We live in a world that values diversity, but where does that leave women of color? Women of color have been fighting for equality for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. These women—some famous, some not—are working hard to promote their communities and help others achieve success. If you’re interested in learning about how these powerful women celebrate each other’s achievements and work together to make a difference in their communities, read on about these black female role models in history!
Dr. Brianna Gaynor, Psy.D.
Dr. Brianna Gaynor is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, and speaker who has been featured in Psychology Today and Huffington Post articles. She specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders through individual psychotherapy sessions and providing psychological assessment services for children with special needs or learning disabilities.
Dr. Gaynor’s expertise and experience working directly with children and adults who have experienced trauma within the home, school, or business settings. Dr. Gaynor understands how important it is to help them heal so that they can lead healthier lives by learning coping skills rather than having them repressed until later when they may be too difficult for some people to face head-on without professional help.
Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green
Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green is a social justice activist, author, and entrepreneur. She is one of 66 black women to earn a Ph.D. in physics in the United States between 1973 and 2012; she’s also an advocate for women’s health and wellness.
Dr. Green earned her master’s degree from Alabama A&M University and then her doctoral degree from The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She initially began her studies at UAB as a chemistry major but switched to physics after taking an introductory class that sparked her interest in the field.
Dr. Green is an American physicist known for developing a method using laser-activated nanoparticles as a potential cancer treatment—an internship inspired her at NASA after she graduated college, where she learned about lasers used on spacecraft to detect damage or defects. Her goal with this project was to use her background in lasers to target cancerous cells without hurting healthy ones, specifically developing a method where lasers would be used to “illuminate” nanoparticles so that doctors could see tumors better during surgery so they wouldn’t have as much trouble removing them completely (and avoid leaving any behind).
Michelle Obama is the first black First Lady of the United States, and she’s using her platform to advocate for healthy eating and exercise. She’s also a great role model for young women, which makes her a powerful woman of color.
As an advocate for healthy living and sustainability, Michelle Obama has helped increase awareness about nutrition and physical activity among women across the country. As an example of how far we’ve come in gender equality, she’s also a strong reminder that women still need support fighting against gender biases in traditionally male-dominated fields like politics or STEM research.
Dr. Nancy L. Griesinger, Ph.D.
Dr. Nancy L. Griesinger, Ph.D., is the owner of Mobile Math, LLC in Houston, Texas. She is a tenured professor at Rice University and an expert in the field of STEM education who has written numerous papers about her research on school reform and educational innovation.
Dr. Griesinger began her career as a researcher in South Carolina, where she studied mathematics before becoming a professor at Rice University, where she teaches statistics and founded Mobile Math, LLC – a tutoring company.
Shaunie O’Neal Henderson
Shaunie O’Neal Henderson, born Va’Shaundya Karlette “Shaunie” Nelson, s an actress, producer, and philanthropist. Henderson is most known for her work on VH-1’s reality TV series Basketball Wives and its spinoffs Basketball Wives LA and Baller Wives. In 2017 she launched her empowerment event called Let’s Talk About It, where she brings together women to discuss issues surrounding mental health and addiction, among other topics.
LaTosha Brown is an American community organizer, political strategist, and consultant. She is a co-founder of Black Voters Matter and a Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics fellow. Brown also serves as the founding project director of Grantmakers for Southern Progress.
Atlanta Magazine has recognized Brown in its list of “Most Influential Individuals” for her work in philanthropy advising in Atlanta and around the country. In 2017, she was selected by Fast Company magazine as one of their “100 Most Creative People” who “shape our world” through their creative pursuits, including social justice activism, storytelling, and more.
These women are celebrating each other’s success and are making a difference in their communities.
People at the top of the ladder are often congratulated for their achievements, but these black female heroes don’t get enough credit for what they do to help other women up that same ladder. These women are celebrating each other’s success and are making a difference in their communities. Their stories remind us that we’re all in this together, and there’s no reason we can’t make our mark on the world. It won’t always be easy—but it’ll be worth it when you look back at yourself 15 years later and realize how far you’ve come!
It’s important to acknowledge the contributions of women of color who have paved the way for many others. But it can be hard to know where to start when looking at all the amazing women who have impacted our society. We’ve put together a list of seven influential women whose stories need to be told: Dr. Brianna Gaynor, Psy.D., Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green, Dr. Nancy L. Griesinger, Ph.D., Shaunie O’Neal Henderson, and Michelle Obama.