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Hidden Heroes: the Mendez Family

Pioneers in School Desegregation Gonzalo Mendez came to America from Mexico and later became a naturalized US citizen. In 1936, he married Felicitas Mendez, a native of Puerto Rico. They first opened a restaurant in Santa Ana, California and later moved to...

Just Imagine. . .Planting a Societal Vision

Wangari Maathai was born in a rural community in central Kenya in 1940. Wangari was an excellent student and was one of 300 students selected to study in the United States pursuant to the short-lived (1959-1963) Kennedy Airlift program. During her time in the US,...

Just Imagine. . .Running for Peace

Tegla Loroupe was born in Kenya in 1973. Her father had 4 wives, and she had 24 brothers and sisters. She started school at the age of seven, running 10km (6.2 miles) in her bare feet to get to school. She was encouraged to enter foot races by her teachers, but her...

Just Imagine…the Building Blocks of Society

Haji Hassan Al-Aali was born in Bahrain in 1921 to a poor farming family. Since he was the oldest son, he had to help his family on the farm. He never went to school and started working at the age of 9. Haji had a mule and he would go from village to village...

Just Imagine…the Gift of Sight

Patricia Bath was born in Harlem, NY, in 1942. Her father was from Trinidad. Her mother’s ancestry stemmed from enslaved African Americans and the Cherokee nation. She was strongly supported by her parents in her educational pursuits and was identified as a...

Just Imagine…It Just Takes One

Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian physician, discovered the impact of germs on proper medical treatment and proposed that doctors scrub their hands before conducting any procedure. By implementing the then-innovative practice of antiseptic hand-washing, he successfully...

Just Imagine…Repairing Past Racial Harms

Callie House was born in 1861 as an enslaved person in Tennessee. She was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. She married at age 22 and went on to have six children. Her husband died early, and she had to take work as a washerwoman to support her family. At the...

Just Imagine…the Injustice of Taking

Governments need the ability to acquire property for public purposes. Without it, we'd have no public roads, buildings, parks, schools, national forests, military bases, etc. In the US, this power of eminent domain, inherited from English common law, is limited by...

Just Imagine…Cascading Influence for Peace

Marguerite (Maggy) Barankitse was born in Ruyigi, a city in Burundi, Africa. Maggy’s father died when she was six. Her mother never remarried but Maggy’s family grew as her mother adopted 8 children. Maggy would follow in her mother’s example and adopted her first...