She Did

Our city has a strong legacy of remarkable women. Let's celebrate their victories, connect through their stories, and empower one another. Because when we believe we can, we do.

We've come together to share the stories of Columbia's many strong, courageous, and driven women.

Celebrating Women's Achievements

Have you ever noticed that very few cities, streets, and statues are named for women? In Columbia, only 4 percent of our 145 landmarks are specifically named for women. Only one of the 41 streets in downtown Columbia is intended to recognize a woman — Lady Street — yet its name does not reflect the true recipient, Martha Washington. We believe in the power of moving through a city that recognizes women's achievements, which is why we're bringing forward the stories of our city's remarkable women.

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Share the story of an inspiring woman you'd like to honor on the City of Women map.

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Columbia City of Women Honorees

Educator & Community Leader

Ethel Martin Bolden

1918-2002
In 1944, Bolden established the city’s first library in a black elementary school. Over her 38-year career, she brought books into segregated classrooms across the city.
Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia Barrier-breaking librarian. Community historian. Ethel Martin Bolden carried the mantle of many responsibilities, but on a June weekend in 1986, she was just another graduate of Booker T. Washington High School’s class of 1936. As a tour bus full of her classmates listened, Bolden reflected on the progress Columbia had...
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Our work is inspired by an effort led by Rebecca Solnit that reimagined the New York City subway map with stops named after women.

I can’t imagine how I might have conceived of myself and my possibilities if, in my formative years, I had moved through a city where most things were named after women and many or most of the monuments were of powerful, successful, honored women.

Rebecca Solnit

Co-author, "City of Women"

Featured Events

April 23, 2020 | 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

POSTPONED - "Eleanor Roosevelt: Women, Power and Human Rights. A Century of Struggle and Hope" Keynote

Columbia Museum of Art - Theater : 1515 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201

Presenter: Blanche Wiesen Cook Born in 1884, Eleanor Roosevelt was 36 years old when the suffrage amendment passed and became one of the most notable...
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April 24, 2020 | 10:00 am–3:00 pm

POSTPONED - "Women, Voting and Politics: Reflections on a Century of Women’s Suffrage" Symposium

South Carolina State Museum : 301 Gervais St., Columbia, SC 29201

Morning Panel: “Fighting for Suffrage: Movements, Politics and the Nineteenth Amendment” 10:00am-11:30am Panelists: Elaine Weiss, Cori Field, Blair...
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May 2, 2020 | 9:00 am–May 3, 2020 | 6:00 pm

Profiles in Valor: Jewish Women of the Palmetto State

Campus Room, Capstone House, USC, 898 Barnwell Street

JHSSC’s spring meeting, scheduled for May 2–3 in Columbia, South Carolina, will highlight the lives and achievements of the state’s Jewish women. In...
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