City of Women Honorees

Educator & Community Leader

Ethel Martin Bolden

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.

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Arts & Culture Advocate

Lucy Hampton Bostick

Lucy Hampton Bostick was instrumental in establishing and growing the infrastructure of the Richland County Public Library as Chief Librarian for almost forty years.

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Community Health Activist

Suzan D. Boyd

In 2002, Boyd became the executive director of SC Campaign to End Teen Pregnancy. Over the next five years, she guided new and innovative public health initiatives.

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Women’s Rights Activist

Victoria L. Eslinger

From a lawsuit to work at the State House to establishing a hotline for female students, Eslinger's work for women's rights opened new opportunities for women in Columbia and across...

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Community Health Activist

Matilda Arabella Evans, M.D.

Matilda Arabella Evans was the first licensed woman physician in South Carolina and provided access to free health care for several generations of African Americans in the early twentieth century.

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Human Rights Activist

Lilly Stern Filler, M.D.

Lilly Filler organized the South Carolina Holocaust Memorial, established the Columbia Holocaust Education Commission, and is the Chair of the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust.

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Poet and Activist

Nikky Finney

In 2011, Finney won the National Book Award for Poetry for Head Off & Split. She has a unique ability to translate Southern black experiences into jarring and beautiful language.

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Civil Rights Activist

Sarah Mae Flemming

Flemming took brave action almost a year before Rosa Parks would become famous for refusing to give up her bus seat.

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Gay Rights Activist

Harriet Daniels Hancock

Harriet Hancock is a pioneer LGBTQ activist in South Carolina. In her distinguished career as an attorney, she prioritized legal work for LGBTQ rights.

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Equal Rights Activist

Sarah Elizabeth Leverette

Sarah Elizabeth Leverette was the first woman faculty member at the University of South Carolina Law School and led the Law Library for twenty five years.

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Human Rights Activist

Edna Smith Primus

In 1978, Primus won a key victory for the ACLU, marking the end of a three-year battle to ensure that the organization could continue its legal advocacy.

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Suffragist

Ida Salley Reamer

In 1920, Reamer was elected chair of the newly formed League of Women Voters of Columbia and Richland County. During her tenure, the League promoted a platform that granted equal...

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Suffragists

The Rollin Sisters

Frances, Charlotte, and Katherine Rollin were among the first women suffragists in South Carolina during the Reconstruction era.

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Educator & Community Leader

Celia Dial Saxon

Celia Dial Saxon was one of the first African American students to attend the University of South Carolina during the Reconstruction era.

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Human Rights Activist

Modjeska Monteith Simkins

Modjeska Monteith Simkins was one of the nation’s leading civil rights activists of the twentieth century. Her activism extended to health care, social justice and human rights.

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Educator & Philanthropist

Dawn Staley

Dawn Staley is the Head Coach for the University of South Carolina’s Women’s Basketball team and is one of the nation’s leading coaches in college athletics.

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Artist & Arts Advocate

Anna Heyward Taylor

Anna Heyward Taylor was one of South Carolina’s most celebrated visual artists. Her artwork was one of the first gallery collections exhibited at the Columbia Museum of Art.

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Political & Judicial Leader

Jean Hoefer Toal

Jean Toal is the first woman elected to be an Associate Justice on the South Carolina Supreme Court and is the first woman to serve as the court’s Chief Justice.

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Social Justice Advocate

Henrie Monteith Treadwell

After a summer of threats and at least one bombing attempt, Treadwell and two other courageous students broke the state university’s color line on September 11, 1963.

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Human Rights Activist

Donella Brown Wilson

In 1948, Wilson joined African Americans across the state as they voted for the first time in the Democratic Primary. She voted in every election during the next 70 years.

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