Freedom Fighters Series 2020

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Harvey Milk

American Politician and first openly gay elected official in the history of California


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Harvey Bernard Milk, born May 22, 1930 in Wyndmere, New York, was the second son of William and Minerva Milk and a family with prominent ties to the community.

Harvey realized he was gay in early age, however he also knew full well the need to conceal any signs that would raise suspicion such as his love of opera.  Harvey was very athletic in high school where he played football and baseball at Bayshore High School and he also had a quick wit that helped make his popularity among his classmates.

Harvey enrolled in the New York State College for Teachers at Albany and he graduated in 1951 with a mathematics degree.  Following his parents example, he enlisted in the Navy and went on to attend the Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI and served as a diving instructor and Chief Petty Officer aboard the USS Kittywake during the Korean War. 

After his lover join the O’Horgan-directed production of “Hair” in San Francisco, Milk moved to the Bay Area in 1969 where he worked as a financial analyst and joined friends at night to protest against the Vietnam War and explore the city’s thriving gay social scene after hours.

In 1972, Milk moved back to San Francisco for good and within a few months he opened up a camera shop on Castro Street and in 1973, he decided to run for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  During that election, Milk tallied up 17,000 votes to finish 10th out of 32 candidates providing a reason to continue his political efforts.

“Hope will never be silent”

After several runs for political office and undaunted by his election losses, Milk founded the San Francisco Gay Democratic Club to garner more political support.  Returning to the campaign trail in 1977,  he sought to broaden his appeal beyond the gay community through promises to reform the tax code, create low income housing and establish daycare centers for working mothers.

“I stand for all those that feel that the government no longer understands the individual and no longer respects individual rights.”

In November of 1977, after a historic election that also saw the first Chinese American and the first African American woman elected to the city’s Board of Supervisors, Milk became one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials.

On November 27, 1978, a former supervisor named Dan White crept into the City Hall through a basement window armed with a 38 revolver.  White had resigned his post just months earlier and had unsuccessfully asked that he be reinstated.  When he was denied reinstatement, he confronted and killed Mayor Moscone then when to Milk’s office where he murdered his former colleague with five shots.

“If a bullet should enter my brain let that bullet destroy every closet door.”

Although he spent less than a year in office, Milk’s brief time in the public eye marked an important milestone in the battle for gay rights.  His story became known to the wider audiences through Randy Shilt’s biography,  “The Mayor of Castro Street” and Rob Epstein’s 1984 Oscar-winning documentary,  “The Times of Harvey Milk .”

“Coming out is the most political thing you can do”

Harney has shown us what one person standing up loudly and proudly can do against fear and prejudice.  We honor Harvey Milk as a Freedom Fighter and shining example of hope for our world and commissioned our artists to produce a tribute to Harvey Milk to honor him and his work to combat fear and prejudice we find in our society.

Profits from the sale of the Harvey Milk Freedom Fighters Series will be donated to the Harvey Milk Foundation.


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Michelle Obama

Former First Lady of the United States


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Michelle Obama (born January 17, 1964, Chicago Illinois) was the American First Lady (2009-17), a lawyer, a writer, and the wife of Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States.  

Michelle was raised with the notion that education was extremely important and she and her brother both learned to read at age 4.  By the 6th grade, Michelle was attending classes for gifted students where she learned French and love advanced biology.

Micelle went on to attend Princeton University and graduated cum laude in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. After undergrad, Micelle attended Harvard Law School, where she took part in demonstrations advocating for the hiring and enrollment of more minority students and professors.

Michelle and Barack married in 1992 after 3 years of first meeting.  Michelle first refused to date Barack fearing their work life would make their romance improper.  She finally agreed to go out, and after two years of dating, Barack proposed.

In 2007, Michelle helped campaign for Barack during his run for the Democratic presidential nomination.  Barack won the nomination and elected the 44th President of the United States followed by a second term in 2012.

While campaigning for Hilary Clinton in 2016, Michelle gave a speech where she was supporting a woman for President.

“…I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves, and I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, Black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn,” she said. “And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters, and all our sons and daughters, now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.”

On January 13, 2017, Michelle made her final speech as first lady saying “being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life and I hope I’ve made you proud.”

She went on to address young Americans: 

”I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong. So don’t be afraid. You hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourself with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope; never fear.”

Michelle has stood for many causes and while addressing the protection women from sexual harassment, Michelle said: 

“When we think about women in particular we ask them to speak up. We ask them to speak their mind. We ask them to just say no, to speak out against sexual harassment,” Michelle said. “But if we don’t teach our young girls to speak at an early age, that doesn’t just happen. It takes practice to have a voice. You have to use it again, and again, and again before you can say ‘no.’ Or ‘stop.’ ‘Don’t touch me.'”

That was just part of Michelle’s commitment to social justice.  During her tenure as first lady, Michelle and Barack both volunteered and homeless shelters around Washington D.C. She was also committed to educating the American people on proper diet and health.  The Whitehouse kitchen was told to prepare organic foods for guests and her family.  

Michelle was very active in her Let’s Move initiative and worked hard to get young people involved in sports.

As an author, Michelle published American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America in 2012 which tells the story of her vegetable garden and work in community gardens.

In 2018, Michelle published, Becoming,  Michelle commented that the book was a “deeply personal experience” as she talked about how a girl from the South Side found her voice.

“I talk about my roots and how a girl from the South Side found her voice. I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be.”

Through her commitment to her family, community and country, Michelle Obama has redefined the possibilities for all women in these times. We honor Michelle Obama as a Freedom Fighter in 2020 and have commissioned our graphics team to created this artwork to honor Michelle and her work.  

Profits from the sale of the Michelle Obama’s Freedom Fighters Series will be donated to the Partnership for a Healthier America and other charities supported by Michelle Obama.


Reference and citations from https://www.biography.com/us-first-lady/michelle-obama



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