Published On: March 17th, 2022

Reach out and thank a Cambridge leader this Women’s History Month.

Cambridge has a long history of standout women leaders, that continues today. This month, we celebrate their remarkable contributions to enriching and strengthening our community.

Women of the past include trailblazers like abolitionist Harriet Jacobs, TV chef Joyce Chen, and Black feminist organizer Barbara Smith. Then there are Cambridge Cultural Visionaries including dancers DeAma Battle and Adrienne Hawkins; writers Lois Lowry, Gish Jen, and Rosanna Alfaro; and photographers Elsa Dorfman, Bobbie Norfleet, and Phyllis Bretholtz. We recognize the nonprofit and civic leaders who dedicated most of their life to serving our community, like YWCA Cambridge’s Eva Martin Blythe and CCTV’s Susan Fleischmann. Grassroots changemakers like Celia Wilcox, Corinne Espinoza, and Ashley Herring earned our Imagined in Cambridge! Social Innovation Award for their inspiring ideas for our city. Cambridge also has a unique lineage of trailblazing civic leaders: E. Denise Simmons, the nation’s first openly lesbian, Black mayor; Christine Elow, our city’s first female Police Commissioner; Sumbul Siddiqui, our state’s first Muslim mayor and Cambridge’s youngest mayor. More young women, too, are leaving an imprint on their city—take for example Maya Counter, who as a college freshman successfully advocated for the 2021 name change of the Agassiz neighborhood to the Baldwin neighborhood after another legendary Cantabrigian, Maria Baldwin.

And the Foundation’s own president Geeta Pradhan is a community champion. Last week Lesley University announced her as a 2022 Commencement speaker to inspire the next generation of leaders and thinkers.

Join us this Women’s History Month in recognizing bold leaders, both women and nonbinary, past and present, in our community. Reach out to a Cambridge woman you admire or tag her with #CambridgeWomenLead and thank her for the important impact she’s making on our city today.