Scholar, author, activist, world leader for Black Feminism movements and Civil/Human Rights struggles. She was involved in various causes around class and gender, including the second-wave feminist movement, and the Black Panther Party. Professor emerita at the University of California/ History of Consciousness Department, and a former director of the university's Feminist Studies Department. She keeps inspiring feminist struggles worldwide.
Brazilian intellectual, politician, professor, anthropologist. Leila is one of the first voices to point out the intersectionality of systems of oppression. She inspired many generations of Black Feminists, including Angela Davis. She founded the Black Movement of Brazil, Research Institute of Black Cultures (Instituto de Pesquisas das Culturas Negras, IPCN), the Black Women's Collective – N'Zinga and the Olodum.
born 1934 - 1992 USA
Self-described as „black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet“, was a pioneer for black lesbians everywhere. Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, lesbianism, illness and disability, and the exploration of black female identity. Your Silence Will Not Protect You” is a posthumous collection of essays, speeches, and poems published in 2017.
1979-2018, Favela da Maré, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Politician, sociologist, activist, local leader for Black Feminism and Human Rights. As Audre Lorde, also a black, lesbian, mother, warrior and an enormous power of inspiration for the so-called “Women of the Periphery” in Brazil, By out-speaking critic of police brutality and extrajudicial killings in the slums and peripheries of Rio de Janeiro, she was brutally murdered. This occurred right after her speech on „Black Youngsters Moving [Power] Structures“. She became the symbol of Black feminism and intersectional struggles in Brazil and worldwide Her murder is still unsolved.
1928-2014, Missouri, USA
American poet, memoirist and civil rights activist. She published several books of poetry, plays, movies, and television shows over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was published in 1969 and it is still a source of inspiration and empowerment for women to speak out.
Indigenous rights activist, feminist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1992), as well as Recipient for UNESCO Prize for Peace Education (1990). Menchú published the rights of Guatemala's Indigenous peoples during and after the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996), and promoted Indigenous rights internationally.
Juana Calfunao Paillaléf
Mapuche people, Chile
Calfunao Paillaléf is one of the chiefs of the Mapuche indigenous community of south-central Chile. She is a leader in the struggles of the Mapuche peoples to assert their sovereignty, resist state and corporate violence, and condemn the extraction of natural resources from their ancestral lands. She is a founder of the Chilean non-governmental organization Comisión Ética Contra la Tortura (Ethical Commission Against Torture).
born 1974, Wapichana People, Amazon, Brazil
First indigenous woman laywer in Brazilian parliament. President of the Defense of Indigenous People’s Rights Commission. Recipient of the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights, 2018. She fights against illegal mining, illegal lodging, and the systematic violence and violation of human and landrights of all indigenous populations in Brazil, founder and coordinator for Indigenous advocacy and parliamentary front since 2019.
1971-2016, La Lenca People, La Esperanza, Honduras
Environmental activist, indigenous leader, co-founder and coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras. She was assassinated in her home, and investigations revealed the involvement of US-trained Hondurian elite troops, and finally in 2021 David Castillo, former president of the hydroelectric corporation DESA, was found guilty of the murder. Her story reveals the interconnectedness of the governmental power, multinational corporations and the systematic violence to all environmentalists and lands rights defenders in the continent. Abya Yala (or “Latin America”) has the higher number of "environmental defenders" murdered for protecting their lands, forests, water supplies and oceans.
Zapatista women, elder and young, born before and within Zapatismo are organized as a collective subject, and together since 1990s organised in the fighting against all forms of exploitation. They are part of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and published in 1993 the “Revolutionary Women’s Law”. They keep sowing seeds, for food sovereignty, autonomy and women emancipation, in Mexico and beyond.