Biddy Mason and Dolores Huerta were trailblazers of their times. They are part of the Women’s March Foundation’s Feminist Street Initiative to rename streets across the nation after women who paved the way for equality and recognition throughout history.
The Feminist Street Initiative aims to rename streets across the country after historic women. It comes after the fifth anniversary of the nationwide Women’s March, and in the days before the start of Women’s History Month in March. The Women’s March Foundation is campaigning for streets to be named after Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gloria Steinem and Maya Angelou, among others.
Mason was one of the founders of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles and was instrumental in establishing the first elementary school for Black children in Los Angeles. The Biddy Mason Park in downtown Los Angeles is named after her.
Huerta is a labor leader and civil rights activist, who, with Cesar Chavez, was the co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers.
According to the Women’s March Foundation, there are 240 million streets in the United States, and 5,000 of them are named after George Washington. More than three-quarters of the streets are named after men. The initiative aims to make visible the names of women in art, labor, and social justice organizers, and focus on uplifting women who have contributed to community building and formation.
“COVID forced us off the streets, but this initiative will help secure our legacy for time immemorial,” Women’s March Foundation Founder and Executive Director Emiliana Guereca said in a statement. “Women have contributed significantly to history, but we’ve been rendered invisible at every turn. The Feminist Street Initiative aims to change that and make sure the women who have shaped the world we live in most get the recognition they deserve.”
The Feminist Street Initiative plans in the coming weeks and months to put into motion the formal street name request process in the respective localities. For more information about and the initiative, visit: womensmarchfoundation.org/feminist-street-initiative.