March was Women in History Month, and each year the Whidbey Island branch of AAUW, American Association of University Women, sends its members out to the elementary schools on the island to introduce fifth graders to women who have played a significant role in history.
This year, eight members portrayed the following women: Madeline Albright, the first female Secretary of State of the United States, portrayed by Shirley Bennett.
Emmaline Pankhurst, leader of the British suffragette movement, portrayed by Alice O’Grady.
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female physician in the U.S., who founded the first medical college for women in the United States, portrayed by Camille Brighten.
Marie Tharp, geologist and oceanographic cartographer who, in partnership with Bruce Heezon, created the first scientific map of the entire ocean floor and revealed the presence of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, was portrayed by Sarah Mackaman;
Mary Chesnut, a South Carolina author noted for a book published as her Civil War diary, portrayed by Sheila Saul.
Tawwakol Karman, a member of the opposition party in Yemen who stood up to the autocratic regime and heads the human rights group Women Journalists without Chains, and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, portrayed by Milli Stanton.
Libby Riddles, the first woman to win the Iditarod Sled Dog race, portrayed by Sue Norman.
Beryl Markham, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic east to west, portrayed by Clare Christiansen.
Purpose of AAUW is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. Nationally AAUW is 150,000 members strong, 99 of them right here on Whidbey Island.
If you would like to investigate joining the Whidbey Island branch, email to Barbara Bland at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ann Zimmerman at email@example.com