Women’s History Month

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Philadelphia City Councilmember – Cherelle Parker

A graduate of Parkway Northwest High School, Councilwoman Cherelle Parker was the youngest African-American woman ever elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. After serving 10 years as a State Representative, Parker was elected to Philadelphia City Council, beginning her first term in January 2016. She made history in February 2021 when she became the first woman elected to chair the Delaware River Port Authority Board.

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Philadelphia City Councilmember – Maria Quinones Sanchez

A Jules E. Mastbaum High alumna, Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez made history in 2007 when she became the first Latina elected to Philadelphia City Council. Prior to joining the City Council, Councilwoman Quinones Sanchez served as the first female and youngest Executive Director of ASPIRA, Pennsylvania’s largest Latino educational institution.

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President of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation – Lorina Marshall Blake 

Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake, a graduate of Overbrook High School, began her career with the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) and now serves as the president of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation and vice president of Community affairs at Independence Blue Cross. A long-time public servant who is passionate about giving back to the community, Ms. Marshall-Blake is involved with more than 30 professional and civic organizations and serves on more than 25 non-profit boards and committees.

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Chairman and CEO of D and Z Media Acquisition Corp– Betty Liu

A Central High School graduate, Betty Liu was the first female and Asian student to be inducted into Central’s Alumni Hall of Fame and is also the first female Executive Vice Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. A former award-winning journalist and television anchor for Bloomberg Television, Liu also served as the Chief Experience Officer of Intercontinental Exchange and Executive Vice Chairman for the New York Stock Exchange.

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President of Spelman College – Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell

A graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls, Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell is also a 2018 Hooks National Book Award winner for her book An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden. In 2009, President Obama appointed Dr. Campbell, who’s held various leadership roles in the arts industry of New York, to serve as vice chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. In August 2015, she became the 10th president of Spelman College, a liberal arts Historically Black College for women in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Former President, Rockefeller Foundation and President Emerita of University of Pennsylvania – Dr. Judith Rodin

Dr. Judith Rodin, a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls, was the first woman named to lead an Ivy League institution, serving as president of the University of Pennsylvania from 1994 to 2004. She was also the first woman to serve as president of The Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Rodin served on President Clinton’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology and has worked with several leading academic societies. Additionally, she has written or co-written 15 books and more than 250 academic articles.

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Photographer – Zoe Strauss

Zoe Strauss, a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls, founded the Philadelphia Public Art Project in 1995. In 2012, Strauss was featured in a solo exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art entitled Zoe Strauss: Ten Years, an assessment of Under I-95, a decade-long street photography project that included an annual installation of photographs beneath a section of Intersection 95 in South Philadelphia. An award-winning photographer, Strauss has also participated in the Whitney Biennial, the longest-running survey of American art associated with the famed Whitney Museum of Art in New York, NY.

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Philadelphia City Councilmember — Katherine Gilmore Richardson

Katherine Gilmore Richardson, a graduate of Philadelphia High School for Girls, is the youngest woman ever elected to a city-wide office and the youngest African American woman ever elected to Philadelphia City Council. Prior to serving 11 years as a staff member for  former Councilwoman at-Large Blondell Reynolds Brown, Richardson taught math and computer science at Overbrook High School.