These remarkable women impacted Milwaukee history through activism and created change while rallying against societal obstacles. They have different backgrounds, and lived in different eras in Milwaukee history, yet each exemplifies the idea that individual citizens in a democracy have the ability to enact change.
There is no more iconic and celebrated Milwaukee woman in the last one hundred years than activist, jurist, and politician Vel Phillips. In a career filled with firsts, she opened the door for many who came after her, and whose extraordinary life is woven into the history of Milwaukee.
Born in Kiev, Meir immigrated to Milwaukee when she was eight years old. In the city she was introduced to Labor Zionism, a movement that would lead the one time Fourth Street Grade School student to become the first and only female Prime Minister of Israel.
She wrote and published the feminist journal in the United States, using a largely female staff. A passionate educator, widely wrote and spoke about female equality and opened a Milwaukee school for girls which emphasized intellectual development during a time when women were offered few professional options.
Marjorie Stevens, Marge Funmaker, and Darlene Neconish
Active in the American Indian Movement (AIM), these Oneida women started a cultural education program for indigenous youth. What began as a group of ten students meeting in local homes grew into the Indian Community School that today unites and educates hundreds of Milwaukee students from over 25 Tribal Nations.
Listen to a presentation on these remarkable Milwaukee women and how we can follow them on the Road of Democracy
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