Not only was Patsy Mink was the first woman of color to be elected to Congress, but we can thank her for the existence of Title IX, the landmark anti-discrimination bill currently being used to defend the rights of men and women everywhere. Mink's name one we rarely hear in conversation, but her legacy lives on. She was a landmark figure in the 20th century and we would do well to honor her.
Mink, a third-generation Japanese-American who was born in Hawaii, was always destined for a life in politics. She won the election to become student body president in junior high, and it's reported that as part of her tenure, she implemented various programs to help mix up the cliques at her school. Ever the Democrat, Mink continued her political work during college, where she worked to end segregation at the University of Nebraska and, despite being in charge of a student organization intended to cater specifically to nonwhite students, worked to end the university's racist and segregated conditions.
After earning her J.D. from the University of Chicago, Mink went on to have a rocky but successful career in law. In 1965, she became the first Asian-American woman to be elected to Congress. She was the co-author of Title IX, which detailed that "no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." Mink's work has been proven invaluable to us; life would be quite different had she not entered politics, that's for certain.