Virginia Highschooler Creates History Curriculum Recognizing Women Of Color

The 17-year-old woman of color, Prasidha Padmanabhan noticed women in history, particularly women of color, aren’t reflected in her school’s history curriculum and are frequently omitted in U.S. history books.

In 2020, she founded Women for Education, Advocacy and Rights, otherwise known as WEAR, with the goal of writing women back into history, and combating sexism through education, advocacy, and fighting for women’s rights.

“If we disregard what really happened in our history, then we’re not getting the full picture and we’re not going to be informed citizens,” Prasidha said in a recent CBS News interview.

The young Fairfax County high school junior has inspired over 150 passionate students to make a difference, and fight for gender equality. Last year, the organization started a petition to include more women’s history in FCPS curriculums, which received over 3300 signatures.

They’ve been developing a complete course of study for elementary and middle school kids in Virginia’s Fairfax County, and some teachers have already adopted it.

The curriculum covers everything from the Revolutionary War to the civil rights movement. Each lesson in WEAR’s curriculum is designed as a presentation to encourage students to discuss game-changing female figures. 

It also features women like Sybil Ludington, a heroine of the American Revolutionary War “If you know Paul Revere but u don’t know Sybil Ludington that’s an example of how sexist our education system is.” she recently tweeted.

According to Prasidha, Paul Revere was the man who said that the British are coming, but Sybil Ludington was a 16-year-old girl who rode horseback overnight to deliver the same exact message.

WEAR also hosts webinars to discuss the importance of women’s rights advocacy and explore the realities of the barriers that women confront on a daily basis. The organization also intends to hold school webinars in addition to public webinars.

To know more about WEAR, click here.