John Tolley, March 8, 2017

March 8th 1917, Petrograd, Russian Empire.

The female textiles workers of the capital city take to the streets to demand better working conditions, fair wages, an end to hunger and the right to vote. Work grinds to a halt across the city, as factories sit vacant and the streets swarm with throngs of protesters challenging the injustices of their society.

Unknown at the time was that the march was to become an uprising and the opening salvo of the Russian revolution.

One hundred years later, we celebrate the spirit of that movement as International Women?s Day. We honor the contributions of women to society. We honor the role of women in the world. And, we continue to fight for equality and fair treatment for all people, regardless of their gender identity.

In that spirit, LiveBIG is taking a look back at some of our favorite stories from around the conference that highlight powerful women shaping our world for the better.


Maryland alum set for historic space station mission: BTN LiveBIG

University of mryland grad and astronaut Jeanette Epps speaking before a NASA panel

As a member of both the Expedition 56 and 57 missions, Epps will spend six months living aboard the station, which travels roughly 17,150 mph at an average altitude of 250 miles above the Earth?s surface.

Epps, who will journey to the ISS on a Russian Mir spacecraft, has had her eye on space since she was a girl. With a strong aptitude for math and science, her older brother encouraged her to dream big. When Sally Ride and five other women were selected as NASA?s first female astronauts in 1979, Epps realized she too could ?slip the surly bonds of earth.?


Michigan State's Dr. Mona continues her fight for the health of Flint: BTN LiveBIG

It was Dr. Mona, director of the MSU-Hurley Medical Center?s Pediatric Public Health Initiative, who first documented the rising lead levels in Flint?s children and linked it to a change in the city?s water supply. And, it was Dr. Mona who, with relentless vigor, led the charge to inform residents of the water crisis and to demand action from local and state officials.

The energy and passion she brought to her work on behalf of the children of Flint are what her colleague Dr. Aron Soussa refers to as her ?superpowers.?


Iowa book club cultivates 'Strong Girls': BTN LiveBIG

University of Iowa education professor Amanda Thein reading as part of the Strong Girls Read Strong Books program.


Thein and Schmidt lead Strong Girls Read Strong Books, an after-school book club for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students. For five years they?ve been leading weekly discussions on books that share one common theme: strong female protagonists.


Indiana grad encourage girls to kick, push and 'GRO': BTN LiveBIG

Riders at a GRO skateboarding event

Payne-Taylor, the founder of the Girls Riders Organization, has made it her mission ?to Inspire, educate and support girls through action sports to become confident leaders of positive change.?


Illinois athlete applies 3D-printing to her passion: BTN LiveBIG

Rausin recently launched Ingenium Manufacturing. Bringing her glove design and printing technique to market is a labor of love, one she hopes will open up the world of wheelchair racing. Ingenium gloves retail for about a third of the cost of other racing gloves.

?I wanted to create a company that increases access to the sport as my main mission,? says Rausin. ?If a kid can get a [racing] chair through an incredible organization like the Challenged Athlete Foundation and gloves from me, that?ll get them started.?