Women History

Ordinary Women Accomplishing Extraordinary Things – by Dr. Cynthia R. Jackson

Ordinary women with extraordinary backgrounds have a diverse lifestyle to achieve astonishing things in life. Women’s History Month pay tribute to these illustrious, ordinary women. Most ordinary women intentionally seek everyday activities and experiences that are diverse and have impactful outcomes. I am an ordinary woman with extraordinary accomplishments. I grew up in the slum area of inner-city Houston, Texas, but still had the determination and resilience to graduate high school with honors, the top 10 of my class.  Thereafter, I pursued and obtained my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston.  I was the first member of my entire family to attend college.

I enlisted into the military as an active duty Army soldier, truck driver (18-wheelers and 5-ton vehicles). While on active duty, I pursued and obtained my Master of Arts in Education and Doctor of Educational Leadership. After transitioning from the military, I became a Department of Defense high school physics and chemistry teacher, while obtaining a Master of Divinity degree in Biblical Studies. I have a diverse educational and professional background, as an ordinary woman, accomplishing extraordinary things in life.

Oftentimes, when we think of diversity, we automatically focus on race and ethnicity; however, it’s much more.  Diversity is everywhere in life, it’s like a Chameleon, taking the form of various elements. Diversity is an essential component of the constantly changing universe, along with energy, time, space, unity, relationship, and numerous other phenomena that exist in the world. It’s anything we encounter that is different from everything else – and the differences between them – is an important characteristic of diversity. This difference is what makes ordinary women who accomplish extraordinary things in life standout. Legendary, ordinary women like Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Lucretia Mott, Harriet Tubman, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton have accomplished unexpected feats through their diverse experiences like slavery, women’s suffrage, or social reform. Their stories are found in legends, myths, and history books. They are knowns as martyrs, queens, female warriors, and saints.

Typically, these women are also known as Amazon Women, artists, writers, social, and political heroes with diverse background and experiences marking Women’s History. For example, Lucy Stone was an advocate of Women’s Rights and the Anti-Slavery Movement. She taught for the Anti-Slavery Movement as an employee for the American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1852, she gave a speech at the National Woman’s Rights Convention in Syracuse, New York, which converted and influenced Susan B. Anthony to participate in the Women’s Rights Movement. Susan B. Anthony became actively involved in the suffragist and became an icon of the Woman’s Suffrage Movement. Alice Paul was a feminist, suffragist, and women’s rights activist, and one of the primary leaders and strategists of the campaign for the 19th Amendment, which forbids sex discrimination in the right to vote. Sojourner Truth, also known as Isabella, became an evangelist and the founder of a homeless shelter for women. She spoke at various church functions, both white and black, using quotes and Scriptures from the Holy Bible, speaking against slavery and for an enhanced legal status for women.

Lucretia Mott was a social reformer, U.S. Quaker, women’s rights activist, and abolitionist. She had formed the idea of reforming the position of women in society when she was amongst the Mott assisted in writing the Declaration of Sentiments during the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. Harriet Tubman was profoundly ingrained in the Holy Bible, focused on God’s narration of delivering of the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, and it became the foundation of her faith that it was God’s will to deliver slaves in America out of their oppression, and that it was her responsibility to assist in accomplishing this. As a slave, she escaped to Canada only to return to help others escape. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a suffragist, abolitionist, social activist, and leader of the early women’s rights movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the Seneca Falls Convention, is often attributed to initiating the first organized women’s rights and women’s suffrage movements in the U.S. These prominent, ordinary women are role models and pioneers for future generations to feel that we too can accomplish extraordinary things in life.

I have studied the challenges and triumphs of Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony and discovered commonalities in their pursuit of equality.  These famous yet ordinary women desired to make a difference in their communities, to influence change. Each woman had the basic educational foundation to facilitate philosophical, emancipatory change through a critical investigation of challenging ideas, beliefs, values, and feelings and their sustaining assumptions. After discovering this, I was motivated and began to refocus my attitude and value education, something that my parents and other family members did not value. Like the aforementioned women, I encountered and overcame many challenges to obtaining my educational goals. My diverse educational background, teaching and military experiences is preparing me for an executive level, leadership position. Currently, I am the Deputy Director of Governance for the Department of Veterans Affairs, I review and write policy that implement changes in legislation to assist Veterans, their family members, and caregivers. I am an ordinary woman, making an extraordinary impact and assisting those in need.

Women’s History Month must be an essential component of America’s recognition of triumphant milestones, emphasizing how women have influenced changes in legislation and human nature by implementing assemblies, lobbying, petition drives, public speaking, and by representing nonviolent confrontation. The ordinary, infamous women that came before me fought for freedom, rights, government, employment, religion, and education equality. Due to their determination and resilience, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Lucretia Mott, Harriet Tubman, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton successfully acquired access to these luxuries and freedoms because they never gave up and fought for the things that they believed in, similar to most ordinary women of the world who did not or will not give up on their career and educational goals.

Cynthia R. Jackson, Ph.D.
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26 thoughts on “Ordinary Women Accomplishing Extraordinary Things – by Dr. Cynthia R. Jackson”

  1. Dr. Jackson, what a blessing to have met you years ago. You are truly an inspiration to others and touched the lives of so many. You have pushed and encourage me to achieve so many things in life. I look forward to the many achievements you have awaiting for you. This article was truly remarkable and I enjoyed reading every bit of it.

  2. Thank you for sharing such an inspirational article. The women mentioned are in trail blazers who created positive changes in the world. Addionally, your testimony has shown that you are taking up the torch amd setting a trail ablaze as you continue to break many barriers personally and professionally while creating change along the way during your journey to greatness. Keep pressing forward :)!

  3. I love that this article not only highlights women who are well-known for their impact nationally and world-wide, it also brings to light the everyday women that continually choose to build themselves and the people around them. There are many ordinary women everywhere that are doing extraordinary things, impacting the lives of many. Your personal story of perseverance, determination, discipline, and drive was a great example of how to accomplish much no matter the circumstances. Thank you for brokering the conversation!

  4. This was a very thought provoking article that reinforces not only the accomplishments but the strength of woman from all walks of life that has contributed so many amazing things in this country and continue to do so. Your accomplishments that you have made thus far speaks volumes and there’s no doubt in my mind that your not done yet. Well done!!!

  5. Cynthia, your article is very inspiring and I very much love how you describe diversity! You are an exceptional personality and I am glad and happy that our paths crossed in a part of the world where I would have never expected to meet such an encouraging, supportive friend and Sister that you are to me and many others. Sending love and light and hope to read more of you soon!

  6. Wow! What an article. Thank you for answering the call as an “ ordinary woman, accomplishing extraordinary things”. As a woman in executive leadership I realize that I didn’t get here on my own. It was by the grace of God, determination , a strong Mother, and the women you mentioned in your article who paved the way. You are truly an inspiration and I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for you!

  7. This article is very informative and provide matriculous insite. It displays the triumphs of women that lived extremely meager, yet had the grit and perseverance to win. Exceptional reading material for ages.

    Thank you for your hard work and service to this greatful national, Dr. Cynthia Jackson. God bless you.

  8. Being an extraordinary woman is sometimes a choice, but most often viewed as being in the persons DNA. Extraordinary women are superwomen that aims to go beyond the call of duty for the betterment of others. If we (as extraordinary women) choose to take the necessary action to achieve our life ambitions, or to help others unselfishly and with love and compassion, the journey will undoubtedly generate peace and happiness; resulting in living an extraordinary life.

    Grit is vital to being an extraordinary woman as well. Having the capability and making the choice may not always be enough. However, the women mentioned in this article, including you, had the grit to overcome all of the barriers encountered in their journey to persevere through adversities and be the change they sought in this world.

    Excellent article! You are extraordinarily wonderful and marvelously made. Being extraordinary is in your DNA.

    It was a pleasure to read this article.

  9. Cynthia, I knew the moment my wife and I met you last year that were truly a special person. I absolutely enjoyed reading your plight and the plight of the other strong women you highlighted, in fact, I shared it with my daughter. Women are without a doubt the backbone and the glue that holds our nation together. I know you have more work to do, we all do, and I look forward to reading about the success of your next calling. God Bless you!

  10. Greetings
    Awesome and very powerful story! God is Able and will give us the wisdom, strength, and determination to overcome the impossible. Continue to do great things.

    Best Regards
    Lee Edwards

  11. Thank you, for putting forward such an awe-inspiring and powerful message that illustrates the achievements of countless women with grace and eloquence (yourself included). You shone a positive light that only scratches the surface of many of those deserving Chameleons, who continue to blaze the trails as mothers, sisters and mentors. I am a proud and grateful product of many of these Chameleons. It would serve society well to remember that, there is no Man without Woman.

  12. Thank you for such an extrodinary article. As I have great background and a front row seat to many of your great accomplishments, you are truly a phenomenal woman. As each of the women mentioned you all have overcame many obstacles and achieved many high honors. I consider you, Dr. Jackson a role model and one of my greatest inspirations. Thank you again for such a great article and I look forward to reading many more.

  13. Thank you for sharing your inspirational article. I was very delighted to read ‘Ordinary Women Accomplishing Extraordinary Things”. For the past fifteen years, I watched you contribute to our communities and your words of wisdom have been uniquely generous and effective, and it’s good to see the positive impact. Your dynamic style of leadership will be a major asset for all to follow. You have an extraordinary gift from God. I’m very honored to be your husband and I’m very proud of you for emphasizing how women have influenced changes. I Love you!

    1. Hello Husband,

      Thanks for your words of encouragement and wonderful accolades. With your support, I was able to break the glass ceiling in many areas of my life. Thanks for motivating me to never give up when the struggle was fervently hard and disappointing. Love/Blessings

      Dr. Jackson (Your Wife)

  14. This was a phenomenal article. You are a direct reflection of patience, self discipline and fortitude to not allow yourself to become a product of the environment that you grew up in. Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations for all of your personal and professional accomplishments. Men & women of all races can read this article and gain intrinsic motivation to focus on their goals and complete them. You are a virtuous woman!

    1. Hello Mr. Holoway,

      Thanks for your comment and motivational words of encouragement. I truly did not make this journey alone, I am grateful to all those who supported me. I am working diligently to pay it forward to others who may have experienced “life’s challenges” with diversity and inclusion.

      Dr. Jackson

  15. “Oftentimes, when we think of diversity, we automatically focus on race and ethnicity; however, it’s much more. Diversity is everywhere in life, it’s like a Chameleon, taking the form of various elements. Diversity is an essential component of the constantly changing universe, along with energy, time, space, unity” (Dr. Cynthia Jackson)

    This is a refreshing perspective to highlight in your insightful article. Such a positive expansion of the conceptualization of diversity is needed in our personal and professional lives in order to grow and share, as well as appreciate the gifts that each human brings to the planet.

    Well Done!

    Dr. Maria ReGester
    Executive Coach and Professor

    1. Hello Dr. ReGester,

      I appreciate you highlighting this component of the article because so often, as human, we have a preconceived notion and hidden biases about what diversity is and what diversity look like. As you have identified, diversity be welcomed in every aspect of our lives (professionally and personally).

      Thanks again for your feedback, Ma’am.

  16. Your’re a perfect example that shows every woman has the ability to accomplish extraordinary things. You helped others by joining the military, teaching high school , and continue to help people in your current job. Everyone will read your story and your examples of other extraordinary woman , and realize that nothing is impossible when you are determined to make a difference.

    1. Hello Mr. Morris,

      Thanks for your comment. As a society, living in a diverse world of instant gratification, the “right now”, we need to take time to acknowledge how “small” wins can be impactful, “ordinary things making impactful change.”

  17. You’re so amazing. When a women make up in her mind to believe in her dreams, God always lead your path. May Allah continue to bless you to do his will. Purpose driven women of God.

  18. Outstanding! This article was very encouraging, inspiring, and motivating. Thank you for shaping the mindset of tomorrow’s leaders and showing us despite the adversities we are challenged with, not to settle. You’re truly a Blessing, May God continue to grace you to share your story and gifts with others. Love You

  19. Thank you for the inspiring article that shows when you are surrounded by adversity; with the right mindset you still can achieve greatness. Many women and people in general will be empowered after reading your and those you referenced journey to success.

  20. Excellent! Well said. Praise be to God for giving you the fortitude for continually doing such great work and for setting a standard for all to see and to be encouraged by. Keep up the excellent work. Proud of you and love you. Al Aldridge (dad).

    1. I really appreciate you sharing your story. You are truly a woman after God’s heart! I admire your strength to get out of Houston and travel the world and serving your country at the same time. You are truly an extraordinary woman!

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