Woman of the Month is a feature on my blog where each month I highlight a woman in the world who I think garners recognition. I started this mainly to increase Girl Power and empowerment, and because there’s a lot of women I feel are overlooked and I wanted to bring attention to them.
This month I’m highlighting Pauli Murray.
January 8, 1977, Pauli Murray was the first African American woman ordained as an Episcopal priest. She attended law school during the 1940s and challenged racism and sexism, and the laws in place that perpetuated these ideas. She was a fierce activist, and spoke up about injustices faced by minorities. She co-wrote a law-review article to convince the Supreme Court that the Equal Protection Clause applies to women, which was subsequently used by Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who I’m also a massive fan of).
President John F. Kennedy appointed her to the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women in 1961, where she argued that the Fourteenth Amendment forbade sex discrimination as well as racial discrimination. She was also a voice against the sexism of the civil rights movement, noting that in the 1963 March on Washington, no women were invited to make one of the major speeches nor to be part of its delegation of leaders who went to the White House.
I love both religion and social justice, but I often find that they clash or people perceive them to clash. I like how Murray was able to reconcile the two and show that it is able to be an advocate for equality and also be connected to the church. I also just find her super inspiring and loved reading about her.
Thanks for reading! xx