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SPARK Puts Women on the Map!


by Joneka Percentie, Katy Ma & Aviv Rau

SPARK: Women On The Map

For the past year, we’ve been quietly working on a project that we’re thrilled to finally announce! SPARK has teamed up with Google to put Women On The Map so that wherever you are in the world, you can be alerted about something amazing that a woman did right where you are standing. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we are thrilled to launch this unique SPARK “herstorytelling” project on Field Trip, a location-based app created by Google that recommends unique and interesting places to visit. We have “mapped” more than 100 amazing and impressive women, and connected their stories with landmarks and locations significant to their lives in dozens of cities and 28 countries around the world.


Why It’s Dope

We learn history in many ways. Through history classes, textbooks, movies, national holidays, and museums, we learn about who is important in the world. We also learn history by reading the names of buildings, street signs, parks and public monuments. Combined, these cultural indicators inform us of whose accomplishments in history are significant enough to remember and celebrate. But rarely do we learn the history of women. And even rarer do we learn the history of women of color.

This project allows us to bring women–and especially women of color–to the forefront of history, where their achievements can be recognized more widely.

Women We Researched

It was super inspiring and amazing to learn about women that we never learned about in school, like Patsy Takemoto Mink, Al-Kahina and Christine Jorgensen.

Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first Japanese-American woman to practice law in Hawaii, is commemorated near her high school where she served as its first female class president and then became the nation’s first woman of color to be elected to Congress. Her commitment to immigration reform, women’s reproductive rights, and environmental conservation guided her influential politics.

Al-Kahina (or sometimes called Queen Dihya) was an African Jewish soothsayer military warrior who led an army in North Africa in the 7th century. She fought off the Arab Muslim invaders and was considered the most powerful monarch in North Africa as you will see from the glorious statue of her in Algeria where her story is “mapped.”

Near Freddie’s Supper Club in Manhattan, you would hear about Christine Jorgensen, well-loved singer and performer who frequently graced their stage. She was the first person in the United States to undergo a sex change operation and went on to become a leading trans* activist and claimed (in her words!) to have given the sexual revolution a “swift kick in the pants!”

How to Get It

To learn about more amazing women whose stories have not been so well-documented by history, you can download Field Trip (for free!) in the App Store – For Android, go to:  or iPhone: iOS .  If you have an Android phone, you’re done! Our cards will show up under the “history” category. If you have an iPhone, find the menu that says “Historic Places & Events” and scroll down to the “S”s and then click on “SPARK: Women on the Map.” Now wherever you are in the world, you will get alerted when you are approaching a landmark that marks the story of one of our 100+ amazing ladies. Make sure your shoes are tied because the stories of these women will knock your socks off!

Now What?

Clearly there are more than 100 amazing women who contributed to history! Just because SPARK did not have the resources to tell the stories of every fabulous woman who ever lived, doesn’t mean we don’t want to. Here is where you come in. There are three important ways that you can help expand this project:

1)   You can contribute to this database and write about a woman whose life inspires you. She could be someone from your hometown or someone from ancient history.  Write a 150-300 word bio about her life (she can’t still be living) and accomplishments, along with a location connected to her life. Find a photo or image to go along with it. Email to and write “Women On The Map” in the subject line.

2)   Share this with your friends, students, networks and communities.

3)   Make a donation so we can continue to research and write and ensure there are thousands more WomenOnTheMap! Click HERE to make a tax deductible donation.

By increasing the visibility of accomplished women around the world, we give girls like us a new way to learn a more inclusive history.



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10 Responses to “SPARK Puts Women on the Map!”

  1. Leland says:

    Saw the Buzzfeed story on Spark and saw the bio of Congresswoman Patsy Mink. Please add to the bio that Rep. Mink wrote and got passed Title 9 of the US Education Code that ends gender discrimination on US schools and colleges.

    • SPARKsummit says:

      Hey Leland! That’s in her bio already: “While in Congress, Mink fought against discriminatory voting practices and the Vietnam War, drafting and sponsoring the revolutionary Title IX legislation banning gender-based discrimination in US schools, and even succeeded in getting the Senate to turn down Harrold Carswell’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court based on his sexist beliefs.” Thanks for checking out the app!

  2. […] of this project from a blog I co-authored for SPARK: “For the past year, we’ve been quietly working on a project that […]

  3. Hi:

    A friend of mine sent me the CNN article about your work in mapping invisible women and I was delighted to see it, and sent it to my feminist email list. I was a co-founder of NOW and the first woman attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Currently, I am a feminist activist, writer, and public speaker. This past Tues. I gave a talk at the Longboat Key (FL) Education Center on the Women’s Movement, its past, present, and the problems that remain–both in the US and worldwide. I’d be happy to send you a copy, if you like.

    At Cornell University, my alma mater, a student last year collected 250 pictures of outstanding Cornell students, faculty, and administrative personnel and posted them on the wall of Willard Straight, a building all students get to, for about a month. You can see that on my website at

  4. […] knows better now thanks to her involvement with activist group SPARK Movement[2], which is putting women on the map, with a little help from […]

  5. […] SPARK Puts Women on the Map, SPARK Summit. So cool! […]

  6. […] grazie alla partecipazione al movimento di attivisti SPARK, ne sa molto di più: obiettivo del gruppo è quello di mappare le donne, con un piccolo aiuto da […]

  7. […] Hedge Coke tweeted a link to SPARK’s Women on the Map project. From their website: In celebration of Women’s History Month, we are thrilled to launch this […]

  8. Leigh says:

    This is amazing! Is there a way to see *just* SPARK cards on an Android, and not all of the History cards? Check out this website for TONS of Wisconsin women to consider for inclusion! The site just launched but will be expanded in the future.

    • SPARKsummit says:

      Thanks Leigh! We will definitely check out that site, it looks awesome! Unfortunately there’s no way on Android to just see SPARK’s entries. You can ask Google to add that as a feature by going to ‘send feedback’ under App settings.

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