OPINION: Women making history in 2020

3 women of color who are breaking molds and leaving their mark


Graphic by Makenna Roy

Makenna Roy

I have found that even in 2020 there are women at the forefront of social change who are still not getting recognized for the work they are doing. We are witnessing women on the frontlines of social movements directly in front of our eyes.

In my last story I mentioned that well-behaved women often do not make history, but in this case the women who are going against the grain and speaking up for issues that affect them are often described as angry and aggressive instead of determined and passionate.

There are three women of color that I think are making history today. Meet Ava DuVernay, Isra Hirsi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Ava DuVernay

From winning best director at Sundance Film Festival in 2012 to directing “Selma” and “When They See Us,” DuVernay is continuing to break barriers in the film industry through directing and producing.

DuVernay’s impact is not defined by her being a Black woman director but by the doors that she is opening for other women to see themselves in positions like her own.

As a creator and executive producer of the TV show “Queen Sugar” on the Oprah Winfrey Network, DuVernay amplifies the voices of women by hiring only female directors and giving women access to opportunities in the world of television which is often male-dominated.

In 2016 DuVernay became the first Black woman director to be nominated in a feature category at the Oscars when her film “13th” was nominated for best documentary feature.

Isra Hirsi

Hirsi is 17 years old and working toward creating a better world for her future. She is the co-founder and co-executive director of U.S. Youth Climate Strike, a movement made up of teens around the world focused on creating fundamental change for the chance at a livable planet and safe future.

For Hirsi, the goal is to bring climate change to the forefront as an issue that politicians cannot ignore.

Hirsi is not alone in wanting to make sure that the effects of climate change are addressed and the correct legislation is put in place to reduce its effects.

She is one of many young climate change activists around the world like Greta Thunberg, taking a stand against issues that most adults keep in the background.

Hirsi is the daughter of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, but she is creating a name for herself.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

In the 2018 midterm elections Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress at 29 years old.

Ocasio-Cortez currently represents the 14th District of New York.

She is using her platform to incite change in the community around her and focus on positively impacting the way that the U.S. Congress works. Ocasio-Cortez uses her position to bring attention to the unethical activities that other members of Congress partake in — such as trading stocks behind closed doors.

Ocasio-Cortez is not afraid to speak up when she is passionate about an issue. Her goal is to make sure that the legislation being passed is positively impacting people.

Ocasio-Cortez has made it clear that she is not endorsing legislation that is for the elites; her focus is on the people and she isn’t afraid to cast a vote that doesn’t match the other Democrats.