In honor of Women’s History Month, we have chosen to highlight a tremendous force in women’s and Asian-American history: Patsy Mink. Mink served in the US House of Representatives as the rep for Hawaii from 1965-1977 and then again from 1990 until her death in 2002. She was the first woman of color elected to the US House of Representatives and the first Asian-American woman to serve in Congress.

         One of the many important contributions Mink made to this country was co-authoring the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act, which stated: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Mink’s work has been incredibly important in working toward creating a level playing field for all US citizens. After her death in 2002, the Title IX amendment’s name was changed to the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act.

         Mink represents everything that FAV stands for. She pursued ideals that she believed in, even if she was the only person on her side. A quote from Mink that resonated:

“It is easy enough to vote right and be consistently with the majority. But it is more often more important to be ahead of the majority and this means being willing to cut the first furrow in the ground and stand alone for a while if necessary.”

Mink’s self-assuredness and passion for justice certainly serve as inspiration. We remember her legacy and all of the contributions she has made to both the advancement of women and the Asian-American community. Read more about Patsy Mink here.

As a final note, we have been shocked and deeply saddened by the growing rates of crime against the Asian-American community. We condemn all acts of violence and hatred, including the egregious act committed against massage parlor workers in Atlanta, Georgia. Our hearts go out to the loved ones of the victims: Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Hyun Jung Grant, Soon Chung Park, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Paul Andre Michels, and Delaina Ashley Yaun.

Photo of Mink courtesy of the Library of Congress.