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The One Story: HBCUs And The Gatekeeping Of Black Culture
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March is Women’s History Month. Vector illustration. Holiday poster.

Source: Elizaveta Bulygina / Getty

Women’s History Month is an opportunity to celebrate those who defy the odds and accomplish the impossible. While we certainly hold space for women like Charlotta Bass, who became the first African American woman to own a newspaper or Nella Larsen who was an author, nurse and librarian, we also celebrate contemporary leaders like Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who became the first African American woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court.

It is easy to celebrate persons with big titles, but we should be careful to see and honor grassroots leaders who inspire and propel women and girls to greatness. It is natural to look back and honor those who came before us, but we should also celebrate those living among us.

In the spirit of celebrating women who are making history in the present and uplifting those whom we may not see daily, Spotlight PR LLC wants to name seven Black women who are making history in the present. Their advocacy and life’s work no doubt clear the path for women and girls coming after them. Our social justice PR firm is connected to these leaders or the entities that fund them.

Danielle Torain

Danielle Torain is an attorney and philanthropic executive. Since 2020, she has led the Open Society Foundations Baltimore office, OSI-Baltimore. Prior to that, she worked to get resources into the hands of Black and people of color-led organizations in Baltimore with stints at the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund, The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Frontline Solutions.

Most recently, when she learned that the organization she leads will close, Torain raised $20 million in combined contributions to ensure the grantees she has long supported at OSI-Baltimore will not be left in the cold with the organization’s closure. She single-handedly ensured that these organizations – which often struggle to find support – have a longer runway to identify other philanthropic partners. Learn more here.

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