HUMANITIES

César Chávez

César Chávez Mexican American César Chávez was an activist who spent his life working towards improving conditions for farm workers. He was a labor organizer and union leader whose passion was fueled by his family’s history as migrant farmworkers. His desire was to see farmers attain better treatment, better pay, and better working conditions. He

Sandra Cisneros

Pairs with the following AP Lit. Objectives CHR 1.A: Characterization details, character’s perspective, character’s motives SET 2.A: Setting STR 3.A, B: Plot conflict STR 3.E: Significant plot events NAR 4.C: Use of syntax and diction NAR 4.D: Narrator’s reliability FIG 5.C: Symbolism Social applications: Gender, Class, Hispanic Heritage, Cross-culture assimilation Read more Sandra Cisneros The

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC for short, was sworn into Congress in January 2019 and has quickly risen to become one of the most recognizable members of the US Congress. Ocasio-Cortez is from the Bronx, where discrepancies in wealth and opportunities primed her for a career in public service where she could work to

Wilma Pearl Mankiller

Wilma Pearl Mankiller Wilma Pearl Mankiller was the first female Principle Chief of the Cherokee Nation. After a myasthenia gravis diagnosis (a condition that breaks down communication between the nerves and muscles, making it hard to speak and control the limbs), Mankiller resolved to use her life to serve others. She organized a project to

Maxine Hong Kingston

Pairs with the Following AP Lit. Objectives CHR 1.A characterization details, character’s perspective, character’s motives SET 2.A  setting STR 3.A, B plot conflict STR 3.D contrasts NAR 4.C use of syntax and diction NAR 4.D narrator’s reliability; FIG 5.C symbolism STR 3.E significant plot events Social applications: Asian-American, feminism, assimilation Read more Maxine Hong Kingston

Poet Laureate Joy Harjo

Pairs with the Following AP Lit. Objectives CHR 1.A textual details and characterization . STR 3.C function of structure STR 3.D function of contrasts , FIG 5.A literal vs figurative meaning FIG 5.B words and phrases , FIG 5.C symbolism FIG 5.D imagery , FIG 6.A simile FIG 6.B metaphor , FIG 6.C personification FIG 6.D allusion , Social applications: Native

Angela Davis

Pairs with the Following AP Lang. Objectives RHS 1.B Shared beliefs, values, needs, backgrounds/particular context of time, place, and occasion CLE 3.A Claims and evidence; evidence types; embedding quotes; source credibility; position and perspective REO 5.C Methods of development STL 7.A Style and tone Social applications: Feminism, Racial equality, Black Panthers, Civil Rights Movement Read

Malian Emperor Mansa Musa

Malian Emperor Mansa Musa Mansa Musa was the Muslim ruler of West Africa’s exceedingly wealthy Malian Empire from 1312-1337, which was known for its gold, copper, and trade practices. Upon his return from Mecca, Mansa Musa commissioned architects and scholars to build mosques and universities throughout the region, subsequently making the city of Timbuktu internationally

Amy Tan

Pairs with the Following AP Lit. Objectives CHR 1.A characterization details, character’s perspective, character’s motives SET 2.A  setting STR 3.A, B plot conflict NAR 4.C use of syntax and diction NAR 4.D narrator’s reliability; FIG 5.C symbolism STR 3.E significant plot events Social applications: Asian-American, feminism Read more Amy Tan, Bestselling Novelist Amy Tan is

John H. Johnson

Pairs with the Following AP Lang. Objectives RHS 1. B shared beliefs, values, needs, backgrounds/particular context of time, place, and occasion CLE 3.A Claims and evidence; evidence types; embedding quotes; Source credibility; position and perspective STL 7.A Style and tone Social applications: Black history, Emmitt Till, Civil Rights Movement Read more John H. Johnson  Publisher

Lorraine Hansberry

Pairs with the Following AP Lit. Objectives CHR 1.A characterization details, character’s perspective, character’s motives SET 2.A  setting STR 3.A, B plot conflict STR 3.E significant plot events NAR 4.C use of syntax and diction NAR 4.D narrator’s reliability; FIG 5.C symbolism Social applications: Feminism, Civil Rights Movement, LGTB+ Read more Lorraine Hansberry, Award-Winning Playwright

John Lewis

John Lewis Civil Rights Leader & Member of “The Big Six” John Lewis is not known as a writer, but he did receive the National Book Award in 2016 as the co-author of the third volume of the graphic novel series, March. This was the first time a graphic novel earned the award in the

Ana Castillo 

Pairs with the Following AP Lit. Objectives CHR 1.A characterization details, character’s perspective, character’s motives SET 2.A  setting STR 3.A, B plot conflict STR 3.E significant plot events NAR 4.C use of syntax and diction NAR 4.D narrator’s reliability; FIG 5.C symbolism Social applications: Feminism, Civil Rights Movement, Hispanic, LGTB+ Read more Ana Castillo  Chicana

Samuel E. Cornish

Pairs with the Following AP Lang. Objectives RHS 1.B Shared beliefs, values, needs, backgrounds/particular context of time, place, and occasion CLE 3.A Claims and evidence; evidence types; embedding quotes; source credibility; position and perspective REO 5.C Methods of development STL 7.A Style and tone Social applications: Black History Read more Samuel E. Cornish  Abolitionist, Editor,

STEM

Mario J. Molina

Mario J. Molina As is his family’s tradition, Mario José Molina traveled the world while receiving his formative education. His early years were spent at home in Mexico City. He would then attend a German language boarding school in Switzerland for high school, after which he went on to receive degrees in chemical engineering and

Carlos Juan Finlay, Physician

Carlos Juan Finlay, Physician, Discovered the Cause of Yellow Fever When an illness shakes the world, people want answers. When it comes to yellow fever, we have Carlos Juan Finlay to thank for those answers. Twenty years before anyone took his findings seriously, Finlay, the son of a respected physician, had published findings of his

Ellen Ochoa, Astronaut

Ellen Ochoa, Astronaut Ellen Ochoa, who was part of the 1993 Discovery mission, was the first Hispanic woman to go to space. On that mission, she and fellow astronauts studied the sun’s interaction with Earth’s atmosphere. Ochoa was also part of the crew that docked the International Space Station for the first time. She’s been

Benjamin Banneker

Inventor & Author Benjamin Banneker Benjamin Banneker, a free Black man born in the 1700s, is best-known for building America’s first clock which was built from wood and worked for decades before being destroyed in a fire. While he had a bit of formal education, most of what he knew he taught himself—and he knew

Dr. Hector Garcia

Dr. Hector Garcia Born in Mexico, raised and educated in Texas, Dr. Hector Garcia served in the Army during World War II. He ran his medical practice in Corpus Christi and provided healthcare at low to no cost to impoverished patients. Garcia championed educational and medical benefits. He fought against poll taxes and school segregation.

Baruj Benacerraf

Venezuelan-American Nobel Laureate for Medicine & Physiology Baruj Benacerraf Immunologist Baruj Benacerraf discovered the genes that regulate immune responses and their roles in autoimmune diseases. After graduating from Columbia University, he went on to medical school in Virginia. He served as a doctor in the U.S. Army, and after practicing medicine for several years, became

Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu

Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, The First Lady of Physics Born in 1912, Dr. Wu emigrated to the USA from Shanghai, China for higher education. When she was a child, her father started the school where she attended because he believed girls should have an education. She later attended UC Berkeley and graduated with a PhD in

Elijah McCoy

Elijah McCoy, “The Real McCoy,” Inventor & Innovator Have you ever referred to something of high quality as “The Real McCoy?” Well, there are a few different theories concerning the origin of this phrase, with Elijah McCoy’s groundbreaking invention being among the frontrunners. Elijah McCoy was the son of slaves who fled Kentucky for Canada

Mary Golda Ross

Mary Golda Ross, 1st Female & Native American at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation Mary G. Ross was the great-great granddaughter of the longest-serving chief of the Cherokee nation who fought to protect their land from white settlers and was ultimately forced to lead his people down the Trail of Tears. During Ross’s youth, her family downplayed

Maya Lin

Maya Lin, Architect If you have ever visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., you have witnessed the artistic design of architect Maya Lin. Lin studied architecture and sculpture at Yale, where she won a competition her senior year to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. She was 21 years old. The design was minimalistic, and

Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay

Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay Although Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay describes herself as “not too ambitious,” she has advanced evolutionary algorithms with applications in image analysis, bioinformatic analysis, and gene regulatory networks. Her work also enables the detection of water contamination and assists biomedical researchers to make medical predictions about tissues they analyze. The Infosys Prize 2017 in Engineering and

Alan Emtage

Alan Emtage—Inventor of the First Internet Search Engine Do you remember Archie, the world’s first internet search engine? It was created by Alan Emtage, and many of the features search engines we use today are based on techniques derived from Archie. Emtage, who was born in Barbados, also served as chairman of several groups of

Albert Vinicio Baez

Albert Vinicio Baez, Inventor, Author, & Humanitarian While working on his doctorate at Stanford in the 1940s, Albert V. Baez co-invented the X-ray reflection microscope with Dr. Paul Kirkpatrick, a tool that has proven invaluable in the study of living cells and galaxies. The X-ray microscope enlarges images of samples illuminated with X-rays. Baez, scientist

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda A New York City native, Lin-Manuel Miranda grew up with an eclectic taste for a variety of creative outlets, including music, dance, and theatre. Living in NYC allowed him a chance to see some Broadway productions, but not as many as he would have liked. Exposure to Broadway, coupled with his participation in

Mariana Pajón

Mariana Pajón Mariana Pajón was born in Medellin, Columbia. She began riding bikes on her own at just age three. By the time she was four, she had already improved to the point of doing tricks and attempting course obstacles. Unfortunately, she was discouraged from attempting BMX racing because of her gender and her young

Diana Taurasi

Diana Taurasi Diana Taurasi, from Chino Hills, CA, was born to an Argentine mother and Italian father who used Spanish as their preferred language at home. Diana is a talented and hard-working professional basketball player whose evidence of success appeared early, as she scored over 3000 career points for Don Lugo High School. Her work

The Wayans

America’s First Family of Comedy, the Wayans Keenan Ivory and Damon Wayans, the Wayans brothers responsible for their family’s comedic success, wanted to produce a sketch comedy show like Saturday Night Live, but one that cast people of color and had edgier content. In Living Color was born, and from it, we have some of

Jim Thorpe (Wa-Tho-Huk)

2x Olympian, Hall-of-Famer, & 1st NFL President Jim Thorpe (Wa-Tho-Huk) Jim Thorpe (or Wa-Tho-Huk, which means “Bright Path”), predominantly of Sauk and Fox American Indian descent, was one of the greatest all-around athletes to ever live. In addition to excelling in professional football and baseball, he won golds in both the pentathlon and the decathlon

Esperanza Spalding

Grammy Winning Bass Player & Jazz Vocalist Esperanza Spalding Daughter of a Black American father and a mother of Welsh, Native American, and Hispanic descent, Esperanza Spalding became the first jazz artist to win a Grammy for Best New Artist, beating out Drake, Mumford and Sons, Florence + The Machine, and Justin Bieber in 2011.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, Artist & Feminist Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón on July 6, 1907, Mexico City. Frida Kahlo’s art depicts a surrealist take on her tumultuous life and relationships with family and friends. As a child, Frida suffered from polio, which caused permanent damage in her right leg and foot. She survived a bus

Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Lawrence, Urban Artist Lawrence was born in Atlantic City, NJ on September 1917. He and his siblings moved many times as his family sought sustainable work. At the age of 13, he arrived in Harlem, New York, where he became interested in the arts. Although he dropped out of high school, Lawrence continued to

Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin, Pro Basketball Player Jeremy Lin grew up in Paulo Alto, CA, where he was a standout athlete and student. He attended and graduated from Harvard University, where he continued to impress with his basketball skill and work ethic. Despite his vast success in leading his team and gaining conference and national awards for

HOMETOWN HEROES

Darren and Michalyn Thomas

Darren and Michalyn Thomas, staples in the North Memphis, Tennessee community, are working to make positive change for everyone around them. Michalyn is a city councilwoman for District 7 of Memphis; Founder and Executive Director of Our Grass Our Roots (OGOR), a local nonprofit that operates as a movement to inform the community of resources

Anthony Hales Sr.

Anthony Hales Sr. Born in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement in Poplarville, MS, Anthony Hales Sr. was aware of his plight as a Black man in the segregated American South, a place where “separate but equal” meant his school would receive old, worn materials and books from the white school across town. He

Shawntae Minyard

Shawntae Minyard Meet Shawntae Minyard: advocate, change-maker, cycle-breaker, educational leader, and mother. In Dallas County, Texas, USA, Shawntae works to connect people (usually the parents of her high school students) to GED classes to support their academic growth while also teaching GED classes herself. She creates free Dual Credit opportunities for high school students across

Sanford Johnson

Sanford Johnson Sanford Johnson from Clarksdale, MS, has served in the education sector for 17 years. An Auburn University alum, when he left Mississippi, he thought he’d never return. However, once he interned with Senator Thad Cochran and learned about the politics of the state, he became unyieldingly pro-Mississippi and wanted to fix what was