Happy Friday, everyone! It’s time for the fourth installment of Strong Female Friday! Today, I am excited to present Roxcy O’Neal Bolton. Roxcy is a Florida feminist and women’s rights activist that was born in Duck Hill, Mississippi in 1926.
Throughout her life, Roxcy has done so much to make sure that women all over the country have the same opportunities as men. She was one of the first women in Florida to join the National Organization of Women (NOW) in 1966 and served as the national Vice President of the organization in 1968. In that same year, she founded the Miami-Dade chapter of NOW and served as its first chapter president. One of her major works as a member of NOW was pushing for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Her work persuaded U.S. Senator Birch Bayh to hold the first hearings on ERA in Congress. Roxcy also challenged the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) to include male names in the list of potential names for tropical storms and hurricanes.
In addition to her work for equality, Roxcy Bolton pushed for homeless women and victims of sexual assault to have safe places to stay and be taken care of. Roxcy founded Women In Distress, an organization that provides temporary lodging, counseling, legal assistance, and support to victims of domestic violence, women with substance abuse issues, and those suffering from other personal crises. In 1974, thanks to Roxcy’s continued perseverance and hard work, the Rape Treatment Center was opened at Jackson Memorial Hospital. In 1993, this center was renamed the Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center.
Roxcy Bolton still lives in Coral Gables, Fl, a suburb of Miami and is always willing to share her story with members of the community. Here is an interview with today’s Strong Female about her fight for equal rights, including getting August 26th proclaimed as Women’s Equality Day by former President Richard Nixon.
See you all next week for our final installment of Strong Female Friday in honor of Women’s History Month!
[picture credit: http://www.museumoffloridahistory.com/resources/collections/index.cfm]