Mark your calendar for Tuesday, March 8th to celebrate International Women’s Day! This global movement raises awareness on the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women across the globe. To promote equality for all, this year’s campaign theme is #BreakTheBias. Happy Dance® knows that acknowledging bias isn’t enough, and whether it be calling out discrimination or stereotyping, taking action is needed to level the playing field. We’re recognizing women with inspiring initiatives that are building lasting change in their communities. Together, let’s amplify voices that need to be heard.
Susan BurtonCredit: https://beingsusanburton.com/
After returning home from her sixth term in prison, Susan Burton experienced the tremendous institutional obstacles women faced when coming home. She came to understand that real change could happen through a strong grassroots community effort. She founded A New Way of Life Reentry Project, a Los Angeles-based non-profit that tirelessly works to bring an end to discriminatory practices, shift public attitudes, and break the cycle of mass incarceration. Her remarkable life story is told in her memoir, Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women.
Ms. Burton’s foundation provides housing, case management, pro bono legal services, advocacy, and leadership development for women rebuilding their lives after prison. The Happy Dance® team is proud to support A New Way of Life by donating 1% of all profits from products sold.
Abby WambachCredit: https://abbywambach.com
Abby Wambach is a retired professional soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and FIFA World Cup Champion. Pretty impressive, right? This is only the beginning for her. Abby is going even further with a goal that will help future generations of females all around the world—fighting to end gender discrimination and championing for equal pay.
This journey started when she voiced that players on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, one of the most successful sports teams in the world, were making far less money than players on the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team. Even while standing on top of podiums and earning medals, the USWNT also wasn’t getting priority media spots like their male counterparts.
Recently, Abby’s efforts have crossed another milestone. The U.S. Soccer Federation has finally agreed to pay USWNT players a settlement total of $24 million.
Dr. Chanda MaciasCredit: https://www.doctorchanda.com
Chanda Macias is one of the most influential women in the cannabis industry. With an MBA and PhD in Cellular Biology under her belt, Dr. Macias devotes her time and expertise to advocating for medical cannabis to improve the quality of life for many people in the US. As a Black woman and of Latino descent, she connects, empowers, and inspires minority women through her work as the CEO and Chairwoman of the Board of Women Grow. Since 2014, Women Grow has helped thousands of female-owned cannabis businesses. Dr. Macias holds another leadership position as the First Vice Chair of the National Cannabis Roundtable, which prioritizes nurturing the cannabis industry, protecting consumers, and fostering social equity.
Learn more about Dr. Macias here: https://www.doctorchanda.com/
Ally MakiCredit: @allymaki
Ally Maki started Asian American Girl Club, an apparel company for Gen Z and Millennials, to celebrate, unify, and lead to the normalization of Asian American women. As an actress working in Hollywood, Ally has experienced casting discrimination and seeks to break stereotypical images and characters. She showcases the multi-faceted identities of Asian American females while building a community through her lifestyle and fashion brand. With its success, she has also created AAGC Book Club, to celebrate the writing and stories from Asian American authors.
Through her company, she also pushes for initiatives with other minority-owned businesses to allow for continuous education and movements. Her work is helping to create a future that is equitable for all.
Learn more about Ally here: https://asianamericangirlclub.com/pages/about-us
Deepika MutyalaCredit: https://deepica.com/
In 2015, Deepika Mutyala uploaded a YouTube video which showed how to cover dark under-eye circles using red lipstick. Within days, she went viral and has since built a strong online community for those exploring their culture and identity, and sparked conversations about inclusivity in the beauty industry.
Furthering minority representation, in 2018, Deepika founded Live Tinted, a cosmetics and skincare company for women of all skin tones. Live Tinted made history by becoming the first South Asian-owned brand at Ulta Beauty. Without a doubt, as an entrepreneur and businesswoman, Deepica is certainly conquering her mission of changing beauty standards.
Learn more about Deepika here: https://deepica.com/
Rupi Kaur is a poet, artist, and performer. When she was a 21-year-old university student, she wrote, illustrated and self-published her first poetry collection, milk and honey. Rupi’s work touches on love, loss, abuse, survival, healing, and femininity. milk and honey has sold over 3 million copies and was on The New York Times Best Seller list for 165 weeks.
She has also written additional collections, the sun and her flowers and home body. With over 4 million followers on Instagram, Rupi has inspired young women all around the world to explore their creativity.
Learn more about Rupi here: https://rupikaur.com/
Elyse FoxCredit: https://sadgirlsclub.org/
Sad Girls Club is an online platform and community committed to bringing women, girls, and femmes together who are battling mental illnesses. Founded in 2017 by Elyse Fox after releasing her documentary film about her life with depression, Sad Girls Club aims to remove the stigma integrated in mental health conversations, provide accessible mental health services, and create safe, nurturing spaces for young women to know they are not alone. With over 200k followers on Instagram, Sad Girls Club connects people together through vulnerability, gathering, and storytelling.
Learn more about Elyse here: https://sadgirlsclub.org/our-story
Erin JacksonCredit: @speedyj
Erin Jackson started speed skating on ice for the first time in 2017. Now, five years later, she won the gold medal at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in the women’s 500m, becoming the first Black woman to win an individual medal in that event.
As a Black person in a predominantly white sport, Erin aims to inspire young girls to compete, participate in winter sports, or even try something new. Aside from being an Olympian, Erin graduated with honors and earned a BS in Materials Science & Engineering, earned an AS in Computer Science, and is working towards an AS in Exercise Science and Kinesiology — all while competing professionally and getting ready for the 2026 Milano Cortina Winter Olympic Games.
Learn more about Erin here: https://erin-jackson.net/
How will you #BreakTheBias? Whether it’s building work environments where women can thrive, advocating for gender equality in health, or elevating visibility, when women are empowered, we are all better for it. Help us amplify the causes of these eight strong women by sharing this article with friends and family. You can also learn more about International Women’s Day here to see how you can get involved in your community.