Heroes in the worldwide fight against human trafficking

Human traffickers continued to exploit vulnerable and marginalized communities in 2021 and 2022, according to the latest  U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report , released July 19. “The scale of this problem is vast,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken,  announcing the report’s findings July 19 at the State Department,  noting that nearly 25 million people are currently victims of trafficking. “The United States is committed to fighting it because trafficking ...
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Biden honors 17 Americans with Medal of Freedom

By Mark Trainer President Biden awarded the  Presidential Medal of Freedom , the country’s highest civilian honor, to 17 Americans. The recipients represent diverse accomplishments across a variety of fields. Presidential Medal of Freedom honorees have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values or security of the United States. Americans at their best, Biden said during the July 7 White House ceremony, “ensure ...
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Ending gender-based online violence

The digital world holds great promise to amplify the voices of women, girls and LGBTQI+ individuals. But it also has given rise to new forms of gender-based abuse and harassment. Gender-based online violence is a human rights issue that must be tackled on a global stage, according to a coalition of governments, international organizations and ...
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Uyghur authors detail abuses in their homeland

When Gulbahar Haitiwaji returned to Xinjiang, China, in November 2016 after a decade in France, she stepped into a nightmare. She had been summoned back by her employer, purportedly to complete her retirement paperwork. Instead, local authorities arrested Haitiwaji and sent her to an internment camp. Her story is not unique — since 2017, the ...
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Black women transform contemporary literature

By Noelani Kirschner “Being a black woman writer is not a shallow place but a rich place to write from,” Toni Morrison said in an interview with the New Yorker. “It doesn’t limit my imagination; it expands it.” Black women in the United States are transforming the literary world as writers, publishers, magazine editors and academics. Here are ...
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First woman leads SOUTHCOM

With her swearing-in on October 29, Army General Laura Richardson  became the first woman  to lead the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and only the third woman to lead one of the U.S. military’s 11 unified combatant commands. As commander, Richardson oversees U.S. military operations across South and Central America, in addition to the Caribbean. “We must hasten to pick ...
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Ending violence against women: A human rights imperative

By Lenore T. Adkins The world recognizes the  International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women  on November 25, a day to heighten awareness about the physical, psychological and emotional harm women face worldwide. The U.S. Department of State sees  tackling violence against women  as a human rights imperative. Violence threatens women’s and girls’ safety, and it sets barriers to their potential for prosperity or filling leadership ...
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Women tackle firefighting’s risks and rewards

Women are making major contributions to fire departments across the United States, achieving new milestones in a field traditionally dominated by men. In February, three women with the  Washington Township Fire Department in Ohio  became the department’s first all-female crew to answer a fire call. In September 2020, five women with the  Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue Department  achieved a similar milestone, working an all-woman shift for ...
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Barbara Watson paved the way for women and Black diplomats

By Noelani Kirschner Diplomat Barbara Watson achieved historic firsts during her time at the State Department. But firsts were familiar in her family. Watson was the child of New York’s first elected Black judge, James S. Watson, and Violet Lopez Watson, a founder of the National Council of Negro Women. Watson’s cousin Colin L. Powell ...
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Meet 6 women pioneers of American diplomacy

The United States has been sending diplomats around the world since the 18th century. For the last 100 years women diplomats have been among them. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has emphasized that diversity and inclusion is a priority of the Biden administration. “Diversity and inclusion make us stronger, smarter, more creative and more ...
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Women in politics: A timeline

March is Women’s History Month. Here’s a look at political milestones for U.S. women. 1851–1920. Women’s suffrage started out as an anti-slavery movement, with Elizabeth Cady Stanton (right) and Susan B. Anthony leading the way. Women got the vote in 1920. Getting elected to Congress   1916. Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to Congress. Representing ...
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Six remarkable women honored posthumously

By  Lenore T. Adkins The National Women’s Hall of Fame has inducted six trailblazing Black women into its unique sisterhood, recognizing their contributions at the Seneca Falls, New York, birthplace of the American women’s rights movement. Its new Virtual Induction Series  celebrates underrepresented women of achievement. It does this by posthumously recognizing marginalized women who were overlooked during their lifetimes or died before ...
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African American trailblazers in diplomacy

African Americans’ contributions to U.S. diplomacy began in the late 19th century, when abolitionists Ebenezer Bassett and, later, Frederick Douglass were appointed as chiefs of mission to  Haiti  and the Dominican Republic. Since then,  African American diplomats  have served with distinction all over the world. Ralph Bunche was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950 for negotiating an Arab-Israeli ...
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Black artists have always been an essential part of American culture

By Noelani Kirschner Black women in the arts have long formed the backbone of America’s cultural landscape. As Americans were reminded at President Biden’s inauguration, young Black artists such as poet  Amanda Gorman  are emerging and sharing their vision for the future with the world. For  Black History Month , we look at past and present defining figures in music, literature and ...
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U.S. memorials honor civil rights hero Rosa Parks

The U.S. Air Force on December 1, 2020, the 65th anniversary of Parks’ 1955 protest, unveiled a sculpture of her at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, adding to an array of memorials that honor the civil rights icon, who died in 2005 at the age of 92. This year ShareAmerica is highlighting some of ...
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Kamala Harris: America’s next vice president

By Lauren Monsen Kamala Devi Harris, a senator who has represented California in the U.S. Congress since 2017, will break barriers when she is inaugurated as vice president of the United States on January 20. She will be the first woman — and the first person of African, Jamaican and South Asian ancestry — to occupy that ...
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Six remarkable women honored posthumously

By Lenore T. Adkins The National Women’s Hall of Fame has inducted six trailblazing Black women into its unique sisterhood, recognizing their contributions at the Seneca Falls, New York, birthplace of the American women’s rights movement. Its new Virtual Induction Series  celebrates underrepresented women of achievement. It does this by posthumously recognizing marginalized women who were overlooked during their lifetimes or died before ...
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U.S. Navy appoints first woman to command an aircraft carrier

Captain Amy Bauernschmidt will become the first woman in U.S. history to command a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. In 2016 Bauernschmidt was the first woman to serve as executive officer of a nuclear aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln. Bauernschmidt  graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy  in 1994, the same year  women began to serve on combat ships  and planes. She logged more than 3,000 hours of flight ...
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Ending violence against women: A human rights imperative

The world recognizes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, a day to heighten awareness about the physical, psychological and emotional harm women face worldwide. The U.S. Department of State sees tackling violence against women as a human rights imperative. Violence threatens women’s and girls’ safety, and it sets ...
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