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Women’s History Month: The Remarkable Jane Fonda

At the 78th Golden Globe Awards last month, Jane Fonda was bestowed with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” And it makes perfect sense. With a versatile career spanning over six decades, Jane Fonda is not only the recipient of numerous accolades and awards for her work as an artist and performer in the film and television industry, but she has also cemented herself as a staunch and vocal activist for social justice and political reform and, needless to say, as a pioneer of the contemporary fitness industry


Jane Fonda has truly done it all, from accepting her second Academy Award in American Sign Language in order to advocate for those with hearing disabilities, to developing and curating her own collection of at-home workouts, to protesting (and getting arrested five times) outside of the Capitol Building for climate justice at the ripe age of 82. Her life has been dedicated to advancing representation and equality, and her legacy is paving the way for other young women, artists and activists to make their mark on the world. If you can’t tell already, I love and adore her with all my heart.


While Jane Fonda’s accomplishments are undeniably impressive, what inspires me the most is her innate strength and character. She aspires to be a voice for the voiceless. She never fails to bounce back from harsh criticisms and mistakes. And, most importantly, she has used her position and privilege to advance the greater good during an era when it was neither expected nor popular. On numerous occasions, she chose to do the right thing at a time when it was unfathomably difficult. From standing in solidarity with Angela Davis and Bernie Whitebear, to covering and protesting the atrocities of the Vietnam War.


Today, at the age of 83, she’s still making waves. While starring in the beloved and critically-acclaimed Netflix series, “Grace and Frankie,” alongside Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterson, her activism persists. In addition to receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame for her commitment to activism through the arts and human services. And just last year, Fonda wrote and published, “What Can I Do?: The Truth About Climate Change and How to Fix It,” a book detailing her personal journey with climate activism and a call to action for sweeping social and legislative reform. Even better, she notes that 100% of the book’s net proceeds will be donated to Greenpeace.


All her life, Jane Fonda has been challenging and redefining what it means to be a woman. She teaches us the importance of conviction, resilience, confidence and versatility. She was — and still is — unstoppable.

Niki is a third-year student at UMKC pursuing double majors in history and English along with a minor in film studies. Outside of writing and re-watching her favorite Tom Cruise movies, you can find her listening to audiobooks while on strolls through the park or walks around her neighborhood. She enjoys talking about travel, literature, health, wellness, and skincare and can never turn down a good cup of tea.
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