaning the protestors now had no access to food, medicine or clean clothes. They shut off the hot water and blocked outgoing phone calls, so they had only 2 pay phones that they were able to use for contact with the outside. Media was reporting that their sit in was only symbolic, due to DC’s sit in ending, so they reached out to an ally, Reverend Cecil Williams, who organized a vigil outside the HEW offices, to draw attention to the fact that they were still there and still fighting. News came in that Califano was reworking the regulations and watering them down, and that the Denver and New York City protests had folded. Los Angeles was down to 35 protestors.

With the spotlight of the vigil being held outside, other tokens of support and endorsement started coming in, including from California’s own Governor Jerry Brown. Every protestor committed to staying another night, and after a call from protestor Brad Lomax, the Black Panthers pushed through the door to deliver their dinner. The Black Panthers used no force, but rather promised to make a scene if the protestors were left to starve, and the security guards decided to let them in to deliver their meals every night for the rest of the protest. But that same night, security guards told everyone to get out of the building because there was reportedly a bomb. After telling the entire group about the bomb threat, every single protestor agreed that it was not a real threat and that they would stay.

On the 4th day, the protestors woke up to the building still standing and the final 2 pay phones jammed. Through the news they found out that the Los Angeles group had disbanded. They also came up with a way to work around not having access to phone lines: sign language. Their deaf protestors would sign through a window looking over the plaza to the protestors at the vigil below. These protestors would then take the message to the appropriate people on the outside. Through their respect of the building and the people working in the building, they also gained the support of 100 HEW employees, who signed a petition in support of the protestors and sent it on to Secretary Califano himself.

On Friday, April 15th, Congressmen George Miller and Phil Burton held a congressional hearing in the HEW offices so that the protestors could attend. Secretary Califano sent a representative named Gene Eidenberg who, after listening to testimony from the protestors, ran out of the room and hid. Congressman Burton had to chase after him and yell for him to go back to the room. Eventually he went back and listened to five more hours of testimony. They are told that Secretary Califano is still looking towards a “separate but equal” solution in his reworking of the regulations. The protestors decide as a group, after putting it to a vote, to send a delegation to DC to speak with Secretary Califano himself. First, they just need to raise the funds.

On Sunday, April 17th, Willy Dicks, a member of the International Association of Machinists, hears a sermon by Reverend Williams and immediately walks over to the HEW offices to give them a check for $1000. He talks to other Machinists and they agree to pay for the expenses of sending the 34-person delegation team from San Francisco to DC. The San Francisco mayor, George Moscone, shows up on the same day with a team of medical professionals to attend to the protestors neglected medical needs, and also brings things like soap, towels, cream for wheelchair sores and hoses to attach to faucets, so that the protestors can wash themselves.

Upon getting to DC, the delegation team goes straight to Secretary Califano’s personal home to hold a candlelight vigil throughout the night, where they quietly sing songs of freedom and hymns. They would later learn that he left through the backdoor so he did not have to listen to it. The delegation stayed at a local church, Luther Place Memorial, and immediately set up meetings with the 2 original sponsors of Section 504, Senators Harrison Williams and Alan Cranston. Senator Cranston was tough, but as soon as they quoted Califano’s statement of “separate but equal,” Cranston agreed to write a statement in support of their protest. In the meeting with Senator Williams, he quickly agreed to join in on Senator Cranston’s endorsement. They met with other officials in the department of domestic affairs, but while they personally agreed that it was time for the administration to act, it was an issue for HEW and not for the president. They were unable to schedule a meeting with the president, and found out that there was not a single accessible bathroom in the entire White House. They held a candlelight vigil outside of the White House that evening.

On Friday, April 23rd, the delegation went to the DC HEW offices to speak with Califano, but security guards barred them from even entering the building. And on Saturday, they again went to Califano’s house for a candlelight vigil. He again left through the back door, and would continue to do this several more times. On Sunday, they picketed outside of President Carter’s church. He and his wife also left out the back door. Carter ran with an “Open Door Administration” slogan, so they decided to use that against them. They continuously put out press statements talking about their new back door policy.

On Tuesday, April 27th, they held a protest right outside of the White House. About 100 protestors came in person, but many people sent their endorsements and support, including 7 members of the US Congress. The rally at the White House also reinvigorated protests around the country in Dallas and Houston, Texas; Hartford, Connecticut; Eugene, Oregon; Kansas City, Missouri; and San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. That night, feeling that they were near victory, they decided to send home most of the DC delegation back to San Francisco.

On Thursday, April 28th, the enabling regulations were finally signed, without the reworks that Califano had proposed. The protestors in San Francisco did not leave the HEW offices until Saturday, April 30th. They had formed such close bonds with each other in the 25 days of their protest that no one wanted to leave. They had successfully pulled off the longest sit-in of a federal building on record, and they wanted to have one last night to celebrate their winning of their long-deserved rights.


1.       Heumann, Judith, and Kristen Joiner. Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist. Beacon Press, 2020.

2.       Ingram, Patricia, director. Narration by Rosalie Wilkins, We Won't Go Away, The Berkeley Revolution, 8 June 2020, https://revolution.berkeley.edu/wont-go-away/. Accessed 10 Nov. 2021.

3.       Newnham, Nicole and Jim LeBrecht, directors. Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution. Crip Camp, Netflix, 2020, https://www.netflix.com/title/81001496. Accessed 10 Nov. 2020.

4.       Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 701 (1973). https://www.dol.gov/agencies/oasam/centers-offices/civil-rights-center/s...

5. D'Lil, HolLynn. Judy Heumann, Holding the Sign, and Kitty Cone, Right, Protested in Front of the White House on April 26, 1977. Washington DC, 26 Apr. 1977.


Liz Currie
24 May 1988

Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 is Enacted in the UK

Celebrities help to hold a banner opposing Section 28
Celebrities help to hold a banner opposing Section 28

Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 was enacted by Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister, and her conservative government in the UK on May 24, 1988. It amends Part II of the Local Government Act 1986, which dealt with local authority publicity. Section 28 states that local authorities cannot “intentionally promote homosexuality or public material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship,” (Macnair 35). This resulted in the stigmatization and discrimination of LGBTQ+ people.

Section 28 came into effect due to multiple events during the time. It was partly caused by the growing AIDS crisis in the UK (Moran 76). In the beginning of the 1980s, cases of HIV and AIDS started rising rapidly (primarily in gay men, drug users, immigrants, and racial minorities), resulting in numerous deaths. Eventually, the disease became mainly associated with gay men, leading to extreme fear and homophobia. The creation of Section 28 was also partially due to political conflict between left-wing local authorities and the right-wing national government (Greenland 243). The media helped to incite concern and panic in people that Section 28 was created to address (Greenland 243). The media spread stories of books or videos being distributed in schools that were deemed inappropriate for children. One of the most discussed books was Jenny lives with Eric and Martin. This was a children’s book about a girl who lived with her father and his male partner. Some people were worried that it would encourage children to “become” gay or force them to learn about gay sex (Greenland 244). The public concerns spiraled and grew, forcing the UK government to introduce Section 28.

The enactment of Section 28 had major effects on the UK and its people. One positive effect of the introduction of Section 28 was that it permanently put LGBTQ+ issues on a national stage for discussion (Greenland 244). In schools, however, the effects were mainly negative. In schools, there was large-scale uncertainty about what kind of behaviors were deemed illegal by Section 28. While no local authority was ever officially prosecuted, Section 28 still caused widespread confusion and fear. This led many teachers to completely exclude LGBTQ+ issues from the classroom, resulting in an increase of homophobic bullying (Greenland 245). Many teachers reported that it made meeting the needs of LGBTQ+ students very difficult (Greenland 244). Teachers were also worried that being open about their own sexuality would result in them being fired (Lee 676). Inside and outside of schools, LGBTQ+ people and their allies were horrified by the implication of Section 28, and many participated in protests, rallies, and advocacy aimed at repealing Section 28 (as seen in Manchester in 1988). In general, the effects of Section 28 on education and on the LGBTQ+ community were extensive. Even after it was repealed in England in 2003, Section 28 still affects LGBTQ+ teachers and students in schools thirty years later (Lee 675). Macnair describes, “The indirect effects will go deeper and last longer,” (38). However, great progress has been made to reverse those negative effects of Section 28 and improve LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion in the UK.



Works Cited

Greenland, Katy, and Rosalind Nunney. “The Repeal of Section 28: It Ain’t over ‘Til It’s Over.” Pastoral care in education 26.4 (2008): 243–251. Web.

Lee, Catherine. “Fifteen Years on: The Legacy of Section 28 for LGBT+ Teachers in English Schools.” Sex education 19.6 (2019): 675–690. Web.

Macnair, M R T. “Homosexuality in Schools - Section 28 Local Government Act 1988.” Education and the law 1.1 (1989): 35–39. Web.

Moran, Joe. “Childhood Sexuality and Education: The Case of Section 28.” Sexualities 4.1 (2001): 73–89. Web.

Samantha Murphy
3 Mar 1991 to 1991

The Beating of Rodney King

The four officers who beat King.

While arresting Rodney King for speeding four LAPD officers exercised excessive force. The four officers: Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno had tasered him and struck him repeatedly with batons even after pulling him out of his car. In total King was hit fifty-six times. Footage of this is aired and subsequently televised, unbeknownst to the parties involved (Bates, Sastry).

Source (including image): 

Bates, Karen Grisby and Sastry, Anjuli. “When LA Erupted In Anger: A Look Back At The Rodney King Riots.” NPR, 26 April 2017.  https://www.npr.org/2017/04/26/524744989/when-la-erupted-in-anger-a-look-back-at-the-rodney-king-riots. Accessed 3 November 2021.


Matthew Park
16 Mar 1991 to 1991

Soon Daju kills Latasha Harlins

Memorial for Latasha Harlins

Latasha Harlins is fatally shot by Korean store owner Soon Daju. Soon had wrongly assumed that Harlins was attempting to steal a can of juice, and after the confrontation he shot Harlins in the back of her head, killing her. This was a tragedy built upon racist assumptions, and was only made worse when Soon received a very light sentence: probation and a fine. This sentence brought the already rough racial tensions between Korean and Black Americans to a boiling point. However, news-wise this was unfortunately overshadowed by the beating of Rodney King (Smith).

Source (including image): Smith, Erika D. “Column: The killing of Latasha Harlins was 30 years ago. Not enough has changed.” Los Angeles Times, 17 March, 2021,​​https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-03-17/latasha-harlins-memorial-playground-black-lives-matter-south-los-angeles. Accessed 3 November 2021.

Matthew Park
29 Apr 1992 to 3 May 1992

The LA Riots of 1992

Korean-Americans defending themselves during the LA Riots.


April 29, 1992: The jury acquits all four officers of assault and three of them of excessive force. This acquittal sparks what is known as the LA riots of 1992, and is also the date the riots officially begin (Bates, Sastry). Korean-Americans refer to this day as Sa-I-Gu (사이구), which means “4/29” in Korean, the day when the riots began. 


April 30, 1992: Defense lines are set up that keep wealthy white neighborhoods on the inside with Koreatown to effectively act as a shield. Additionally, the LAPD never arrived when Koreans cried for help, so they were forced to take matters into their own hands. As Korean men are all required to serve in the military, many took to arms themselves and defended their stores with guns. This image was televised and broadcasted everywhere, even still being relevant today in discussions of arms and the second amendment in the USA (being oft referred to as “Roof Koreans). Koreatown suffered $400 million worth of damages, over half of what was sustained throughout the entire LA riot (Wong).


This fear was even recognized outside of California, as even my father (who is also Korean-born) was called to defend his family’s shop in inner-city Chicago. “It was very scary, but also kind of silly” he said in retrospect, “I’m there with my cousins and uncles who are military trained and armed to the teeth. And I’m standing there, just a teenager holding my skateboard like a club, in case anyone slips past” (Park). Jokes aside, Korean-Americans across the country still understood the fear and the pressure brought on by the riots and all responded in similar ways. 


May 1, 1992: Rodney King publicly pleads for everyone to “all get along,” and over 10,000 Army National Guard troops were activated in order to stop the rioting. The mayor also enacts a curfew in order to achieve the same effect. At this point the majority of the violence in the riots have come to a stop, and will officially be over within a few days (May 5th). However, the aftermath of this is still remembered to this day (Bates, Sastry).


Bates, Karen Grisby and Sastry, Anjuli. “When LA Erupted In Anger: A Look Back At The Rodney King Riots.” NPR, 26 April 2017.  https://www.npr.org/2017/04/26/524744989/when-la-erupted-in-anger-a-look-back-at-the-rodney-king-riots. Accessed 3 November 2021. 

Lah, Kyung. “The LA riots were a rude awakening for Korean-Americans.” CNN, 29 April 2017. https://www.cnn.com/2017/04/28/us/la-riots-korean-americans/index.html. Accessed 3 November 2021.

Park, Gilbert (my father). 2015. 

Wong, Brittany. “The Real, Tragic Story Behind That ‘Roof Korean’ Meme You May Have Seen.” The Huffington Post, 11/6/2020. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/roof-koreans-meme-know-real-story_n_5ee110a1c5b6d5bafa5604f3. Accessed 4 November 2021. 

Matthew Park
20 Dec 1993

Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (United Nations General Assembly)

On December 20, 1993, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (DEVAW) was unanimously adopted (without a vote) by the United Nations in the 48/104 resolution. DEVAW recognized the "urgent need for the universal application to women of the rights and principles with regard to equality, security, liberty, integrity, and dignity of all human beings" and intentionally named and listed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as an act of violence against women.

Assembly, United Nations General. A/RES/48/104 - Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women - UN Documents: Gathering a Body of Global Agreements, http://www.un-documents.net/a48r104.htm.

Katherine Bobb
6 Feb 2003

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

On February 6, 2003, the day was adopted as an international day of observance by the United Nations. The first lady of Nigeria and spokesperson for the Campaign against Female Genital Mutilation, Stella Obasanjo called for an official declaration during a conference organized by the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC), a nongovernmental network headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and it was thereafter adopted by the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights. Now, every year on February 6, there are ceremonies and conferences dedicated to raising awareness and presenting accurate data on this practice that affects millions of women and children.

Feldman-Jacobs, Charlotte. “Commemorating International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation.” Wayback Machine, 29 Jan. 2009, https://web.archive.org/web/20100213125942/http://www.prb.org/Articles/2....

Katherine Bobb
17 Jun 2015

The 2015 Charleston Shooting--Fitch Timeline Submission (Revised, Dec 2021)

In South Carolina in 2015, a 21-year-old white man named Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people.  The shooting was in Charleston at a Black church, and all nine victims were Black church-goers.  Roof sat with the victims and other members for over an hour studying the Bible before he pulled out a gun and began the massacre.  Brent C. Talbot quotes Dylann Roof who, when prompted by victim Tywanza Sanders before his death, stated, “‘I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go’” (Talbot 2). 

News outlets such as CNN and Fox News heavily covered the attack in the days that followed the murders.  This is important to note because news networks give information to millions of Americans with certain, subtle undertones and narratives.  Roof had (and still has) an intensely racist background; however, this can be overshadowed or outright ignored based on how news networks and social media platforms consistently deliver updates.  Mohammed el-Nawawy and Mohamad Hamad Elmsary conducted research about the way networks spoke of the shooting, specifically AC 360 on CNN.  According to them, AC 360 focused on the positivity and grace the Charleston community possessed following the attacks.  However, when speaking of Roof himself, the news anchors did not address him by name or show pictures of him.  Instead, they spoke of him as a troubled young man who had prior trouble with drugs and racist ideologies (el-Nawawy and Elmasry 950).  Right-wing show The O’Reilly Factor consistently inserted personal bias from O’Reilly himself and did very little reporting on the event itself; instead, the show connected the shooting to politics of America, focusing mostly on how the Second Amendment needed protecting more than ever.  O’Reilly also made a significant point of saying that institutional racism no longer exists, so the shooting could not be connected back to it or structural violence (el-Nawawy and Elmasry 950). 

The debate went on for days and thoroughly divided America. The background of the shooting was filled with cries for the removal of Confederate statues around the nation--the shooting only exacerbated those pleas and arguments against them. Through popular, national news coverage, Dylann Roof and the nine victims--Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Reverend Sharonda Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Reverend DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Ethel Lace, Susie Jackson, Myra Thompson, Reverend Daniel Simmons Sr.--made tragic history in the ongoing battle of racism in America.


Works Cited

el-Nawawy, Mohammed, and Mohamad Hamas Elmasry. "Is America “Post-Racist”? How AC 360 and The O’Reilly Factor discursively constructed the Charleston church shooting." Journalism Studies 19.7 (2018): 942-959. Web. 

Talbot, Brent C. "“Charleston, Goddam”: An Editorial Introduction to ACT 14.2." Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education 14.2 (2015). Web. 

Lauren Fitch
The start of the month Winter 2016

Female Soldiers Allowed to Join Combat Arms Units

Female UH-60 Black Hawk Pilot

            In January 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s announcement to lift the ban on females serving in combat arms units became a reality. For the United States Army, combat arms branches include Infantry, Air Defense Artillery, Armor, Aviation, Corps of Engineers, Field Artillery, and Special Forces. Since the creation of the Army, June 14, 1775, until January 2016, these branches were not open to female Soldiers. One reason the branches were only offered to men is because of the psychological differences between men and women. It is true, combat duties like scaling a wall or loading heavy artillery rounds are more difficult for women because of the 40-60% contrast in upper body strength between the two genders. It is also true that rucking or marching with a minimum of 35 pounds of military equipment, is also more challenging for women because of their smaller percentage of lower body strength in comparison to men. Despite the physical struggles female Soldiers face within combat arm environments, as long as females are meeting the standard and are physically fit enough to perform their tasks well, the Army has grown to accept females in combat arms branches. In fact, according to the first female four-star general, Ann Dunwoody, "if a woman can meet the same standards required for her male counterparts, there is no reason why she should not be able to do the job."

            Furthermore, the Army is continuing to research and pursue gender equality and gender integration. For example, in order to obtain research of first-hand experiences, a study was conducted in June 2021 on ten female officers and non-commissioned officers serving in combat arms branches within the Army, Army Reserves, and Army National Guard. The study concludes that the ten females all had similar experiences based around the themes of leadership development, acceptance, and being approachable/having emotional intelligence. The females shared about the importance of knowing their leaders had confidence in them. The ten females also had challenges with being in a combat arms unit that centered around the themes of adjusting to the culture, finding a work-family balance, and pressure to prove themselves. The women felt it was awkward when they first joined their units because the males expressed an attitude of disapproval. Even though the Army is working to have a more diverse team, every unit will have setbacks. The study proves the Army's intentions and both the positive and negative experiences that come with change. Overall, the allowance of female Soldiers to join combat arms units is moving towards their goal of gaining a more diversified, gender equal, and gender integrated force.


Works Cited

Campbell, Leona Cassandra. A Phenomenological Study of Female Army Leaders in Combat Arms Units. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2021.

Dunwoody, Ann E. "Equal Opportunities for Army Women?" Army, vol. 65, no. 6, 2015, pp. 18-19. ProQuest, https://www.proquest.com/trade-journals/equal-opportunities-army-women/docview/1683318219/se-2?accountid=13360.

U.S. Army Celebrates Women's Contributions and Service, 11 Mar. 2020, www.army.mil/article/233667/u_s_army_celebrates_womens_contributions_and.... Accessed 3 Nov. 2021.

Callie Perry
16 Dec 2016 to 16 Dec 2016

President Obama Signed the WIIN Act into Law

The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation, or WIIN, Act was signed by President Obama on December 16, 2016. In the Act’s introduction, it states that its purpose is: “To provide for improvements to the rivers and harbors of the United States, to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, and for other purposes,” (S.612, pg. 2). It is under Subtitles A & B of Title II, Water and Waste Act of 2016, of the WIIN Act that it addressed the issue of the increasing lead concentration in drinking water due to an aging infrastructure. The WIIN act provides federal grants to states to address elevated lead levels in the water in disadvantaged communities.


Specifically, the WIIN act gave financial relief to the city of Flint, MI. As of when the Act was signed, Flint had already suffered two years of elevated lead levels in their tap-water. In President Obama’s press release of the WIIN acts signing, he states, “The law also authorizes $170 million for communities facing drinking water emergencies, including funding for Flint, Michigan, to recover from the lead contamination in its drinking water system,” (United States). The longer the water crisis of disadvantaged communities go unfulfilled; the more they fuel the narrative immortalizing the idea of unsafe drinking water became, “Our findings demonstrate persistent racial/ethnic disparities in the tap water consumption gap, and that Hispanic and Black households’ probability of not drinking tap water has further increased in recent years,” (Rosinger et al. 3). The groups of people adversely effected were typically poor people of color. This is shown in the percentage of decreasing tap water usage by Blacks and Latina’s increasing 50% by 2018 (Rosinger et al.). President Obama’s signing the WIIN Act into law represents the intersection of Race and Class as the WIIN act tries to address the issues that adversely affect poor people and people of color.


S.612 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): WIIN Act." Congress.gov, Library of Congress, 16 December 2016, https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/612/text/pl

Rosinger, Asher Y, et al. “Examining Recent Trends in the Racial Disparity Gap in Tap Water Consumption: NHANES 2011–2018.” Public Health Nutrition, 2021, pp. 1–7., https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980021002603.

United States, Office of the Press Secretary. “Statement by the President on the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act.” The White House, 16 Dec. 2106, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/12/16/statement-president-water-infrastructure-improvements-nation-wiin-act


Wilson, Mark. “President Obama Signs The Budget Bill In The Oval Office Of White House.” Getty Images, 2015, https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/president-barack-obama-sig.... Accessed 2021.

Michael Yaeger
circa. Winter 2021

"The Girl Puzzle" to be Unveiled on Roosevelt Island

The Girl Puzzle Concept Art
The Girl Puzzle Concept Art

"The Girl Puzzle" is a monument that is tentatively scheduled to open to the public in the winter of 2021. This interactive monument is being built to honor Nellie Bly and her undying wish to give voices to those who felt unheard. This monument will feature five female faces, each one standing seven feet tall. Nellie Bly's face is cast in silver bronze while the other four are bronze. Each of the bronze faces is meant to represent different ages and ethnicities that have been marginalized. These sculptured faces are not necessarily people that Bly encountered during her life. Instead, the inspiration for these faces came from people in the sculptor's life. Every face in this exhibit is planned to have a quote on the back of it from Nellie Bly or people she encountered during her time at the New York City Lunatic AsylumThese sculptures will be in pieces rather than whole to highlight the fact that we as humans are the sum of many parts. Each of our experiences (whether viewed as positive, negative, or neutral) shapes who we are. These female faces will also be in pieces to symbolize the strength that these people have. Despite all the pain, hardship, and marginalization, these "broken" women continue moving forward. In the spirit of Bly's advocacy, the monument is also accessible to people with a variety of disabilities including vision impairment or needing a wheelchair. For those with impaired vision, braille and audio recordings will be available, so that they can also receive the messages that will be on the plaques and in the faces that will be part of this monument.

In the words of Amanda Matthews, the sculptor creating these giant faces, "The best way we can honor Nellie Bly is to continue her great work." I think this kind of commemoration is extremely important, especially for someone who has had such a big impact on our country in such a positive way. While Nellie Bly isn't a household name in all of the US, this monument will ensure that her legacy is preserved.


Matthews, Amanda, and Brad Connell. The Girl Puzzle Monument Honoring Nellie Bly NYC, NY. https://www.prometheusart.com/the-girl-puzzle-honoring-nellie-bly-nyc.html.

Matthews-Fields, Audrey. The Girl Puzzle, 2021, https://www.thegirlpuzzle.com/.

Isaiah Koeninger