Chia Youyee Vang is a leading advocate for Hmong cultural preservation and education.
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, who helped open higher-paying jobs to women in Wisconsin, was the first woman to hold leadership positions in her local labor unions.
Lutie Stearns, “the Johnny Appleseed of books,” started free libraries all over Wisconsin and was an outspoken advocate for social justice.
Nobel Peace Prize winner and Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was the first female head of state of any African country.
Jewish activist Hannah Rosenthal served as a U.S. special envoy to work against anti-Semitism.
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 achieved many firsts, including first woman and first African American to be elected to the statewide office of secretary of state.
At age 16, Caroline Quarlls was the first known person to escape slavery through Wisconsin’s Underground Railroad network.