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Eliza Ann Gardner (1831-1932) - The Preacher
“I come from Old Massachusetts, where we have declared that all, not only men, but women, too, are created free and equal....If you commence to talk about the superiority of men, if you persist in telling us that after the fall of man we were put under your feet and that we are intended to be subject to your will, we cannot help you in New England one bit.”
An abolitionist and a religious leader, Eliza Ann Gardner spoke truth to power. She was a fierce advocate for gender equality within the church and the abolitionist movement and stood her ground alongside figures like Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, or Wendell Phillips. She was instrumental in persuading the church to allow women to be ordained as ministers, urging them to "strengthen [women's] efforts and make us a power."In 1895, when female chaplains were a rarity, she served as the chaplain of the First National Conference of the Colored Women of America. She was a founding member of the Woman's Era Club of Boston, the city's first black women's club. She was involved in the formation of the National Association of Colored Women, and was featured as an honored guest at their biennial convention in New York in 1908.
Champions: Susan Benford and Katie Stebbins