Celebrating Women Making History

March marks the celebration of Women’s History Month. Even in 2021, women continue to break barriers and make history in this country. I was in awe when I was able to witness the first woman, first African American, and first Asian American to be sworn in as vice president of the United States. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, this is an amazing piece of American history.

This year, the Texas Young Lawyers Association is paying homage to several women who paved the way for others and helped shape our country’s legal history. Thanks to a generous grant from the Texas Bar Foundation, I am proud to announce the launch of our newest program, Iconic Women in Legal History.

Iconic Women is a free, interactive website that highlights the role of women in American society that changed dramatically during the 20th century. Passage of the 19th Amendment guaranteed the right to vote to women. However, it did not apply to all women. The path to equality continued, especially from the 1960s to the present. High school educators find this story is often rushed in the curriculum and, at times, left out completely. This website will give teachers an effective tool to continue the story of women, especially in contemporary America, and pay tribute to these incredible figures.

Iconic Women features interviews about these amazing women (some even featuring the iconic woman herself) and written curriculum that satisfies the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills requirements for high school students as well as Advanced Placement. The program features the following among other notable women:

  • Rosa Parks

  • Dolores Huerta

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  • Eleanor Roosevelt

  • Gloria Allred

  • Betty Friedan

  • Many lesser-known suffragists and civil rights movement figures such as Ida B. Wells, Anna Julia Cooper, and Selena Sloan Butler

We also recognize several women in Texas who made significant contributions to our legal landscape and broke barriers on the state and federal level, including:

  • Barbara Jordan

  • Chief Judge Barbara M. Lynn

  • Louise Raggio

  • Harriet Miers

  • Lisa Tatum

  • Linda Yáñez

Despite the website being targeted to Texas high school students, every Texan can benefit from learning about these powerful women and all of the feats they accomplished. I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication our Law Focused Education Committee put in to create this project.

Additionally, I want to thank Jan Miller and Dodie Kasper with the State Bar of Texas Law-Related Education Department for assisting with the curriculum focus, as well as Caitlin Bumford, director of archives at the State Bar, for providing photographs. I truly appreciate all of the assistance we received in completing this program.

Lastly, I want to thank our vendor, Culture Farm. Despite the complications of the pandemic, Scott Collins and his team were able to film the interviews and build an incredible website. Let’s all celebrate these truly iconic women.

2020-2021 President, Texas Young Lawyers Association

For more information on TYLA, contact them at tyla@texasbar.com or go to tyla.org.


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