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Laurinda C. Andrade

From immigrant textile mill worker to Ivy League student to pioneering New Bedford educator, Laurinda C. Andrade (1899-1980) overcame barriers of tradition, poverty, language, and discrimination to establish the first high school Portuguese language department in the United States at New Bedford High School.

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 Carter Brooks

Equality was the vision of Elizabeth Carter Brooks (1867-1951) in her work as educator, social activist and architect.
Helen Ellis

Helen Elizabeth Ellis

What do a tea room in Westport, a bookstore in New Bedford, special exhibits at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, and a children’s museum in Dartmouth all have in common?

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.

Marial M. Harper

New Bedford educator Marial Harper (1934-2016) positively impacted numerous lives at New Bedford High School and was the first woman and minority to be appointed a Housemaster there.

Harriet Jacobs

Writer, abolitionist and educator, Harriet Ann Jacobs (1813-1897) is the only African American woman known to have left writing documenting her enslavement.

Ellen Kempton

New Bedford’s Ellen Kempton (1840-1865) lost her life while in South Carolina to educate and assist formerly enslaved people.
Belmira Nunes

Belmira Nunes

In 1917, Belmira Nunes (1899-1994) graduated as valedictorian and only Cape Verdean girl from Wareham High School. She attended Radcliffe College where she became the first Cape Verdean woman graduate. Belmira had a distinguished teaching career in the New York City School system.
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