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Jack Byrd

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...

Just Imagine…Developing Women’s Talent

Many low- and middle-income nations face a problem of having millions of people whose talent is undeveloped and whose potential is wasted. Peru is one example. One in five young people (15 – 24 years) neither work nor are going to school, and a majority of these...

Just Imagine…Writing for Justice

Ida B. Wells was born a slave in 1862 but was freed when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Ida was one of the few African-Americans who was able to go to college in the years following the Civil War, but she had to drop her education after her...

Just Imagine…Living as our True Selves

Dawn Langley Hall lived a life of crossing boundary lines. She was born out of wedlock on an English estate in the 1920s, reportedly the child of the household chauffeur and a teenage servant (who is sometimes described as being “from a high social class”). Dawn...

Hidden Heroes: Dr. John Fryer

John Fryer was born in Kentucky in 1937. Being very bright, he graduated from high school when he was 15 and college when he was 19. He then went to medical school where his interests were in psychiatry. John happened to be gay. After receiving his medical degree...

Hidden Heroes: Lynn Conway

Lynn Conway excelled in math and science courses and began her studies at MIT in 1955. Assigned male at birth, Lynn suffered from gender dysphoria. Due to a failed gender-affirming treatment while at MIT, she dropped out of college. She worked as an electronic...

Hidden Heroes: Billye Talmadge

Billye Talmadge was raised in Oklahoma by her mother. She never knew her father. She was the niece of Herman Talmadge, a former U.S. Senator and Georgia Governor known for his conservative views.   When Billye was in college she became aware that she was a lesbian....

Just Imagine…Fighting for Regulation

As a young woman in 1888, Alice Lakey seemed destined to become an opera singer until an illness forced her to give up her singing career. She was sick for most of her thirties. Alice’s mother had passed away when Alice was six. Then, just as Alice was regaining...