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“Makers: Women Who Make America” is a groundbreaking documentary that tells the story of women’s advancement in America over the past 50 years. It is built on an extraordinary archive of interviews with women who challenged the status quo in fields from coal-mining to medicine. Watch “Makers: Women Who Make America” online.

THIRTEEN asked New York City “Makers” what woman has inspired them. Visit www.thirteen.org/makers for more programs on women who have made an impact.

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Richard R. Buery Jr.

President and CEO, The Children’s Aid Society
Inspired by Fannie Lou Hamer

A woman from history I admire is Fannie Lou Hamer, a brave activist who risked her life in the fight to establish a meaningful right to vote for blacks. To me, the right to vote, along with the right to an education, is essential to the exercise of all other rights. Hamer’s dignified testimony at the 1964 Democratic National Convention on behalf of the Mississippi  Freedom Democratic Party was a transformational moment in American democracy and one with fresh relevance today. On February 27, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case Shelby County v. Holder, a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory voting practices that disenfranchised millions. We should remember what Fannie Lou Hamer and others like her fought for, and why that fight still matters today.”

Read an interview with Fannie Lou Hamer from 1972 on PBS. Richard R. Buery Jr. was interviewed by MetroFocus on ways to improve children’s education in New York City.

 

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