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Commentary: Three women of faith who changed America

Three extraordinary women from vastly different religious backgrounds changed our nation forever. Indeed, one cannot understand social movements in America today without recognizing the trio’s achievements and the role religion played in these tumultuous histories. And like today’s social activists, they fought religious bigotry, police arrests, courtroom trials and constant threats of physical violence.

Susan B. Anthony’s conviction that all people were equal under God was an inheritance from her upbringing in the Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers. A temperance campaigner and abolitionist in her early career, Anthony had, by the late 1860s, begun to focus on women’s rights.