March 2023 marks this year’s global celebration of International Women’s Month. On Wednesday 8th – International Women’s Day – people across the world came together to acknowledge the talent, drive, innovation and brilliance of women all across the globe, both past and present. In honour of this, Impact‘s resident Features team have come together to reflect on the various women in our own lives who continue to inspire us.
Angela Yvonne Davis is a woman who will forever inspire me!
As a prolific figure for her political activism and writing with an unforgettable legacy, she was at the forefront of the civil rights and Black liberation movements. She campaigned against many forms of oppression entrenched in early American culture and society, such as racial, gender, and class inequality. Since the 1970s, she has been a political icon and symbol of resistance for her presence in the Black Panther Party.
Alongside authoring some of the best modern political writings, including ‘Women, Race and Class’, ‘Are Prisons Obsolete?’ and ‘Freedom is a Constant Struggle’, she is a founding member of Critical Resistance – an organisation that aims to dismantle the inequalities of the racist prison system. She has lectured around universities in the United States and is currently a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. For her dedication to academia, she has the title, ‘Distinguished Professor Emerita’.
“You can see it reflected in her impact on our world”
Time magazine stated that “her love for Black people and humanity at large fuels her; you can see it reflected in her impact on our world.” In 2020, she was listed on Time’s 100 most influential people in the world and remains a global inspiration in her confrontation and resistance against an unjust and unfair system.
My mum is my biggest inspiration.
She inspires me to be a better person, and to put others before myself
She has always taught me to treat everyone with compassion and look for the best in people. She inspires me to be a better person, and to put others before myself. She has always remained so strong despite everything, and I really admire her for that.
Alongside raising two children, she is amazing at her job, and her determination is another thing that really inspires me. She helps people who have often suffered life-changing injuries every single day at work, and I can see, first-hand, the real positive differences she’s made to their lives, as well as the passion she has to help them reach their full potential despite their disabilities. Her work has definitely led me to aim for a career path that is also for the greater good.
She’s forever been my cheerleader on the sideline at every stage of my life, giving me constant reassurance, love, and strength. I don’t feel as scared moving into the future with her by my side.
Abigail Cadman Kerr
Liv Little, the founding editor of the British magazine, gal-dem, is one of the women who truly inspire me to pursue my career aspirations.
As a young woman of colour, Liv was frustrated by the lack of diversity at the University of Bristol, where she studied. While in her final year, she founded the magazine, which is now a highly-regarded online and print publication. Produced solely by women and non-binary people of colour, gal-dem is dedicated to highlighting the work of writers and creatives within those communities.
Being a South Asian woman growing up in the UK, now at the same age that Liv was when she proposed the initial idea for the magazine, it inspires me so much to see her success in all that she’s achieved. Since 2015, her dream for a brighter spotlight on minorities’ perspectives has flourished into a full-scale, award-winning media company. Most recently, gal-dem have released a book, entitled “I Will Not Be Erased”: Our Stories About Growing Up As People of Colour, an anthology that combines the experiences of their contributors.
I really look up to her for how hard she has worked to amplify voices like mine
My own dream to become a magazine journalist was sparked by coming across her magazine a few years ago, then fueled by becoming a regular reader. I really look up to her for how hard she has worked to amplify voices like mine. By building up gal-dem as a whole, entirely from the ground, she has created a safe space for discussing topics and concepts unique to young people of colour.
In doing so, Liv has played a huge part in diversifying the journalism industry. Undoubtedly, she has inspired many other young women like me to do the same, and help to improve the industry as a whole.
For me, Shaminder Nahal is an inspirational woman in journalism.
She was once the deputy editor of Newsnight before she became the deputy editor at Channel 4 News. After joining Newsnight in 2001, she was responsible for the first programme recorded inside a prison, as well as the first all-female edition of the show. Now, she holds the position of Head of Specialist Factual at Channel 4.
During her time at Channel 4 News, the show won the Royal Television Society Award for News Programme of the Year twice. It also won a BAFTA for its coverage of the Paris terror attacks in 2015. She has a reputation for heavyweight journalism; the former Channel 4 News Editor, Benjamin De Pear, said: “Shaminder has proven experience of producing show-stopping live interviews, communicating an editorial vision and leading a team of brilliant journalists.”
She is known for being the producer for shows such as Investigating Diana: Death in Paris and Grayson’s Art Club – a show sparked by lockdown which gives members of the public a chance to send their artwork in to Grayson Perry. She also worked on a series about Ghislaine Maxwell, called Ghislaine Maxwell: The Making of a Monster.
She is a woman who is willing and ready to push journalistic boundaries
Shaminder says: “At Channel 4, we’re here to take risks, to really tackle difficult subjects, to challenge, and provoke. We want to cause trouble, we want to challenge.” Her career so far has really shown that she is a woman who is willing and ready to push journalistic boundaries and produce thought-provoking shows.
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