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Women Who Rock: Mary McLeod Bethune

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday. Since today is the last day of this awesome month, we’ll be going out with a bank, spotlight FIVE women who rock.

MARY McLEOD BETHUNE (1875-1955)

Born July 10, 1875, Mary McLeod Bethune made great strides in education, social justice and positive thinking for women, children and African-American society.

Mary McLeod Bethune is best known for founding Bethune-Cookman University. Though the school is a prestigious university today, it began as a small school for disadvantaged African-American girls.

Mary McLeod Bethune fought for the rights of women, for education without segregation, health care for black children, and much more. She did all this while still focusing on her school. Through the years, Mary McLeod Bethune championed many human rights causes and served as an adviser to five American presidents.

In addition, she served as president of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, founded the National Council for Negro Women, was appointed to the Child Welfare Conference under the Coolidge administration, and served in many other important roles.

Wherever Mary McLeod Bethune saw need for social remedies, she found ways to help. She opened a hospital to serve the African-American population when a sick black man was turned away from a Daytona Beach hospital.

Mary McLeod Bethune is known for saying, “Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.” She truly lived by those words, and though she died on May 18, 1955, her legacy continues.Further reading:

  • Mary McLeod Bethune by Susan Evento
  • Mary Mcleod Bethune by Amy Robin Jones
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