It’s Women’s History Month. There has been so many important women who have shaped the world. Who do you immediately think of when you think about women (past or present) who bring about change?
March is Women’s History Month and there are so many women that have done brave and inspiring things to change the world as we know it. Most of them do not get any credit and/or remain unnamed and often the ones that lucky enough to get any sort of recognition often end up receiving a lot of flak. For centuries women have faced mockery for their accomplishments because of double standards when it comes to men and women. Even with so many obstacles and lack of appreciation many of them push through and never give up on what they set out to do.
There are so many amazing women in the world that have accomplished many great things whether you look within this century alone or search through different era’s. When I thought about the one’s that brought about change my mind quickly scrolled through the names and faces of all the women I have ever heard of – some I know personally while others I have heard of through college courses, history books, news or media. This list of women that helped to shape the world as we know it goes on and on which means I could choose from thousands of names and faces but one that always comes to mind (for me) is Oprah Winfrey.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 30 years I’m pretty sure you have at least heard of Oprah Winfrey. If you are a a fan of her award-winning talk show ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ you probably know some personal information about her such as the abuse that she suffered during her childhood, her struggles with weight loss, what her favorite color is (green) and that her multimedia production company ‘Harpo Productions/Studios’ uses her name spelled backwards in its’ name.
If you are a fan of the woman known as Oprah you also know that she has done many things to help the lives of others. Her positive outlook and determination seems to fuel her and may be the reasons why she has been so successful at fostering change. Here are some of my favorite ways she has changed the world.
You don’t become what you want, you become what you believe.
― Oprah Winfrey
Media Powerhouse & Businesswoman
The number one reason most people know about Oprah is because of her daily talk show which aired for 25 years before she decided to close that chapter in her life to pursue other opportunities. She was the first woman to own and produce her own talk show and she inspired many women (and people in general) over the years with her success. Female journalists look up to her and even Tyra Banks said that Oprah inspired her to do her own talk show.
People across the world changed their minds about what success looked like because of her inspiring story. She proved that a woman could be successful no matter where she came from. Not only did she prove that women could do and be anything, she proved that Black Women could be or do anything. She changed the image of what success looked like to many people and continues to do that today.
Her talk show featured an array of topics which often lead her viewers to have discussions long after an episode aired. Couple’s, families, mommy groups and so on would talk about show topics and it often lead to people changing things about their own lives. Viewers would write to the show and share how the topic(s) she had discussed really inspired them to change certain things they were doing. They got healthy, switched careers or even boyfriends because of what they had heard on the show.
Although she no longer has her own daily talk show, Oprah still takes the stage in an effort to encourage and inspire. She has a couple of TV shows on the air like Oprah’s Master Class and Super Soul Sunday or holds events like The Life You Want Weekend in which she states she wants us all to “fulfill our greatest potential.” Her shows and events inspire millions around the world to change in a positive way.
Oprah has donated a lot of money ($400 million+) to charities and foundations and she does not apologize for it either. Through her donations she has helped to change the lives of numerous people directly and indirectly. One of her main focuses is on education and learning. She has donated money to places like Morehouse College to help 400 African-American Men fund their college education. That donation helped those men directly but also helped their future spouses and children because those men can take their degrees and find a career they may never of had the chance to get.
“When you’re changing a girl’s life it’s not just that life. You start to affect a family, a community, a nation.” – Oprah Winfrey
One of the most amazing things that Oprah did was open The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Acadamey For Girls in South Africa. The Academy started with 150 low-income seventh and eighth graders and continued to grow to 300+ students. This school has the potential to create so many changes for their country as well as the world. Oprah knows the importance of educating and empowering these girls – it will lead to great things.
One thing that Oprah has consistently done is positively change people’s lives in a way that has the ability to last for generations. She is a powerful woman and continues to prove that if you stay determined you can become a catalyst for change. She was born to do this and there is no sign of her stopping anytime soon.
+ I am currently reading Oprah’s book What I Know For Sure
+ The book Herstory: Women Who Changed the World
This post is a part of NaBloPoMo March 2015
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