Women’s History Month – Women Who Have Inspired Us

In honor of Women’s History Month, #MEAction asked our community to share which woman or women have inspired them in their advocacy work. The responses are heartfelt, moving, and inspiring. We hope you enjoy reading them!

"This Women's History Month, I like many others, will be thinking about the contribution of my mother to my life and to the lives of others. Alison Lowe OBE, as you might know her (Mum to me), has always stood up for what she believes in and has always tried to make a difference. That spirit has rubbed off on me, and that's why I'm proud to be an advocate and volunteer for charities like #MEAction, Schools OUT UK and Black Gold Arts. I believe strongly that society is better when everyone is empowered, especially those who have most often been disempowered."

— Adam Lowe, UK

“I am inspired by Ella Baker (1903-1986), known as the Mother of the Civil Rights movement, who was a brilliant organizer and activist for over 5 decades, working with and mentoring many leaders of the civil rights movement whose names are better known. She believed in grassroots organizing, decision making that came from the bottom up, and the ability of oppressed people to speak for themselves.”

— Wilhelmina Jenkins, Georgia

“My referents: Hipatia of Alexandria, Greek philosopher, the ultimate feminist. Karolyn Gehrig, queer disabled artist, creator of the project #Hospitalglam. My friend Verónica, who taught me everything about disability before being disabled & @thechroniciconic, disabled activist Jess, who shows both physical and mental disabilities & has helped me to create my identity. All of them, powerful women that I respect.”

— Tamara Diez

“I was inspired by my local CFS support group leader, Claudia Wendlandt. Claudia was the founder of the CFS and Fibromyalgia Organization of GA (CFOG) that spanned three decades. Claudia inspired me because she did the work. She was an advocate for people with ME/CFS and fibromyalgia before anyone wanted to talk about these diseases. She refused to remain silent while people suffered.”

— Liz Burlingame, Georgia State Chapter Leader

“I was inspired to get involved with ME advocacy by my daughter, Emma Shorter. She was the driving force behind setting up #MEAction Scotland at a time when she was largely housebound from ME. Sadly she had to withdraw from advocacy, but her continued energy, determination, optimism and encouragement constantly inspire me to keep going and to try and make a real change for people with ME in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK.”

— Janet Sylvester, #MEAction Scotland Lead

“I was inspired by Jen Brea's TED talk, particularly her calling out the marginalization of women's health issues, going back to hysteria and the euphemisms used since then. I am also an activist at heart, inspired by the fire in people like Terri Wilder and Claudia Carrera.”

— Art Mirin, California State Chapter Leader

Women have played an integral role in advocacy for ME. #MEAction is beyond privileged to be founded by two amazing women, led by compassionate women serving on the board and in staff positions, and we are proud to work alongside all of the passionate women who volunteer to make a difference. 
 
To all the women in this community, here’s to continuing to make history! 

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