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The Bravery Women of 2021

by Melanie Gasmen-Fleck

We typically don’t announce our upcoming role models this early on. But we just couldn’t contain our excitement for these remarkable renegades. *Drumroll, please*

Ella Fitzgerald

Issue 14: Ella Fitzgerald

Trait: Confidence

Known as the Queen of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald radiated unshakable confidence throughout her music, performances, and activism. She commanded the spotlight with her talent while breaking down racial barriers throughout her six-decade career. Her outstanding achievements earned her Grammy awards, the NAACP Image Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Get ready to scat on with all things music in this jazz-filled issue!

Photo : The Ella Fitzgerald Foundation

Bernice Bing

Issue 15: Bernice Bing

Trait: Self-Awareness

Chinese-American and queer artist Bernice Bing started to make her mark in the 1960s San Francisco art scene. Her originality and self-expression during the Abstract Expressionist movement went largely unrecognized despite her brilliance. However, throughout her turbulent upbringing and under appreciated career, she demonstrated how to stay true to yourself no matter the odds. We look up to Bernice’s resilience and know you will too!

Photo: Charles Snyder, Bernice Bing Estate

Susan la Fleshce Picotte

Issue 16: Susan La Flesche

Trait: Compassion

Dr. Susan La Flesche put herself on the map as the first Native American to earn a medical degree. But she made herself renowned for tirelessly working to save many lives inside and outside the Omaha Tribe Reservation. A pioneer for public health, she worked day and night to provide medical care to over 1,300 people across 450 miles. Her story’s incredible and we can’t wait for you to read it.

lucy e cheesman

Issue 17: Lucy E. Cheesman

Trait: Independence 

Entomologist Lucy E. Cheesman led many expeditions worldwide to collect tens of thousands of insects and plants. With her handy net and a whole lot of guts, she became the first female Insect House Curator for the Natural History Museum in London. She made many solo expeditions throughout the South West Pacific and contributed to the discovery of new species—some of which are still being uncovered today. 

Photo: The Natural History Museum / Alamy Stock Photo


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Know a Bravery role model we should feature? Tell us in a comment at @bravery_mag on Instagram!