Category: Activism & Social Change

Chia Youyee Vang

Chia Youyee Vang

Chia Youyee Vang is a leading advocate for Hmong cultural preservation and education.
Sheri Swokowski

Sheri Swokowski

Transgender advocate Sheri Swokowski, a former colonel in the U.S. Army, has worked to end discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
Doris Thom

Doris Thom

Doris Thom, who helped open higher-paying jobs to women in Wisconsin, was the first woman to hold leadership positions in her local labor unions.
Lutie Eugenia Stearns

Lutie Eugenia Stearns

Lutie Stearns, “the Johnny Appleseed of books,” started free libraries all over Wisconsin and was an outspoken advocate for social justice.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Nobel Peace Prize winner and Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was the first female head of state of any African country.
Hannah Rosenthal

Hannah Rosenthal

Jewish activist Hannah Rosenthal served as a U.S. special envoy to work against anti-Semitism.
Sister Joel Read

Sister Joel Read

Sister Joel Read served for 35 years as president of Alverno College and became widely known and respected for her innovative education reforms.
Vel Phillips

Vel Phillips

Vel Phillips achieved many firsts, including first woman and first African American to be elected to the statewide office of secretary of state.
Caroline Quarlls

Caroline Quarlls

At age 16, Caroline Quarlls was the first known person to escape slavery through Wisconsin’s Underground Railroad network.
Mee Moua

Mee Moua

Mee Moua was the first Hmong American to be elected to a state legislature in the U.S.