You Go, Girl! – 10 Women of Color Who Made History in the 2017 Election

Women of color are the most marginalized people in the United States. Their two largest identifying factors, their race and their gender, often work against them in an array of circumstances, careers being the most common of them all. However, women of color rose above the incessant oppression and took the nation by storm in the 2017 election, taking over the polls and winning executive political positions. Here are ten women of color whose jaw-dropping political achievements will have you saying, “You go, girl!”

Courtesy: Vi Lyles

Vi Lyles

Vi Lyles was elected the first Black female mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina with over 58% of the vote. In a statement regarding her win, Lyles said that the opportunity proved that Charlotte, North Carolina is “a city of opportunity and inclusiveness” and that “a woman whose father didn’t graduate from high school can become [Charlotte, North Carolina’s] first female African-American mayor.” In winning her position, Vi Lyles proved that it’s possible to become successful, despite one’s background or past.

Courtesy: Elizabeth Guzman

Courtesy: Hala Ayala

Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala

Guzman and Ayala made history, becoming two Latina women elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. They both made history by defeating the Republican incumbent. 

Courtesy: Kathy Tran

Kathy Tran

Tran is now the first Asian American woman to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

Courtesy: Cathy Murillo

Cathy Murillo

Murillo is the first Latina mayor of Santa Barbara, California.

Courtesy: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez | Getty Images

Sheila Oliver

In the 2017 Election, Sheila Oliver became the first Black woman to serve as New Jersey’s lieutenant governor. She stated that this achievement was not the first glass ceiling she had broken but that it was definitely the highest. She takes pride in knowing that her achievement will inspire young girls of color.

Courtesy: Janet Diaz

Janet Diaz

Diaz is now the first Latina member of Lancaster, Pennsylvania's city council.

Courtesy: Andrea Jenkins

Andrea Jenkins

Andrea Jenkins is the first openly transgender woman of color that has been elected to public office. She now represents Minneapolis’s 8th ward. She was elected to the Minneapolis City Council with over 70% of the vote.

Courtesy: Mary Parham Copelan

Mary Parham Copelan

Mary Parham Copelan became the first Black female mayor of Milledgeville, Georgia, after beating her opponent, Gary Thrower, by only six votes. Upon winning the election, she stated that she knows that “[the people of Milledgeville, Georgia] needed real change and real progress.”

Courtesy: Yvonne Spicer

Yvonne Spicer

After winning the election, Yvonne Spicer is now the first mayor of Framingham, Massachusetts. In a statement to both allies and opponents, she said, “This is a new beginning for Framingham. I promise you as your mayor, I will make sure that everyone at Framingham has a seat at the table.”

Since the Civil Rights Movement, women of color have time and time again proved their strength, worth and capabilities to those in doubt. This year’s election has further demonstrated the ability of women of color to lead and rise against the opposition.