Historic Oregon women to be honored in classroom posters

In an effort to raise awareness of female role models in leadership positions, the Portland State Center for Women, Politics and Policy is working to put a poster of 14 historically significant women in every elementary school classroom in the state.

The poster, titled Oregon Women Firsts, features women such as Barbara Roberts, the state’s first female governor, and Marian Towne, the first woman elected to state legislature.

“I didn’t see women represented on the wall when I was in school,” said CWPP’s executive director Sunny Petit. “As a kid, you look around and see pictures of all the presidents and depictions of history, and you don’t see women. We did this because it’s important for both boys and girls to see women in leadership.”

Also included on the poster are women who were historically significant in other arenas. Ethel Romig Fuller, Oregon’s first female poet laureate, and Hazel Ying Lee, the first Chinese-American woman to be a U.S. military pilot, fill out the wide spectrum of role models.

The Oregon Commission for Women funded production of the poster as well as the cost placing it in the state’s middle and high schools. In order to reach their goal of having a poster up in every public and private elementary school classroom in the state this fall, the CWPP is holding a last-minute fundraiser. For $15 donors can receive a copy of the poster for themselves while also ensuring that one gets put up in an Oregon classroom.

For more information, visit cwpp.pdx.edu/poster.