Celebrating Rosalynn Carter: Recognizing Her Impact in Transforming the Lives of Millions Everywhere

Rosalynn Carter, the former First Lady of the United States and chair of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving at Georgia Southwestern State University, was born on August 18, 1927. She was an advocate for numerous social reforms and causes throughout her life, and made notable strides toward improving the lives of millions of people here in the United States and around the entire world. This article serves as a thank you to Rosalynn Carter for her commitment to making our world better. Before becoming First Lady of the United States from 1977-1981, Mrs. Carter was an active advocate of civil rights. She recruited volunteers for desegregated hospitals in the 1960s and in the 1970s, she joined the board of the National Organization for Women (NOW). In addition, Mrs. Carter was a tireless advocate of mental health and disability rights for all citizens, regardless of socioeconomic status. Her passion for mental health was clear when, in 1975, she interrogated Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Joseph Califano, at a congressional hearing on President Ford’s budget for mental health. She challenged the idea of treating mental health differently than physical health – an idea that has since been forgotten. Rosalynn Carter also founded and chaired the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving, which works to assist family and professional caregivers through research, training, and advocacy. Mrs. Carter also worked hard to support the People of Georgia and following her term in the White House, served as Chair of the Georgia Commission on Women in 1989 and appointed Co-chair of the President’s Commission on Mental Health in 1997. More recently, she has been a strong advocate for the CARE National Health Program, which funds food banks, soup kitchens, and other health initiatives. She has also participated in the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy, bringing together professionals in the mental health field together to try and find effective ways to treat and support those suffering from mental illnesses. Rosalynn Carter’s legacy is not confined to the United States. She was also active in the global arena by supporting many international human rights initiatives. In 1975, she joined the American delegation to the Women’s Political Conference in Mexico City, calling for an international minimum wage and greater economic security for working women. She was also a strong advocate for the Global Campaign for Women’s Health, which seeks to improve healthcare access for women in developing countries. Rosalynn Carter has been an advocate for numerous social reforms, and has improved the lives of millions of people within the United States and around the entire world. This article serves to show appreciation for the hard work she has done through her many endeavors, and the world is a better place because of her.