In March, we celebrate both International Women’s Day (TODAY) and Women’s History Month.
This year’s IWD theme is #ChooseToChallenge and asks us to focus on what changes we can make to help create a more gender equitable society and world.
One way to explore how we can make a difference is to start by looking to the past to learn about the contributions of the trailblazing female leaders that came before us and remembering what they did to help pave the way for our generation.
So, we are taking a trip to the Wall of Heroes—located in the Xavier Riddle Hero Maker game—to learn more about a few of these incredible women who chose to challenge the status quo at the time, and in turn, changed the world forever!
Up first on our tour, we are traveling back in time to the 1800s to meet Marie Curie. Curie was an award-winning scientist who made many important contributions to the field of science. For example, she discovered the elements of polonium and radium, using a technique she invented for isolating radioactive isotopes. Radium is used today in the treatment of cancer.
But the road to becoming such an accomplished scientist was not easy for Marie. When Curie was young, girls were not allowed to enroll in university. This challenge did not stop the ambitious scientist, she refused to give up on her dream and found her own secret school, The Flying University, an underground university where she could learn! After she completed her studies, she started up her very own lab and went on to make many amazing scientific discoveries! It was hard work, but she never gave up.
Marie Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and is the only person to win Nobel Prizes in two separate sciences: Physics and Chemistry! Her pursuit of knowledge and passion for science has made her a role-model for women around the world who are pursuing careers in this field, which remains, to this day, a male-dominated profession.
Marie Curie is a role-model to women scientists, young and old, around the world, and her determination encourages us all to follow our dreams, no matter what!
Rosa Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement, who challenged the racist systems of her day and fought for racial equity her entire life. She was a courageous woman, who never stopped fighting for equality for all people. One of the things Rosa is best known for was her pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back on a municipal bus.
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In this clip, the characters from Xavier Riddle are sent back in time to meet Rosa Parks. Xavier, Brad, and Yadina witness firsthand how Rosa reacts to being treated unfairly, both as a young girl and as an adult, when she was asked to give up her seat on that municipal bus in 1955. A historic moment in time that helped ignite the birth of the modern American civil rights movement, all because of her courage to stand up for what’s right! You can also learn more about how Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott changed history by watching this video.
Rosa Parks is a truly inspiring hero who chose to challenge an unjust system, and whose brave actions remind us every day that everyone should be treated equally.
Last stop on our tour, is Junko Tabei, a Japanese mountaineer, author, and teacher who became the first woman to climb Mount Everest and to ascend the highest summit of every continent. There was literally no mountain too high for this mighty individual to climb!
Junko’s Mount Everest summit was not only a physical triumph but also a historic milestone for women. At the time mountain climbing was a male–dominated pursuit. Women were expected to stay off the peaks and rather, in the words of Tabei herself, “We were told we should be raising children instead.”
But Junko did not let those sexist opinions stand in her way. In May 1975, when she was 35-years-old, she co-led a 15-woman expedition, guided by six Sherpas, up the 29,029-foot ascent of Everest, the world’s tallest mountain.
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Junko Tabei blazed trails across the highest peaks in the world, and her undaunting persistence, skill, and strength is a steadfast reminder that you can do it, even if it’s never been done before!
This concludes our tour of Xavier Riddle’s Wall of Heros, but there are so many MORE incredible heroes to discover. To continue exploring and learning about other AMAZING women from history click here!
And before you go, why not add an extraordinary challenge-marker from your life to the Wall of Heroes. Is there someone in your family or community who has helped change the world and make it a more equitable place for all? Or maybe, you can create a hero of yourself and share how are going to #ChooseToChallege and take action for equality.
Because if there is one thing we can learn from our heroes of yesterday and today, it’s that we all have what it takes to change the world!