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Making HERstory: Women Who Inspire

University of Washington students speak out about inspirational women who’ve influenced their lives and the world.

March 3, 2017

KCTS 9 is celebrating Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8) by airing a number of programs on important women and women’s groups who’ve made a lasting impact through and on their individual crafts.  Dr. Maya Angelou was a civil rights leader, activist and writer known best for her timeless autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Like their American counterparts, the suffragettes were women who fought and struggled for women’s voting rights in Britain during the 19th and 20th centuries. Georgia O’Keeffe was an acclaimed American artist and the “Mother of American Modernism,” best known for her incredible paintings of flowers and New Mexico landscapes. Flannery O’Connor was a famed writer and essayist whose short stories published in a book after her death won the National Book Award for fiction. All these inspirational women are featured in programs on KCTS 9 this month:

  • Maya Angelou: American Masters | Tuesday, Mar. 7, 8:30 p.m.
  • Suffragettes Forever! The Story of Women and Power | Sunday, Mar. 12, 5:00 p.m.
  • Georgia O’Keeffe: A Woman on Paper | Saturday, Mar. 18, 3:30 p.m.
  • Uncommon Grace: The Life of Flannery O’Connor | Saturday, Mar. 18, 4:00 p.m.

Thinking about Women’s History Month, I began to wonder about the different types of women that people in my generation — other millennials — look up to. I myself have at least 20 strong women I consider my role models, including family members, friends, and others I’ve never even met before. I think that many of us, not just millennials, consider our moms as the biggest influence in our lives. However, I wanted to dig deeper and explore the lives of other women who have made strong impressions on us.

I ventured to the University of Washington campus to ask my fellow students to tell me about one woman who has influenced them personally. I found that generally, the students I interviewed tend to look up to those who have overcome major difficulties to gain their well-deserved respect and have persistently challenged the norm; women who are intelligent, unique and unafraid of judgement; women who don’t let misogyny and other negative gender stereotypes influence the marks they intend to make on society; women who ignite change through their thoughtful rhetoric and brilliance; and women who started at the bottom, fought oppression and ended up as pioneers to make the world a better place.

Below are some of their responses.


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Danielle Pascual

Danielle Pascual is a marketing and communications intern at KCTS 9. A sophomore at the University of Washington, Danielle is studying communication, sales and diversity. She is passionate about storytelling, television, dogs and dessert. Post-graduation, she hopes to live big in New York City.

More stories by Danielle Pascual

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