In the month of March, we celebrate Women’s history. We celebrate to acknowledge and give thanks to the awesome women whose accomplishments have given hope and pride to generations of women of all races. Although we are celebrating the history of accomplished women from the past, I wanted to write about a history-making woman who was at the forefront of developing a COVID-19 vaccine. She is fast becoming a household name. Her name is Kizzmekia Corbett, a Viral Immunologist and senior research fellow at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Vaccine Research Center (VRC). As a researcher, she is part of a team that creates and conducts research to improve, develop theories, and techniques for research and development projects. This fast-paced, groundbreaking successful Moderna vaccine Dr. Corbett and her colleagues developed from trial phases into our arms are like the dawn of light on a new day. Dr. Corbett grew up in Hillsborough, North Carolina. She became interested and decided to pursue a career in research after meeting a scientist while attending a science camp at the age of 16. Hurrah Dr. Corbett for your continued effort to protect us from the constantly emerging viruses, that are unfortunately inevitable, and making history!
The Stonewall riots in New York City were started because of a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village. The police raided the bar in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969. Sylvia Rae Rivera, a transgender activist, and civil rights pioneer, was a regular at the Stonewall Inn. She and the other occupants of the Inn fought back. This caused demonstrations over the course of several days. The protesters fought against a long history of systematic, institutionalized harassment and arrests in the gay communities. Rivera was key in organizing these protests. This made Rivera an important icon in mobilizing and uniting the gay community in New York. As a result of the protest, she is credited for igniting the modern LGBTQ movement. Ms. Rivera was involved in the fight for gay rights with the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) until they abandoned the idea to protect the right of transgender people. According to a livescience article on the “10 Amazing Women Turned the Tide of History.” This fueled her work to promote rights and visibility for gender-nonconforming people, especially those in the community who were young or at risk. Stonewall Inn and the surrounding streets were designated by President Barack Obama in 2016 as a national monument for the contribution to gay rights.