This article profiles Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Jesse Daniel Ames and Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the women who have defended the democracy and freedom of the U.S. The overarching goal of the social studies curriculum is to promote civic competence and to develop students' ability to make informed and reasoned decisions as citizens in a diverse and democratic society within an interdependent world. As teachers develop and implement social studies curriculum, it is critical to accept and model the philosophical tenets and goals of the social studies within their classrooms. To promote democratic and pluralistic ideals, it is essential to study courageous role models in the elementary social studies curriculum. Brown, Ames and Wells-Barnett questioned the status quo of inequality and took decisive action to better the world for themselves and others. Their lives and stories made a difference in history and can affect the lives of today's students. Studying how these women reasoned and believed, persistently and logically set goals to solve problems, made informed decisions to right wrongs, and brought together others of like-minded thinking to enact social action for equality and democracy can bring the social studies curriculum to life. The lives of these courageous women can become freedom torches that teachers pass to today's social studies students.