Tweet us your stories using hashtag #MyMankiller to the @mankillerdoc handle or email us below with your inspirational woman and we will add them to the site.
At the young age of 22 years I began working in Ft Howard Papermill in Muskogee , Oklahoma. I was young, dumb and a little scared. I was introduced to a young lady, tall dark slender build whom was very well educated and also worldly. Her name was Gina Olaya. I was somewhat intimidated by her but felt a compassion ad she would often have to come to my rescue when my napkin machine would malfunction due to an operator error. She never made me fill awful and wad always just a hand motion away. One day she invited me and my family to here her Mother speak at a local church. Myself and my family including my 90 yr.old Great Aunt who came for a visit from New Mexico. We all listened as Ms. Mankiller made her speech it was enormously inspiring and she was joined on stage by both her beautiful daughters Felcia and Gina. I left that church wanting to be the very best mother to my two young daughters. I thought she came from humble beginnings and built this life with God great guidance then i can as well.
Wilma Mankiller has always been my hero and inspiration. When I worked for the Cherokee Nation Gaming years ago, Chief Mankiller only knew I was an employee in gaming. She invited me to a dinner in New Mexico and introduced me to the group and acknowledged me to everyone. I’ve never forgotten how she welcomed me!
A woman in history who has been a huge inspiration to me is Toni Morrison. Morrison is an author who has helped shape me into the woman I am today. She writes novels that focus on “abnormal” women of color, and they all have touched my soul in some way. One novel in particular, Sula, changed my life and enhanced my confidence as a black woman. Morrison is often overlooked as a writer because she tends to mainly write about the lives of black women, but I think this is what makes her stand out and shine. She has perfected her craft like no one I’ve ever seen before. I believe Toni Morrison is in a league of her own, and I want to see her in my history books next all the other greats. #MyMankiller
A woman that I admire that should be honored more often is Lilly Ledbetter. She is paving the way for equal pay for women. Her story brought attention to the inadequacy of existing legislation to address pay inequality. Two years later, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, was the first piece of legislation President Obama signed into law.
As a runner, I am inspired by Kathrine Switzer. She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, even though the organizers tried to stop her. She was on the forefront of the fight for women to compete and run in races that also included men.
Eartha Kitts - not just a celebrity but an advocate for inner city youth during the Vietnam War. She spoke her mind and made Lady Bird Johnson cry. Later in life she was an outspoken advocate for the queer community.
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