storytelling, Women's History Month

Celebrating Women’s History in Your Own Family

Top: Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jovita Idar, Maya Angelou
Middle: Gerda Lerner, Gloria Steinem, Winona La Duke, Lillian Hellman
Bottom: Betty Soskin, Willa Cather, Gertrude Stein, Marjory Stoneman Douglas ​

This month, you’ll read several magazine covers, blogs, and social media posts highlighting WHM. The purpose is to increase awareness and recognize the achievements of women in all areas of life.

But Women’s History Month isn’t just about famous women.

We can all play a role in celebrating women’s history by making it personal.

What might we discover from the stories of our own mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers?

What did they experience or participate in? What stories do they have to tell?

My mother loves to tell stories. Just a couple of questions can lead her to talk about her experiences during WWII or her mother’s story of fleeing the Mexican Revolution. Yesterday she told me about standing up to a hiring foreman who wouldn’t comply with union rules. She was afraid to do so, but losing out on a job was more frightening than speaking up.

Imagine what your great-grandmother, grandmother, older aunts, or friends can share.

By learning about their lives and the challenges they faced, we can better understand our lives and the opportunities we have today.

We can share these stories with our children, helping them understand their own family history and their ancestors’ legacy. By recognizing the strength and accomplishments of women in our own families and other backgrounds, we can help build higher self-esteem among girls and greater respect among boys and men.

Sometime this month, sit down and share your own stories, your mother’s stories, or her mother’s stories. Their stories can reveal a wealth of information about the experiences of women throughout history.

By exploring these stories, we can gain a deeper understanding of the challenges women have faced, their sacrifices, and their progress. Plus, this is an opportunity to pull out photo albums and those boxes of pics in the closet or attic and tell the story behind the picture.

Let your family hear about their adversities, their values, and the triumphs of women who are important to them every day, not just one month out of the year. 

Each time a girl opens a book and reads womanless history, she learns she is worth less.

Myra Pollack Sadker

Tell me a story in the comments.

Art, Artist Frida Kahlo, Latinas

Can You Name #5 Latina Artists?


self portrait of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Lola Alvarez Bravo photographer
Self Portrait of Diego Rivera with Frida Kahlo by Lola Alvarez Bravo 1930

For Women’s History Month, the National Museum of Women in the Arts thought of a great way to get people thinking about women artists.

Their Twitter campaign is Can You Name #5Women Artists. Check out their twitter feed.

What may be more difficult than naming five women artists is to name #5Latina Artists, #5AfricanAmerican Artists, #5Native American Women Artists or #5Asian Women Artists.

Here’s a look at five artists who are Latina (there are many more, but for the sake of this post, we’re looking at five):

Lola Álvarez Bravo is probably best known however for the photographs she took of her friend Frida Kahlo, (see above photo). She was the director of photography at the National Institute of Fine Arts and was the first person to exhibit the work of Frida Kahlo in Mexico City in the early 1950’s.

For 50 years, she photographed a wide variety of subjects, making documentary images of daily life in Mexico’s villages and city streets


Print of La Tierra Santa by Cecilia Alvarez.
La Tierra Santa by Cecilia Alvarez

Cecilia Alvarez was born in National City, California. Her mother is Mexicana and her father is Cubano. Cecilia was raised between San Diego, California, USA and Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. This cultural and political mix inspired much of her work.

I bought this print in Seattle, Washington in 1998 while on a trip with my three children and a nephew. The subject matter spoke to me.

Family Tree by Frida Kahlo, photograph by Libby Rosoff, cc
Family Tree by Frida Kahlo, photograph by Libby Rosoff, cc

Frida Kahlo’s work is by far the most visibly know among women artists. I picked an art piece not widely seen which is a painting of her family tree. It is on display at the Frida Kahlo Museum, Casa Azul in Mexico.

I don’t need to say much about her fantastic work since you’ve probably seen the various movies or books about this legendary artist.

mural in Los Angeles, Judy Baca
The Great Wall of L.A. by Judy

This piece is by muralist and educator Judy Baca. This section is part of a greater mural in Los Angeles which spans centuries of events. The entire piece is 2,754 feet and began in 1976. Her murals and awards are too numerous to list but can be found here.

Soraida Martinez Verdadism Art Gallery
Soraida Martinez Verdadism Art Gallery

Soraida Martinez created the art form called Verdadism which combines the Spanish word for truth (Verdad) and the English suffix for theory (ism).

“My Verdadism paintings are about a deeper understanding of the human soul, tolerance and to promote respect for all human beings. All Verdadism paintings are juxtaposed with social commentaries,which are all based on my life experiences.”

Patssi Valdez was one of the founders of ASCO, an art collective from the 1970’s. Her work is housed in the Smithsonian American Art Museum as well as several other museums in the USA and has shown her work internationally.

This is one of my favorite acrylic pieces and if I could afford to buy the painting I would. Maybe it’ll come out in a print.

Painting on acrylic "What is she Writing?" by Patssi Valdez
What Is She Writing? by Patssi Valdez,


Explore the Twitter campaign and add to the list of women artists at #5womenartists. Share the info.