Today’s Dame of the Day is Jackie Ormes (August 1, 1911-December 26, 1985). Ormes began her career as a proofreader for the Pittsburgh Courier, but later became the first black woman cartoonist. After she relocated to Chicago, she wrote and drew for the Chicago Defender. She returned to Pittsburgh with a great body of work, and her comics of Torchy Brown, Candy, and Patty-Jo ’n’ Ginger ran in the Courier for years. Ormes also created a franchise of dolls based on her characters, Patty-Jo and Torchy. After she retired, she continued to contribute murals and produce fundraiser fashion shows for the south side of Chicago.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Ai-jen Poo (1974-). As a student at Columbia University, she and 100 of her peers occupied the rotunda at the Low Library; this protest led to the creation of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. In 1996, she began organizing domestic workers, helping them advocate for proper working conditions and better pay. This initiative led her to found and direct the National Domestic Workers Alliance. In addition to the Alliance, Poo’s work also centers around better care for the United States’ aging population and people with disabilities. In 2014, she became a MacArthur Fellow.