Women in politics are shaping the nation and giving rise to a new breed of voter. Here are five women in politics who inspire us to be better human beings.
Michelle Obama grew up in a time where women, especially African-American women, had to work hard to be seen as even remotely equal to their male counterparts. Many told the determined young woman that she was “setting her sights too high,” but that only inspired her to prove them wrong, and it paid off. As a result of her dedication, Mrs. Obama was accepted into Princeton University, then Harvard Law School. Though she continued to face weary eyes, she from both schools graduated with honors.
Her work as First Lady was nothing to turn a nose up at. She advocated for military families, encouraged community service, promoted the arts and art education, and helped teach working women to balance career and family. Her biggest platform, the”Let’s Move!” initiative, promoted living a healthy living and taught people across America to exercise and eat right. In spite her hectic life and the intrusive media, Michelle Obama never lost sight of her family, and she inspires women across the world the world to reach for the stars in the face of adversaries. In this video, Michelle Obama gives her last commencement speech as First Lady of the United States, and urges students to view obstacles as a valuable time for learning.
While much of the world has opened their minds in recent years, there are still many places that have strong, negative opinions on a person’s race, sexuality, or gender that differs from their own. Danica Roem grew up in one of those places– Manassas, Virginia. Inspired by those opposed to equal rights of those in the LGBTQ+ community, Danica Roem decided to challenge stigma and ran for state-delegate against a homophobic incumbent of 13 years.
She knocked on the doors of 54,000 of her 75,000 voters in search of support. She received anti-transgender calls at her campaign office. All of her heavy campaigning, dedication to the cause, and unfortunate trials faced paid off in the end. In 2017, Danica Roem became the second transgender person to be elected to a US state legislature. In this victory speech, Danica asserts that discrimination can no longer hold people back. “To every person who has ever been singled out…this one’s for you.”
Barbara Sharief’s road to politics was not the most traditional one. After the tragic death of her father at the hand of gun-violence, Sharief took on the role of one of the primary bread-winners for her family by working a full-time job adjacent to attending high school. She then moved on to obtain an Associate of Science in Nursing from Miami Dade Community College, an RN Diploma from Jackson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, and finally her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, and an Advanced Registered Nurse Practicioner Certification all from Florida International University. In 2001, she opened she founded South Florida Pediatric Homecare, Inc., a company that provides home healthcare services for children and adults alike.
It was in 2009 that her political career began to grow parallel to her medical one. Already balancing being a mother and a businesswoman, Sharief was elected to Miramar City Commission, where she donated her salary to charities. This position jump-started her political career. Commissioner Sharief then served as Vice Mayor of Broward County in 2010, again 2012, and again in 2015. In 2013, she was voted into the Mayoral office, and took this position a second time in 2016. To this day, Commissioner Sharief balances her time between her medical practice, her family life, her political career, and her community service, as illustrated by the Easter Charity event, Lollapalooza, hosted by South Florida Pediatric Homecare. The fun for charity is documented here:
Even before former First Lady Laura Bush was in the White House, she was working for causes for women and children, including health, education, and literacy. As the First Lady of Texas, she worked for four major initiatives: Take Time for Kids, a campaign dedicated to educating parents and caregivers on parenting; teaching communities to establish family literacy programs with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy; Reach Out and Read and Ready to Read, two early childhood programs focused on educating children. She frequently raised money for libraries, and established more “Rainbow Rooms,” safe houses for neglected and abused children.
These platforms grew to a not only national, but international scale when Laura Bush became the First Lady of the United States. When times grew turbulent due to war and terrorism, Laura Bush’s approval rating remained high. With news of women and children being mistreated by the Taliban, Laura Bush took to C-SPAN radio to speak out. In spite of uncertain times, she preaches tolerance and love, something that was difficult to find so shortly after 9-11. In this video, the speech is interlaced with a recent interview with C-SPAN.
No one knows where life will take them, and Senator Elizabeth Warren certainly did not. When she got married at the age of 19, she had plans to get involved in politics, nor did she have any idea that she would become an important figurehead in the Democratic party. In the late 70s, 80s, and even into the 90s, Senator Warren taught at a number of universities as an associate professor and even dean of certain colleges. It was in this time that Senator Warren established herself as a prominent for “on-the-ground research” on how people respond to laws in the real world.
It wasn’t until 2011 that Elizabeth Warren ran for office and won. She has established herself as a politician who fights for women and equal rights. She works to create a better world for all citizens in it as a proponent of environmentalism and keeping this country safe. In this speech, she delivers a charming and funny speech that inspires graduating students to get involved in the world and make their country proud. “Advocacy, getting involved in issues that you care about and fighting them can reshape our country, and I guarantee, can reshape you.”
These women teach us that you don’t need to come from a privileged background to achieve a dream. It is hard work and dedication that allows you to climb the highest mountain and become an inspiration.