Archive for the ‘All News’ Category

National Women’s History Museum Launches “Women Who Ran For President” Online Exhibit

July 13th, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC– Today, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) launched a new digital exhibit in partnership with Google Culture and Arts, profiling women who have run for president of the United States throughout our nation’s history. With the first woman becoming the presumptive nominee of a major party last month, NWHM has released new online content to highlight the history of women’s contributions to American politics and the impact their entrance into the race for the nation’s top office will have on our future.

 

NWHM’s online exhibit, “First but Not the Last:Women Who Ran for President,” examines the ground-breaking platforms and strategies used by women to seek the nation’s highest office. The exhibit includes historic milestones from the first woman to secure a spot on a primary ballot to the first woman becoming a major party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

 

“Women have been running for president even before they had the right to vote and that is a rich part of our country’s history that should be known,” said NWHM CEO and President Joan B. Wages. “We are working to broaden the country’s understanding of the enormous contributions woman have made to politics over the years.”

 

NWHM has partnered with the Google Cultural Institute, an initiative aimed at creating technologies that bring the world’s cultural and heritage institutions online, in order to share the Museum’s robust offerings of online exhibits with a worldwide audience. Today, NWHM was one of 44 institutions selected as part of The American Democracy collection from CGI, displaying over 60 exhibits and 2,500 plus artifacts.

 

“Telling the stories of these women is an important part of completing the American narrative and inspiring the next generation of female leaders,” said Wages. “We are excited to work with organizations such as Google to communicate the breadth of women’s experiences and accomplishments to the widest audience possible.”

 

To view the exhibit, visit https://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/ or to learn more about NWHM, please visit http://www.nwhm.org.

 

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Contact: Melissa Williams

mwilliams@nwhm.org 703-461-1920

 

About the National Women’s History Museum

Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM, Inc.) is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the general public about the diverse historic contributions of women and raising awareness about the critical need for a national women’s history museum in our nation’s capital. Currently located online at www.nwhm.org, the Museum’s goal is to build a world-class, permanent museum in Washington, DC, that will herald and display the collective history of American women. A Congressional Commission has been established that is charged with producing a feasible plan, which would include the governance, fundraising, location and organizational structure of the museum.

 

About Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture is a product of the Google Cultural institute and its partners designed to put the world’s cultural treasures at the fingertips of Internet users and to assist the cultural sector in sharing more of its diverse heritage online. The Google Cultural Institute has partnered with more than 1100 institutions, providing the Arts & culture platform to over 400 thousand artworks and a total of 5 million photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents of art, culture and history. The exhibitions on Google Arts & Culture are open for all online, for free on the web and through the new Google Arts & Culture mobile app on iOS and Android. Read more here.

 

National Women’s History Museum Welcomes New Board Members

June 29th, 2016

Organization Enhances Strategic Leadership with Public, Private and Nonprofit Expertise

Washington, D.C. – The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) is pleased to announce the addition of four new members to its board of directors: Jon Bouker, Mari Snyder Johnson, Julie Smolyansky and Joan Walker. The board provides leadership for delivering on NWHM’s mission to build a world-class museum on the National Mall that educates, inspires, empowers and shapes the future by integrating women’s distinctive stories into the culture and history of the United States.

“NWHM is pleased to have these accomplished members join our board at this exciting time in our evolution,” said NWHM Board Chair Susan Whiting. “These new board members bring their valuable expertise from the worlds of government relations, communications and marketing, community engagement, nonprofit strategy and business, as well as a firm commitment to ensuring women’s contributions to American history are included in our national narrative.”

About NWHM’s New Board Members

Jon Bouker is a long-time government relations leader with extensive experience in the U.S. Congress, who brings his expertise in legislation, business relations and economic development. As co-practice group leader of Arent Fox’s government relations practice, he represents clients before Congress, The White House and federal agencies, particularly the General Services Administration. Jon also served as chief counsel and legislative director to Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and minority counsel to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).

Mari Snyder Johnson is a business executive and CEO specializing in diverse entrepreneurial opportunities, an executive producer for both feature and documentary films and a passionate activist for socially conscious causes. She brings media and business management experience as well as legislative relationships and acumen. Prior to joining NWHM’s board, Mari served as an advisor to the organization’s president, Joan Wages, where she helped advance passage of the legislation that established the commission to study the feasibility of a National Women’s History Museum on the National Mall.

Julie Smolyansky became the youngest female CEO of a publicly held firm when she assumed that role at Lifeway Foods at age 27, and brings a successful track record in business and social advocacy to the Museum’s board. Julie bolstered Lifeway’s growth trajectory with innovative product development and marketing strategies, boosting annual revenues to more than $130 million by 2015 and expanded distribution throughout the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. She is a member of the United Nations Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council and part of the 2015 class of Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum.

Joan Walker retired as executive vice president of corporate relations from All State and brings more than 25 years of experience in corporate and nonprofit communications. At All State she was responsible for reputation management, strategic media communications and corporate social responsibility. She currently serves as a member of the board of trustees of the Arthur W. Page Society, the Insurance Education Institute, the Business Civic Leadership Center, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and on the planning committee for the Clinton Global Initiative.

“We could not be prouder of the board we have assembled and are confident that their experience and skills will be a great asset to the Museum,” said NWHM President and CEO Joan Wages. “They bring a variety of experiences and backgrounds that strengthen our strategic leadership and will help us achieve our vision of a world-class museum dedicated to incorporating women’s stories into American history.”

 

For more information on NWHM, please visit http://www.nwhm.org.

 

 

Bouker-Jon JoanHWalker JULIE096-hires

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(L to R: Jon Bouker, Joan Walker, Julie Smolyanksy)

 

 

About the National Women’s History Museum

Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM, Inc.) is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the general public about the diverse historic contributions of women and raising awareness about the critical need for a national women’s history museum in our nation’s capital. Currently located online at www.nwhm.org, the Museum’s goal is to build a world-class, permanent museum on or near the National Mall that will herald and display the collective history of American women. A Congressional Commission has been established that is charged with producing a feasible plan, which would include the governance, fundraising, location and organizational structure of the museum. For additional information visit NWHM.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Media inquiries:

For press inquiries or credentials, please contact Melissa Williams, NWHM communications manager, mwilliams@nwhm.org or 703-416-1920.

Women Who Have Run For President

June 9th, 2016

Long before women had the right to vote, a few courageous women challenged the political ideology of their day by running for president. Hillary Clinton as the most recent woman to campaign for the position joins a group of amazing women who aspired to fill the U.S. highest political role. Learn about a few of these women and how they changed the political landscape at https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/resources/women-who-have-run-for-president.

NWHM Expresses Condolences on Passing of Robin Read

June 7th, 2016

Washington, DC – The Board of Directors of the National Women’s History Museum expresses its condolences to the family of Robin Read, entrepreneur and former Museum board member.  Read passed away on June 2. She joined the Museum’s board in 2010.

“Robin was deeply committed to women’s organizations and the Museum. She was an outstanding colleague and board member,” said the Museum’s CEO and President Joan Wages. “It was an honor to work with her and to be the recipient of her vast knowledge and experience.”

An entrepreneur, Read had extensive experience in the public and business sectors. She worked in public relations, radio and print journalism as well as owned several small businesses. She served with the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. She was also a leader within several women’s organizations in the DC area including the Women’s Information Network and Charter 100. She served as CEO and Founder of the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL), the largest and oldest organization for elected women at all levels of governance from all 50 states and territories.  Founded in 1938, she brought NFWL from a few members and no national office to an organization of over 2,000 elected women and nearly 1,000 corporations, associations and individual sponsors.

National Women’s History Museum Applauds Decision To Put Tubman On $20; Launches New Exhibit As Part Of Google Cultural Institute

April 21st, 2016

Washington, DC – The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) applauds the decision by U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to put abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the nation’s $20 bill. The move is a significant step in our nation’s recognition of women and their contribution to our nation. It is the first time in more than a century that a woman’s portrait will grace the nation’s currency.

 

“What a resounding and important message we have sent to our young girls and women in this country,” said NWHM President and CEO Joan Wages. “There have been many efforts to bring women’s history into our mainstream. This decision significantly raises the profile and the conversation about women’s impact on our country’s development.”

 

In marking the announcement, the NWHM, in partnership with the Google Cultural Institute, launched a new exhibit that details Tubman’s life and her work as the leader of the Underground Railroad. The exhibit provides a walk through locations and existing sites used on the historic route to freedom for slaves who Tubman helped escape.

 

To view the exhibit, visit https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/exhibit/GwIC_10DOod5KA?position=1%3A0.

 

 

 

About the National Women’s History Museum

Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM, Inc.) is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the general public about the diverse historic contributions of women and raising awareness about the critical need for a national women’s history museum in our nation’s capital. Currently located online at www.nwhm.org, the Museum’s goal is to build a world-class, permanent museum on or near the National Mall that will herald and display the collective history of American women. A Congressional Commission has been established that is charged with producing a feasible plan, which would include the governance, fundraising, location and organizational structure of the museum. For additional information visit NWHM.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media inquiries:

 

For press inquiries, please contact Melissa Williams, NWHM communications manager, mwilliams@nwhm.org or 703-416-1920.

Garden Clubs Provided Fertile Ground for Women’s Activism

April 7th, 2016

In the early 19th century, bright, educated women became active in various reform movements. The activists among them joined abolitionist societies and petitioned for woman suffrage. With the advent of the Civil War, a wider circle of women joined together to support the causes of soldiers and their families. They formed sewing circles, held fundraising fairs, and volunteered directly with causes. After the war, women seeking intellectual and social outlets continued to rapidly establish women’s clubs.

 

Clubs formed around many different issues from literary and musical societies, social reform movements, and beautification. In the years between the 1870s and 1920s, women’s clubs became the major vehicle by which American women could exercise their developing talents to shape the world beyond their homes. Clubs afforded not only social opportunity but also leadership. As clubs grew, and counted locally influential women among their rolls, clubs could effect change both nationally and locally. They rapidly became part of the growing Progressive Movement.

 

Forming garden clubs was a natural expression of interest in nature and beauty. Horticultural societies and botany groups, some dating back to colonial times, restricted women’s membership. In response women formed their own clubs within their own communities. The first garden club in America was founded in January 1891 as The Ladies Garden Club of Athens, Georgia. On May 1, 1929, 13 federated states became charter members of the National Garden Clubs at an organizational meeting in Washington, D.C. The Garden Club of America was founded in 1913.While many started with the goal of exchanging information and cuttings, they soon adopted larger missions, which indelibly shaped the American landscape.

 

KenmoreThe United States celebrated its centennial in 1876, and on the heels of the Civil War and Reconstruction, amid an influx of immigrants, and in the face of a growing women’s movement, many rallied around the centennial as a reaffirmation of classic American values and culture. Cities and towns planned elaborate celebrations and pageants. Groups formed to preserve historic houses and buildings associated with the Founding Fathers. Scores of historical societies were formed.

 

The garden club movement became closely affiliated with the historic preservation movement by adopting the restoration of historical landmarks gardens and grounds as projects. The Garden Club of Virginia was among the first and the most ambitious in undertaking restoration projects. Founded in 1920 by eight garden clubs from around the Commonwealth, the GCV’s first project was the restoration of the grounds at Kenmore, the home of George Washington’s sister Betty and her husband Fielding Lewis. The Garden Club of Virginia’s restoration, started in 1929, includes a large tree-shaded lawn and rear garden arranged in an eighteenth-century formal plan. The GCV’s members hired professional landscape designers and historical consultants to execute the projects.

 

Mary ShermanThe Garden Club of Virginia raised money through traditional women’s networks. They staged a large flower show in 1927, raising $7,000 towards the restoration of Thomas Jefferson’s gardens at Monticello. The GCV held the first Historic Garden Week of Virginia, featuring tours of prominent homes and gardens, in 1929. Today, GCV’s 8-day Historic Garden Week attracts 30,000 visitors to 250 homes across the state and has raised $17 million since its inception. The organization continues to fund conservation and restoration, including an effort to restore Monticello’s kitchen gardens.

 

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (1890) encouraged women’s groups to join together to amplify their voices to improve local communities and effect national policy. Mary Belle King Sherman served as chairman of GFWC’s Conservation Committee from 1914-1920 where she positioned GFWC as a strong advocate of establishing a national park system. In 1915, she represented GFWC at the dedication of Rocky Mountain National Park near her home, and in 1916, she advocated for the GFWC resolution supporting the National Park Service Bill, leading to her nickname as the “National Park Lady”. By the end of her service as Conservation chairman, she had helped guide the formation of six national parks.

 

Lady Bird JohnsonThe National Roadside Council under Elizabeth Lawton emerged in the 1920s took on the Outdoor Advertising Council to combat the “roadside blight” that sprang up along with national road systems connected to rising use of the automobile. Lawton adamantly asserted that “beauty and the billboard cannot exist on the same landscape.” She built up a series of state and regional councils composed primarily of women who lobbied against the proliferation of billboards, much to the chagrin of the male-dominated Outdoor Advertising Association of America. She and her husband photographically documented the roadside landscape to demonstrate roadside blight and advocated for legislation to regulate advertising. A few decades later, Lady Bird Johnson took up their cause by lobbying for passage of the Highway Beautification Act of 1965.

 

Working together, women in garden clubs and beautification societies made an indelible mark on the American landscape. They looked beyond the envelope of historic buildings, recognizing that the historic landscapes, gardens, and view sheds were important resources to preserve for future generations. Their efforts led to more beautiful highways, increased recreational opportunities, and established conservation as a national priority. Their legacy endures in the public spaces all around us.

Beverly Cleary, Creator of Ramona and Beezus, Turning 100

April 7th, 2016

Beverly ClearyBeloved children’s book author Beverly Cleary will turn 100 years old on April 12, 2016. Starting with Henry Huggins in 1950 and her last book Ramona’s World in 1999, Cleary wrote more than 40 children’s books that have sold 91 million copies and remain at the top of teacher and librarians’ recommended reading lists.

 

Children in Cleary’s books are independent, enjoy being outside, and solve problems with the support of friends. They are realistic children who misbehave, get into trouble, and fight with their siblings. “I never reform anybody,” Cleary told The New York Post in 2006. “Because when I was growing up, I didn’t like to read about boys and girls who learned to be better boys and girls.” Today’s children are no different.

 

Beverly Cleary bucked the prevailing trends in children’s literature. What made her different?

 

Over the past 100 years, a trend in children’s literature has been to position adults as peripheral to children’s lives if not actively antagonistic. The Hardy Boys (1927) and Nancy Drew (1930) experience shockingly little adult supervision while repeatedly imperiling themselves. The Cat in the Hat (1957) wreaks havoc because the mother is away. Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games (2008) finds the adults in her life literally trying to engineer her death.

 

bcbooks4Cleary’s characters, on the other hand, while independent, often interact with adults as she examines the relationships between adults and kids. Cleary received Newbery Honors for Ramona and Her Father (1978), which traversed the family’s challenges when Ramon’s father unexpectedly loses his job. In Ramona and Her Mother—the 1981 National Book Award winner for Children’s Fiction—a pre-adolescent Ramona worries about her parents’ unsettling quarrels and whether her mother has enough attention to go around. Cleary was awarded the Newbery Medal for outstanding children’s book in 1984 for her juvenile novel Dear Mr. Henshaw, in which a boy works through his parents’ divorce and adaptation to a new school through his correspondence with his favorite author. Though Cleary’s characters are independent, they are not left on their own. Caring adults populate their worlds.

 

In her youth, Cleary reminded the Washington Post, “mothers did not work outside the home; they worked on the inside. And because all the mothers were home — 99 percent of them, anyway — all mothers kept their eyes on all the children.” Yet Cleary herself was a working mother who balanced her writing career with raising a young family with the help of a neighbor who watched her children while she wrote. In that, she was typical of many women in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s who increasingly returned to part time work to supplement family income. Cleary explored the dynamics of families with wage-earning mothers in several books starting in the 1970s. Her writing mirrored her and her readers’ real lives, making her novels relatable.

 

RamonaOver a half century of writing, Cleary’s work reflected changes in American society. Her characters faced challenges that remain highly relevant today such as a parent losing a job, loss of a favorite pet, divorce, and school yard bullying. Her stories reflect the issues women faced in the decades in which they were published, creating a literary, historic timeline of the 20th century.

 

When asked why her work has remained popular, she told The Atlantic, “I think it is because I have stayed true to my own memories of childhood, which are not different in many ways from those of children today. Although their circumstances have changed, I don’t think children’s inner feelings have changed.”

 

By Elizabeth L. Maurer

Director of Program

Yoohoo, We’re Right Here!!!

April 6th, 2016

By Susan Danish

Executive Director, Junior League

 

No, not there…
Here…look over here…

Where are the women leaders?

We’re here. We’re all around you. We’re just not household names. Nowhere was that more evident than at last week’s ‘Women Making History’ event supporting the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) and its goal of building a Museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

UntitledThe three women honored were remarkable and it was eye-opening to be around them. They were women some “know”, but most do not know their names or their stories. First to be honored was Ann Veneman, the first (and only) female United States Secretary of Agriculture, and former Executive Director of UNICEF, among so many more accomplishments. Her resume is a litany of “first female…” I have never felt more like a slacker.

Aesha Ash was a professional ballerina with several world renowned companies including New York City Ballet. She was among the first African-American ballerinas there. (And she was there before Misty Copeland came to prominence with the American Ballet Theater.) Today she is retired from professional dancing but has started an initiative called the Swan Dreams Project to help ensure that all girls, especially girls of color, know that stereotypes or media images do not have to define them.

Finally, the Museum honored Christine Walevska, world renowned cellist and master musician. In an intimate setting at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C., Walevska played three pieces for the attendees – and we were supposed to be honoring her! What an honor it was. And here she was just feet away from us, playing her cello, and sharing her thoughts. Even without the acoustics of a concert hall, she moved us with her artistry and connected with us in a warm and personal way. I spend time at Tanglewood every summer (the summer home of the Boston Symphony), and there are female cellists in the orchestra, but I have yet to see a cello soloist, with the exception of YoYo Ma (who is wonderful… don’t get me wrong). I never thought about the fact that never have I seen a female playing a cello solo there.

Seeing and learning about the Women Making History honorees only reinforced for me the need to tell the stories of the many, many accomplished women here in the US and around the world. I truly believe that the stories of strong, accomplished people can do a lot to counterbalance so much of the negative rhetoric that surrounds us daily. As National Women’s History Month comes to an end I feel an even greater sense of urgency to make sure that our nation’s heroines are not unsung.

This article was originally published in the Junior League blog, The Civic Lede. To view, click here: http://blog.ajli.org/women/2016/03/yoohoo-were-right-here/

Recognizing Valor with the Congressional Medal of Honor

March 24th, 2016

Mary Elizabeth Walker, an 1855 graduate of Syracuse Medical College, was among nation’s few female medical doctors at the beginning of the Civil War. She recognized that the Army needed medical personnel and vigorously pursued a US Army commission. Though denied a commission, she volunteered in hospitals in Washington, DC and Virginia. Walker finally secured a contract position with the Ohio 52nd Infantry in 1863. Confederates captured Walker and made her a prisoner of war. Following her release in a prisoner exchange, Walker secured a contract position as an Acting Assistant Surgeon directly with the US Army where she was assigned to supervise female prisoners of war and an orphanage. Walker retired from military service at the war’s conclusion. She was awarded the Medal of Honor in recognition of her extraordinary service to her country. Dr. Walker remains the only woman in history to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Mary Walker citation

NWHM’s Joan Wages Explains “How to Fix” the Gender Gap in Podcast

March 24th, 2016

NWHM President & CEO Joan Wages was recently interviewed on the “How Do We Fix It?” podcast. The popular podcast, run by veteran journalists Richard Davies and Jim Meigs, invites innovative thinkers to discuss new research and fresh thinking around current topics. The podcast not only analyzes problems but also offers practical solutions.

 

Wages spoke about the absence of women in high level positions in Fortune 500 companies and public office and its correlation to a lack of role models in history books. She pointed out that fewer than 20% of the Members of Congress are women.  Women’s representation in corporate boardrooms is even lower. Fewer than 5% of CEO’s at Fortune 500 companies are women.

 

“Role models have a huge impact on the way young girls and women in general think about themselves,” stated Wages. When fewer than 15% of figures in US history textbook are women, it is not surprising that women and girls hesitate to pursue traditionally male career fields.

 

Wages discussed NWHM’s efforts to incorporate women’s history into the popular historical narrative as well as its goal to build a national museum dedicated to women’s history, the first of its kind in any world capital.

 

Listen to “The Gender Gap in Our Public Square: Joan Wages: How Do We Fix It?” at http://bit.ly/HowDoWeFixIt