“Since 1851, obituaries in The New York Times have been dominated by white men,” The Times boldly states at the top of its “Overlooked” obituary page. “Now, we’re adding the stories of other remarkable people.” To pay tribute to those who were wrongly neglected, The New York Times devotes a page to individuals who played a role in mobilizing society toward a better future. Below, we highlight a few of these figures who are particularly connected to the Center’s initiatives.


The Power of Diversity

Elizabeth Peratrovich

Article by Carson Vaughan

Elizabeth Peratrovich and her husband Roy refused to submit to discrimination toward Alaskan Natives. So they didn’t. After years of effort and Elizabeth’s powerful court testimony, the two were able to get the 1945 Anti-Discrimination Act passed—the very first American antidiscrimination act.

Claude Cahun

Article by Joseph B. Treaster

French artist Lucy Schwob, who changed her name to the more ambiguous Claude Cahun, did not wish to be confined to the norms of one gender. Largely unnoticed during her time, Cahun is now appreciated as an early crusader in defying gender and sexuality norms and questioning conventional understandings of identity.


Slavery and Its Aftermath

Dudley Randall

Article by Morgan Jerkins

Poet and creator of Detroit’s Broadside Press publishing House, Dudley Randall helped propel the Black Arts Movement—“a flowering of African-American literature, theater, music and other arts.” His work not only offered pathways for black artists of his time, but his influence has even touched some of today’s great writers.

Barbara Johns

Article by Lance Booth

At just 16 years old, then high school student Barbara Johns courageously organized a massive student protest to fight for better facilities for her black student body. And her risky work paid off, as she eventually became one of the mobilizers of Brown v. Board of Education—the case in which racial segregation in schools was ruled unconstitutional.


The Future of Work

Karen Sparck Jones

Article by Nellie Bowles

With the breakthrough idea to teach computers human language—as opposed to communicating with them through code—Karen Sparck Jones laid the groundwork for search engines like Google that many couldn’t live without today.

Alan Turing

Article by Alan Cowell

Mathematician and World War II Allied codebreaker, Alan Turing is credited with being one of the first to introduce early visions of artificial intelligence, a tool that now impacts our everyday lives. Tragically, his death was likely the result of inexcusable treatment toward him because of then attitudes toward homosexuality.