Women helping women live better lives.


•  Empowerment

•  Leadership

2011 Women History Makers-DC, MD, & VA

Honorable Mentions

Katie Couric

Katherine Anne “Katie” Couric was born to John and Elinor Couric in Arlington, Virginia. The youngest of four siblings, she attended Yorktown High School and graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in American Studies.  Shortly after college, she began working in television news reporting and since worked for the news programs of the major networks of ABC, CNN, NBC, and CBS.  For 15 years, she was the effervescent host of the ever popular NBC morning news program, Today.

An Emmy and multi-award winning journalist, Couric has interviewed many international political figures and celebrities during her career, including Presidents Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and First Lady Barbara Bush, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.  In 2006, Katie made history by becoming the first woman to solo anchor an evening news program at any of the three major networks.  She headlined The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.  She recently ended her evening news assignment to pursue other interests.  Also, she previously made history in2002 as the highest paid television personality in the world. 

Most notably, Katie has been very active in promoting colon cancer awareness since the death of her husband, Jay Monahan, who died of colon cancer in 1998.  In 2011, her first book, "The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives", was published.  Katie currently resides in New York with her two daughters. You can follow Katie on Twitter at: @katiecouric.

Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards

Donna F. Edwards is the first African American woman to represent Maryland in the United States House of Representatives.  She is from Fort Washington, Maryland and represents Maryland’s 4th Congressional District comprising portions of Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties.  She was sworn in as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 110th Congress in June 2008, and began her first full-term in the 111th Congress in 2009. Representative Edwards, a strong advocate for her constituents, regularly engages the community in forums and coffee talks making sure they are informed on the issues.  Among her community programs is an Annual Non-Profit Forum that she hosts to help Non-Profits organization build and maintain their capacity. 

Prior to serving in Congress, Edwards was the Executive Director of the Arca Foundation.  She was also the co-founder and executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence where she led the effort to pass The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. .

Edwards completed undergraduate studies at Wake Forest University and received her Juris Doctor from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. She is the proud mother of a son who recently graduated from college.

Chief Cathy L. Lanier

Cathy L. Lanier is the first woman to serve as Chief of Police in the Washington, D.C.  She assumed the leadership position on January 2, 2007.  Lanier began her career in law enforcement in 1990 and has spent her entire career with the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. 

Chief Lanier, who is from Tuxedo, Maryland, overcame great odds as a teenage unwed mother and school dropout to become the “Top Cop” of the District of Columbia, a city with a population of a little over 600,000.  She holds Bachelor's and Master’s Degrees in Management from Johns Hopkins University, and a Master's Degree in National Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. She is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Unit Commanders Academy.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Eleanor Holmes Norton, now in her eleventh term as the Congresswoman for the District of Columbia, is the first woman to serve in this capacity.  She has been a relentless advocate for citizens of Washington, D.C., full voting rights and congressional representation, and Statehood for the District of Columbia. Before her congressional service, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to serve as the first woman to chair the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Her legislative work has resulted in up to $10,000 in funds for D.C. high school graduates who further at a public university and up to $2,500 for graduate who attend private universities.  Additionally, among her many accomplishments, she successfully sponsored legislation to have a Post Office in the District of Columbia named in honor of the late Dr. Dorothy Height.  On February 22, 2011, the Post Office at Union Station was dedicated and renamed in honor of the late iconic civil rights leader and former president of the National Council of Negro Women.

Representative Norton is a tenured professor of law at Georgetown University.  She received her bachelor's degree from Antioch College in Ohio and she simultaneously earned her law degree and a master's degree in American Studies from Yale University. The Congresswoman is a third-generation Washingtonian, and is the mother of John Holmes Norton and Katherine Felicia Norton.

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie

Vashti Murphy McKenzie was elected as the first female bishop in the over 200 year old African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in 2000.  In 2005, Bishop McKenzie again made history by becoming the first female president of the Council of Bishops of the A.M.E.  Church. She currently serves as the presiding prelate of the 13th Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church which encompasses Tennessee and Kentucky. Prior to this appointment, McKenzie was the chief pastor of the 18th Episcopal District in southeast Africa.  Bishop McKenzie is also the National Chaplain of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 

McKenzie is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park, a Master of Divinity degree from Howard University, and her Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Ohio.  She is married to Stan McKenzie and together they have three children. 

Bishop McKenzie has taken her ministry into the social media realm by delivering a positive message daily to thousands via her website,  http://thisisyourwakeupcallonline.com.  You can also follow her on Twitter at:  @vashtimckenzie.

Senator Barbara A. Mikulski

Barbara A. Mikulski was the first Democratic woman United States Senator elected in her own right in the state of Maryland and she is currently the longest-serving female senator.  She grew up in the Highlandtown neighborhood of East Baltimore learning the values of hard work, neighbor helping neighbor and heartfelt patriotism. In 1981, she sponsored the national bill to establish a National Women's History Week (which was later expanded to a whole month).

Determined to make a difference in her community, Mikulski obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Saint Agnes College (now a part of the Loyola College in Maryland), and her Master’s of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and became a social worker in Baltimore, helping at-risk children and educating seniors about the Medicare program. Her career in social work evolved into community activism when Mikulski successfully organized communities against a plan to build a 16-lane highway through Baltimore's Fells Point neighborhood.

In 1971, Mikulski was elected to the Baltimore City Council and in 1976 she was elected to serve Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1987 she was elected to her current position in the U.S. Senate.  She has been honored in the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame and she was inducted in the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011.