Today’s Dame of the Day is Sylvia Mendez (1936-). As a child in segregated California, Mendez’s parents tried to enroll her in a “whites-only” school and failed. Instead of accepting defeat, they sued the system and the case, Mendez v. Westminster, became a landmark benchmark for ending segregated education. In 2011, Mendez received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her efforts.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Vicky Guzman (October 22, 1944-). After earning her medical degree in Mexico, Guzman returned to El Salvador to bring health services to underserved rural communities. In 1986, she founded ASAPROSAR, a non-profit organization committed to preventing diseases caused by poor sanitary conditions and increasing training for community health workers. Guzman continues to serve as the organization’s executive director while also running Habitat for Humanity’s El Salvador chapter.