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Sister Aurora Helena Avelar

New Bedford’s Mother Teresa, Sister Aurora Helena Avelar (1903-1999) was a Roman Catholic nun who devoted her life to the underserved.

Martha Bailey Briggs

Born in 1838 to Black abolitionists, Martha Bailey Briggs (1838-1889) realized at a young age that education was essential to ending slavery.

Elizabeth Terry Delano

Fairhaven artist Elizabeth Terry Delano (1845-1933) created still-life paintings, portraits and landscapes in her studio at 91 Pleasant Street.

Rosetta Douglass

Abolitionist and social reformer Rosetta Douglass (1839-1906) continued a family legacy of activism that began in New Bedford with her father, Frederick Douglass.

Marie Equi

New Bedford prepared physician and political agitator Marie Equi (1872-1952) for a lifetime of social justice advocacy. Marie’s Oregon medical practice and nationwide activism were influenced by her working class experiences while growing up in New Bedford.

Sister Rosellen Gallogly

Considered a living saint in New Bedford, Sister Mary Rosellen Gallogly (1930-2018) was a pioneer in developing services for the homeless, notably as director of Market Ministries Meals and Shelter, known today as Sister Rose House.

Geraldine Gomes

Geraldine “Gerry” A. Gomes (1938-2011) was the first minority woman to run for political office in New Bedford.

Cornelia Grinnell

Abolitionist, women’s rights advocate and women’s club founder, Cornelia Grinnell Willis (1825-1904) advocated for and secured Harriet Jacobs’ freedom, making it possible for Harriet to write and publish what became an edifying “slave narrative.”

Mary Ann Flanagan Hayden

A “second mother to many South End boys” in New Bedford, Mary Ann Flanagan Hayden (1873-1946) founded the Donaghy Boys Club, becoming the first female director of a Boys Club in America.

Jennie Horne

The War on Poverty initiatives of the 1960s had a dedicated New Bedford foot soldier in Jennie Horne (1920-1998).
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