Create a gallery of women who are making history from the last 15 years. Print their photos and create a gallery introducing the women and what their impact on history has been.
Icebreaker: Who are some women, not pictured here, that you think are making history today?
Activity: As a group look through the Chronicles of American Women. If this is a virtual group share the link for participants to browse through. If you are meeting in person print these tributes and lay them out on the tables. https://www.womenshistory.org/womens-history/chronicles-american-women
- What are some things you notice about these tributes?
- Are all of these women famous?
- Is there anyone you know that should be on this list?
- Write a tribute and submit it, or send a card to the woman telling how she has impacted your life.
Other Program Ideas:
- Invite one or two women whose work is impacting your community to share their work with the group.
- Explore some of the “Her Story” themes at the Smithsonian’s website and watch a few of the videos that are of particular interest to the group.
- Who am I game? Create a list of current famous women. As the women enter the room write the name of a famous woman on a post-it note and put it on their back. They need to ask the other women to give them hints as to who they are.
- Read through some of the women mentioned on this website: https://www.womenshistory.org/womens-history/chronicles-american-women. Discuss some of the stories that caught your attention. What about their story interested you? Is there anyone that you would like to recognize? Write and submit your own tribute.
- Discovering Herstory:
https://womenshistory.si.edu Explore each of the different themes, watch the videos and discuss how these have impacted your lives.
Read Exodus 1:8–22 from The Message
Imagine that you are one of the midwives serving in Egypt. Your job is to attend to women at their most vulnerable, to help them bring forth new life into the world. You are a caregiver, a nurturer, a helper. You are able to bear witness to a new baby’s first breath and sometimes their last. This work is hard and raw, yet tender and hopeful. This is sacred work.
For Shiphurah and Puah this was their everyday work. They did this work in a culture in which their people were enslaved and oppressed by Pharaoh. So when the Pharaoh called them in for a chat you can be sure it wasn’t to congratulate them on their good work. The Pharaoh wanted them to kill all the boy babies. These were women committed to the care of babies and their mothers and they “had respect for God” (vs. 17). They were a force to be reckoned with. They bravely ignored the order of the Pharaoh and let the babies live. When the Pharaoh confronted them they just said, “The Hebrew women aren’t like your Egyptian women, they give birth fast! Too fast for us to stop it.” Not only did they disobey the Pharaoh’s order, they were a little cheeky about it.
Shiphurah’s and Puah’s courage saved countless baby boys which impacted families for generations. But there was one baby in particular who made the annals of history … Moses. These women saved the boy chosen to lead their people out of slavery into the promised land. Did they have any idea the impact of their courageous actions? No. They were simply living their lives, doing their work, all with great respect for God.
We all know women who show up every day to their work, to their families, who serve their communities with no fanfare or television cameras. They do the work because it needs to be done. They change the world by their faithful service. Some of you are those women.
Every one of us will leave our mark in history. Will our stories become known far and wide? Who’s to say? But how we live our lives will make an impact on those around us and will have ripple effects in the world.