Rhoda Coffin spent her life fighting for the rights of incarcerated women. Based in Richmond, Indiana, her charitable work began in the 1850s and she eventually became a leading figure in the prison reform movement. Because of her efforts, the Indiana Reformatory Institute for Women and Girls opened its doors in 1873 and it was the country’s first prison controlled by women. Her perspective on the need for women's rights and equality was shaped by her work with prison reform and she also supported equal pay and the right for a woman to "hold positions for which she was qualified" in the workplace.
Angela Brown is an accomplished soprano singer who was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. While in high school, she was very involved in the Crispus Attucks High School music program and eventually went to graduate school at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. In 1997, she moved to New York City and began working with a variety of opera companies. When she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Aida, her performance landed her on the front page of the New York Times. Throughout her career, she has performed with the San Antonio Symphony, the Cincinnati Opera, the Indianapolis Opera and was called "one of America’s most promising Verdi sopranos" by Opera News. Brown consistently uses her platform for philanthropic purposes and has been a spokesperson for the Negro College Fund and produces free concerts in hopes of exposing people to the beautiful art of opera.
Dr. Martha E. Bernal was born in 1931 in San Antonio, TX to parents who emigrated from Mexico as young adults. During her time in high school, her instructors discouraged girls from taking classes like advanced math and were generally unsupportive of their academic success. Even so, once she graduated she decided to pursue higher education and receive her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field of psychology. She eventually moved to Bloomington, IN and became the first Mexican woman to earn a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, which she received from Indiana University in 1962. Despite this accomplishment, many academic institutions would still not hire a woman, so she turned her attention to research. She was finally given a teaching position in 1969 at the University of Arizona and through her work, received many acknowledgments and awards. In 2001, she was given the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest Award. However, she passed away from cancer in September of that year and was not able to accept it.