Archive for the ‘All News’ Category

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.

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

NWHM Recognizes Students’ Women’s History Projects at Virginia History Day

March 24th, 2016

Gertrude BellIsadora DuncanStudents from across Northern Virginia gathered on Saturday, March 5, 2016 for the Region 5 Virginia History Competition. Students engaged in a year-long research project on the topic of “Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange in History.” They entered projects in a variety of categories including websites, exhibits, dramatic presentations, documentaries, and papers. The winners will progress to the Virginia State competition to be held in April.

 

In addition to awards by category and age group, four special awards were given by various organizations. National Women’s History Museum awarded two Certificates of Excellence for projects in women’s history to a middle and high school student. The women’s history category had the most number of entries for any of the special awards categories with 25 projects eligible for consideration.

 

The winners for Excellence in Women’s History were:

 

Laura Pavlak of West Springfield High School for her Senior Historical Paper “Gertrude Bell and the Birth of Iraq.”

 

Lydia Frazier of Mary G. Porter Traditional School for her Junior Individual Documentary “Isadora Duncan.”

NWHM Honors Trailblazing Women in Public Service, the Arts, and Music

March 16th, 2016

Aesha Ash, Ann Veneman and Christine Walevska accepted awards

 

Washington, DC – March 15, 2016 – The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) recognized three trailblazing women, whose accomplishments helped to pioneer pathways for other women to serve in similar fields, at its 2016 Women Making History Awards held at the Mayflower Hotel. This year’s honorees included Ann Veneman, the first female secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Christine Walevska, the only living female master musician and Aesha Ash, one of the first black ballerinas for the New York City Ballet and founder of The Swan Dreams Project.

 

Through their professional and philanthropic efforts, these trailblazing women overcame unique challenges in their individual fields and paved paths for other women to follow.

 

Secretary Veneman, who was the first woman to serve in six of her leadership posts before being named Secretary of Agriculture, accepted an award for her contributions to public service here in the United States and on the international scene as executive director of UNICEF.

 

Christine Walevska, an internally acclaimed cellist, was honored for her 30-year plus career in classical music, a field still primarily dominated by men. Walevska gave a mini-concert playing Bach and Ennio Bolognini, a composer who asked that only Walevsa perform his music. Walevska dedicated one of her selections to the National Women’s History Museum and its President, Joan Wages.

 

Aesha Ash, one of the first black ballerinas to join the New York City Ballet and the only one during her seven-and a half year career with the corps, had an outstanding career here in the United States and internationally before turning her attention to inspiring the next generation of dancers, in particular those of color. So was born The Swan Dreams Project, an effort by Ash to promote positive and alternative images of black women.

 

“This event is a true tribute to many unsung heroes in our midst,” said Wages, NWHM President and CEO. “The countless achievements and contributions women have made in shaping this nation have been left out of the historical narrative and it’s beyond time to correct the record. We are committed to integrating women’s history into the American mainstream; and ensure that future generations will recognize the tremendous value women bring to society.”

NWHM’s mission is to educate, inspire, empower, and shape the future by integrating women’s distinctive history into the culture and history of the United States. A key element of advancing that mission is tobuild a world-class museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

 

For more information on NWHM or to become a member, please visit www.nwhm.org.

 

 

 

 

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 at mwilliams@nwhm.org or 703-461-1920.