For the next 12 months, the Kyria spotlight will be on courageous women who, though largely unknown, defied the times they lived in to change their worlds. Inspired by the book, and film, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (pictured), Kyria wants to focus on women leaders who were massively effective in their context but whose names have been obscured through the mists of time.

This particularly happens because men have primarily written our histories, and they were often not as aware of the ways in which women leaders changed the world in every context.

For instance:

Cecilia Payne who discovered what the universe is made of (!!). She also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne — after telling her not to publish).

Hedy Lamar a Hollywood actress in the 1940’s known as ’the most beautiful woman in the world’ was also an inventor who pioneered the technology that would one day form the basis for today’s WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth communication systems.

Miep Gies (Hermine Santruschitz Gies) the woman who helped protect Anne Frank for two years during WWII. She saved Anne’s diary after the Franks were arrested.

Valentina Tereshkova was a Russian astronaut and the first woman to travel into space aboard Vostok 6 in 1963, orbiting earth 48 times in less than 3 days.

And the lists go on and on and on… We are becoming increasingly familiar with names like Harriet Tubman, Mother Theresa, and Malala, so our aim over the next 12 months is to shine a light on women you may not have heard of.

We will celebrate their achievements, their grit, their abhorrence of complacency and passivity. We’re rejoicing because they were too stubborn to accept external limitations, and they chose to be deaf to the customs and cultures that told them it couldn’t be done. We are grateful that they stamped on timidity and were wise and brave enough to know that doing what they were made for was more important than their own fears.

We love that they showed up for us before we knew anything about them, fighting for our futures, though they never lived to see how their lives impacted our worlds. Many of them did what they did knowing they were guided by their faith in Christ and His purpose for them. Even those who didn’t know that still lived out their destiny as the Image of God. They fulfilled HIs call on their lives by using their unique gifts. We’re excited to check out a few of them over this year.