With many of last year’s women’s suffrage centennial celebrations disrupted by the beginnings of COVID-19, the National Women’s History Alliance extended the annual theme for 2021 to Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced. As we continue our centennial celebrations, it’s important to spotlight the under-reported stories and uncomfortable truths of women’s suffrage in the United States, namely the stark differences in voting access between white women and Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color.
It’s within those under-reported stories that we find more opportunities to connect our students with the important women who shaped our history.
History Maker from our Advisory Councils
Chair of the Arizona Department of Education's Indian Education Advisory Council, Lynnann Yazzie
Lynnann Yazzie is the Native American Specialist with Phoenix Union High School District. A Navajo from Chinle, Arizona, Lynnann is To’aheedliinii (Water Flows Together Clan), Ma’ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass Clan), Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan), and Kiyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan).
As a child who grew up on the Navajo reservation in a single-parent home with little means, she was fortunate enough to have adults in her life who provided resources that exposed her to educational and leadership opportunities, which then led to a desire to become one of those same adults who opens doors and provides opportunities for youth. Thanks to two of the greatest influences in her life, her aunt Lena Yazzie, who was an educator for over 30 years, and her older sister Denise Jensen who is in her 23rd year of teaching, Lynnann has dedicated her life to youth and Education.
Ms. Yazzie received a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Mathematics and Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Arizona State University. Lynnann spent 7 years in the classroom teaching Mathematics, Computer Science, and Robotics. In addition to teaching, she also coached volleyball and softball and served as an advisor for Student Council and Native American Club.
Ms. Yazzie’s greatest passion has always been to work with Native youth. Lynnann pursued her “heart work” as a former Project Coordinator for United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY), a national non-profit youth leadership organization, and currently as the Native American Specialist for Phoenix Union High School District, overseeing the Native American Education Program which provides supports and services to over 1200 Native High School students. In addition, Ms. Yazzie also serves as the Chairperson of Superintendent Hoffman’s Indian Education Advisory Council and as the Communications Secretary for the Arizona Indian Education Association. Ms. Yazzie attributes successes in her life to her cultural upbringing, support from family and friends, people both younger and older who have been her “teachers”, and understanding that we are all lifelong learners, in and outside of the classroom.
Community Resources for Students and Families
The Arizona Foundation for Women is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting research on the status of Arizona women, raising awareness through advocacy, and directly supporting women through philanthropic grants.
Most recently, their work has focused on the status of women in 2020 and raising awareness on the Arizona legislature’s report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Arizona.
Arizona Foundation for Women
National Women’s History Museum: Brave Girls Virtual Story Time: Ambitious Girl
Wednesday, March 24, 2021, at 12:00 PM (EST) – Register https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brave-girls-virtual-story-time-ambitious-girl-tickets-142566033845
Calling all Brave Girls! Join the National Women's History Museum and illustrator Marissa Valdez for a very special Brave Girls Virtual Storytime reading of author Meena Harris' Ambitious Girl on Wednesday, March 24th at noon. Bring your lunch and your curious minds! Marissa will be answering questions live from the audience after the reading of the book with us.
Each week, we will highlight a resource to help teachers understand and integrate critical stories from both famous and overlooked women who shaped U.S. History.
This week’s resource is a Teacher’s Guide on Women’s History in the United States from the National Endowment for the Humanities, featuring:
- Student resources
- Guiding questions
- Student Activities
- And more!
Teacher’s Guide on Women’s History in the United States