LEARN ABOUT THE LEADERS
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian and leader in the African-American civil rights movement. We consider him a leader of the family for his bold vision for a nation where his children would not “be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Learn more about Dr. King here.
Florence von Erb is a champion for the rights of women and mothers. She left a thriving Wall Street Career for the United Nations, where she now serves as an advocate on behalf of mothers worldwide through Make Mothers Matter. Learn more about Ms. von Erb here.
Monsignor Edward J. Flanagan was a priest of the Catholic Church in the United States. He is best known for founding the orphanage known as Boys Town in Douglas County, Nebraska, which now also serves as a center for troubled youth. During his later years, Father Flanagan served on several committees and boards dealing with the welfare of children. Learn more about Father Flanagan here.
Barbara Bush is the wife of the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, and served as First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. From her time as First Lady, she has supported and worked to advance the cause of universal literacy, and founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Learn more about Mrs. Bush and her foundation here.
Steve Jobs is recognized worldwide as one of the greatest entrepreneurs and innovators of our time. He is best known as the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple Inc. He has been described as the “Father of the Digital Revolution” and has touched the lives of millions through the products that he and his company created. Learn more about Mr. Jobs here.
Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic justice, and third female justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She has led an impressive career in the legal field, and has served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court since her appointment by President Obama in 2009. Learn more about Justice Sotomayor here.
Jamie Oliver is a British chef, best known for his cookbooks, television career, and for being a champion of healthy eating through his organization, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. In 2009, Oliver was awarded the TED Prize for his campaigns to “create change on both the individual and government levels” in order to “bring attention to the changes that [people] need to make in their lifestyles and diet.” Learn more about Chef Oliver here.
Oprah Winfrey is an American talk show host, media mogul, actress and philanthropist. Her program, The Oprah Winfrey Show was the highest-rated program of its kind in history. She currently serves as the Chairwoman and CEO of Harpo Productions and the Chairwoman, CEO, and CCO of the Oprah Winfrey Network. Learn more about Ms. Winfrey here.
Rosa Parks was an African-American civil rights activist and is regarded as the “mother of the freedom movement.” She is best known for her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955. Her act of defiance has become a symbol of the modern Civil Rights Movement. Learn more about Ms. Parks here.
Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who served as the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Under his leadership, his government tackled tough issues of institutionalized racism, poverty, and inequality in South Africa. Learn more about Mr. Mandela here.
Melinda Gates is an American businesswoman, philanthropist and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. The foundation, which is one of the largest in the world, aims to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty globally, and to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology in the United States. Learn more about Mrs. Gates here.
Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. He employed the use of nonviolent civil disobedience to lead India to independence, and inspired civil rights movements around the world. His followers gave him the name “Mahatma,” which means “the great-souled one.” Gandhi is considered by many to be the “Father of the Nation” in India, and his birthday (October 2nd) is now known as the International Day of Nonviolence. Learn more about Gandhi here.
Michelle Rhee is a public figure involved in the American education system. She served as the chancellor of the Washington, D.C. public school system from 2007 to 2010, and has since founded StudentsFirst – a nonprofit which works on education reform issues. Rhee began her career by teaching for three years in an inner-city school, and then founded and ran The New Teacher Project. Learn more about Ms. Rhee here.
Arne Duncan currently serves as the United States Secretary of Education. Before being appointed by President Obama in 2009, he was the CEO of the Chicago Public School system. His work as Secretary has centered around improving early childhood education and increasing the high school graduation rate in the United States. Learn more about Secretary Duncan here.
Anne Sullivan was an American teacher, best known for being the instructor and companion of Helen Keller. This ultimately became the blueprint for the education of children who are blind, deaf, visually impaired, or a combination of the three. Learn more about Ms. Sullivan here.
Geoffrey Canada is an American social activist and educator. In 1990, Canada founded the Harlem Children’s Zone – an organization with the goal of “increasing high school and college graduation rates among students in Harlem” and breaking the cycle of generational poverty. You can learn more about Mr. Canada here.