Nevertheless She Persisted: Jill Moss Greenberg, Roma Guy & Cristina Jiménez
March is Women's History Month and each year, the National Women's History Project chooses a theme and honors women that embody that theme. This year's theme is Nevertheless She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
This theme presents the opportunity to honor women who have shaped America’s history and its future through their tireless commitment to ending discrimination against women and girls. The theme embodies women working together with strength, tenacity and courage to overcome obstacles and achieve joyful accomplishments. The NWHP has chosen 15 outstanding women for their unrelenting and inspirational persistence, and for understanding that, by fighting all forms of discrimination against women and girls, they have shaped America’s history and our future.
Their lives demonstrate the power of voice, of persistent action, and of believing that meaningful and lasting change is possible in our democratic society. Through this theme, we celebrate women fighting not only against sexism, but also against the many intersecting forms of discrimination faced by American women including discrimination based on race and ethnicity, class, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, and many other categories. From spearheading legislation against segregation to leading the reproductive justice movement, our 2018 honorees are dismantling the structural, cultural, and legal forms of discrimination that for too long have plagued American women.
This month, we will be spotlighting all 15 honorees in a series. Meet 3 women trailblazers, honorees Jill Moss Greenberg, Roma Guy & Cristina Jiménez here.
Jill Moss Greenberg
Lifelong Crusader for the rights of underrepresented groups, Intersectional Trailblazer
Jill Moss Greenberg is a lifelong crusader for fairness and the rights of underrepresented groups. She has been a trailblazer in addressing the intersection of women’s rights and history with issues of race, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, homelessness, and socioeconomic status.
Jill Moss Greenberg started her activism and organizing at a young age. While still in college, she and a friend started one the nation’s first preschools for children with disabilities. She worked for many years in the civil rights and disability rights movements and applied those experiences to gender equality. Moss Greenberg advocated tirelessly for the passage of Title IX (the federal regulation prohibiting gender discrimination in educational institutions) and assembled representatives of diverse women’s, civil rights and civic organizations to pilot the initial Title IX Institutional Self-Evaluation for public school systems.
As the Race Equity Specialist at the Maryland State Department of Education, she initiated “Black History at Your Doorstep” and conducted weeklong, residential academies for school administrators. In 1980, while serving on the Maryland Commission for Women, she initiated the Maryland Women’s History Project, which expanded in 2010 to become the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center. Moss Greenberg served as the Founding Executive Director and coined the center’s mantra, “Adding Herstory to History to tell Ourstory.”
Moss Greenberg has been a national leader in educational equity and multicultural education, serving as the first National Executive Director of NAME (the National Association for Multicultural Education). She served on the original Finance Committee of the National Women’s Political Caucus, and was a founder of the Maryland Women’s Political Caucus. She worked for the passage of the Maryland Equal Rights Amendment, with an Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and with Coretta Scott King to create the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, and with the U.S. Congress in passing the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Helsinki Accords.
Jill Moss Greenberg has received many honors for her work. She was inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame in 1995.
Social Justice Activist, Policy Leader on homelessness, public health, poverty & rights for LGBTQI, immigrant & women
Roma Guy is a social justice activist and policy leader on homelessness, public health, poverty, LGBTQI rights, immigrant rights, and women’s rights. She was a consultant and one of the LGBTQI activists featured in the 2017 ABC miniseries When We Rise.
Roma Guy started her career in social work as a Peace Corps volunteer and training director in West Africa where she spent nine years working in literacy and health education. She and her partner of over three decades, Diane Jones, RN, have been engaged in activism for public health policy change at the local and national level for many decades. Their focus areas include; protecting girls and women’s health, reproductive justice, HIV care, and universal health care.
Over the years Guy was a co-founder of multiple groundbreaking organizations including: San Francisco Women Against Rape (1973, the city’s main rape crisis center), San Francisco Women’s Centers/the Women’s Building (1975/79, a nonprofit arts and education center), La Casa de las Madres (1976, the nation’s second domestic violence shelter), and the California Women’s Agenda (1995, which advocates for universal healthcare and reproductive justice). Guy also co-founded and served as Co-Director of the Women’s Foundation of California (1981-93), an organization that trains women as policy advocates and philanthropic leaders.
In 1994 Guy joined the San Francisco State University as Director of the Bay Area Homelessness Program, a consortium of sixteen colleges working to end homelessness. She also served as a clinical faculty member in the Department of Health Education and School of Social Work for thirteen years.
Guy has served on several boards and committees including the San Francisco Local Homelessness Coordinating Board (1994-2004), as a Health Commissioner for the city and county of San Francisco (1996-2007), and on the Jim Hormel Advisory Committee, helping to open a LGBT center at the San Francisco Public Library.
Currently, she is a community organizer and policy advocate for Taxpayers for Public Safety and 2016-17 Co-Chair of the Jail Replacement Project in San Francisco. Roma Guy was nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.
Instrumental in creating DACA program, Leader in the youth-led immigrant rights movement
Cristina Jiménez is a leader in the youth-led immigrant rights movement and instrumental in creating the DACA program. By sharing her own story of being undocumented, Jiménez inspired others to come forward, and helped change the discourse on immigration.
Cristina Jiménez is Executive Director & Co-founder of United We Dream (UWD), the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country. Originally from Ecuador, Jiménez came to the U.S. with her family at the age of 13, attending high school and college as an undocumented student. She has been organizing in immigrant communities for over a decade and was part of UWD’s campaign team that led to the historic victory of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012 that protected close to a million young immigrants from deportation. Under Jiménez’s leadership UWD has grown to a powerful network of 55 affiliates in 26 states with over 400,000 members.
In October of 2017, Jiménez was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship “Genius Grant” recipient. She has also been named to many prestigious lists including one of Forbes’s 2014 “30 under 30 in Law and Policy;” and one of the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s “40 under 40 Young Leaders Who are Solving Problems of Today and Tomorrow”. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Letters & Humanities by Wesleyan University.
She has appeared in hundreds of media outlets including CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, NPR, Univision, and Telemundo. She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy (NCRP), Hazen Foundation, and Make the Road Action Fund.
Cristina Jiménez co-founded the New York State Youth Leadership Council, the Dream Mentorship Program at Queens College, was an immigration policy analyst for the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy and an immigrant rights organizer at Make the Road New York. She holds a Masters degree in Public Administration & Public Policy from the School of Public of Affairs at Baruch College, CUNY and a B.A. in Political Science and Business from Queens College, CUNY.