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Three laughing, smiling women.

At Tahirih, we are inspired to fight for gender equality every day by the women and girls that we serve whose acts of courage bring us closer to a better world free from violence.  

In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked Tahirih supporters to share the stories of women who inspire them with their resilience, courage, and strength. Below are some of the inspiring stories you all submitted.



Julie Weismann 

Julie is genuinely committed to lifting up others and is truly visionary when it comes to identifying the needed course of action. She has demonstrated great courage and perseverance in taking the lead position at Hope & Safety Alliance 7 years ago. Julie has systematically moved the organization forward, promoting the leadership qualities of all staff, continuously guiding program development to be responsive to the community needs, and establishing a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity. Julie is well respected by other community members for her collaborative efforts. I’m inspired by Julie’s dedication to improving the lives of others in our community. She truly cares.

Submitted by: Toni Ryan


Afshan Qureshi

Afshan Qureshi has dedicated her life to helping many with Immigration and Violence against Women. She is an accredited representative with Dept of Justice. She works tirelessly, many hours, on helping immigration clients with Asylum and other cases, always mindful of the trauma that they have experienced. She has now lost the ability to use both her arms, with some movement in her fingers, but has adapted without letting this hinder her work. I have volunteered with CFS for about a year, assisting with Afghan cases, and have been so impressed by Afshan’s dedication to this work.

Submitted by: Cheryl Jones-Richter


Nanny of the Maroons

Queen Nanny, of what is now Ghana, led formerly enslaved persons of African descent, the Windward Maroons, in Jamaica as they escaped oppression from British colonialism and enslavement. She is the epitome of resilience in the face of adversity.

Submitted by: Tamara Chin Loy


Tadia Rice

For over 10 years Tadia Rice has been devoted to creating programs to give voice to incarcerated women, whose words have been quieted while locked in, locked out, and locked up in prison cells. She has filmed them as they work to re-enter society to piecing together their lives by revealing their story in a series called “Beyond Bars”. She is filming women in and out of the correctional system who are trying to make a better life for themselves and their children.

Once you know these women’s story you see how it could have been you. For some The stories are endless. Life-changing circumstances can happen to the best of people, and the worst. The question asked in her film “Beyond Bars” are myriad “What did they do … how did they get there … what happened inside … what will happen when they get out?”

Their stories may seem unreal, but they are poignant reminders that anyone, given certain circumstances, can end up incarcerated. The common thread is childhood trauma, violence, sexual assaults, addiction, and homelessness.

Submitted by: Oletha DeVane


Guiti Vahid

Guiti had to send her children out of Iran to protect them from persecution while she remained in Iran. Guiti was a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’í’s of Iran in the early 1980’s. The Iranian government persecuted and killed many of the Bahà’ís at that time. Guiti was finally able to escape after several years and was reunited with her children. Despite great tragedy and loss, she never lost her faith in God or humanity. She continues to persevere in treating all people she meets with absolute love and kindness and honors everyone with the respect they deserve. Whenever I am faced with a personality I have difficulty with, I think of her love and compassion for all and my anger is tempered and I strive for patience.

Submitted by: Karen Renna


If you’d like to share a story of a woman who inspires you to create a better world, we’d love to hear from you! Submit your story here.