NWHM’s de Pizan Honors Covered by “The Hill”

October 11th, 2013

Former President Johnson’s daughter: ‘I swore I would never marry a politician’

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/328035-former-president-johnsons-daughter-i-swore-i-would-never-marry-a-politician#ixzz2hRY9J2XF
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By Patrick Mortiere – 10/11/13 12:46 PM ET

After growing up with a president for a dad, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb wanted to make sure she would tie the knot with a decidedly non-political mate. But things don’t always go quite as planned.

“When I married this young man, I swore I would never marry a politician. And I married him for better or for worse, and that’s what I got,” the daughter of the late President Johnson told The Hill with a smile Wednesday at the National Women’s History Museum’s (NWHM) de Pizan Honors in downtown Washington.

It’s now been nearly half a century since the one-time first daughter took the plunge with former governor and Sen. Charles Robb (D-Va.). “Well, 46 years. I never thought I would be in politics again, and it wasn’t my choice, but I chose the man,” Johnson Robb, 69, said as her longtime hubby stood beside her.

Johnson Robb was on-hand at the NWHM’s third annual awards gala to honor “The Cosby Show” actress Phylicia Rashad, singer Denyce Graves and radiologist Dr. Etta Pisano.

The NWHM has spent years pushing Congress to create a commission to designate a permanent home on the National Mall for its efforts.

While the VIP crowd gathered for the swank awards ceremony, the partial government shutdown wasn’t far from many attendees’ minds.

When asked how it felt to be back in Washington under the unusual circumstances, Rashad, a Howard University graduate replied, “It’s shut down. People are the same, you know? The people are the same.”

Photos: (top) Former Sen. Chuck Robb, Denyce Graves and her daughter, Ella Thomas-Montgomery, and Lynda Bird Johnson Robb; (below) Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Phylicia Rashad / Courtesy of Neshan H. Naltchayan

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/328035-former-president-johnsons-daughter-i-swore-i-would-never-marry-a-politician#ixzz2hRRBFD5w
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Happy International Day of the Girl from NWHM!

October 11th, 2013

A Night of Celebration and Inspiration at NWHM’s 3rd Annual de Pizan Honors

October 10th, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

Honorees Denyce Graves, Dr. Etta Pisano & Phylicia Rashad with Joan Wages

History merged with the present on the evening of Oct. 9th, as NWHM and guests celebrated the tremendous achievements of its 2013 de Pizan Honorees Phylicia Rashad, Dr. Etta Pisano, Denyce Graves, and Ken Burns, as well as the legacies of Lena Horne, Dr. Helen Taussig and Marian Anderson. Over 200 guests filled the Fischandler auditorium at  Arena Stage in Washington, DC, where they took part in an eye-opening experience that celebrated American women who have enriched the fabric of our nation through their life’s work. Phylicia Rashad was the recipient of the Lena Horne Living Legacy Award, Dr. Etta Pisano won the Dr. Helen Taussig Living Legacy Award, Denyce Graves received the Marian Anderson Living Legacy Award and Ken Burns won the Henry Blackwell Award. Comedy duo Frangela made their third appearance as the program’s emcees and kept the audience in stitches.

A major highlight of the evening were the heart-felt and stirring acceptance speeches given by each honoree. Each spoke to value and importance of honoring and telling the rich and diverse stories of the women who built this nation. They also reflected on inspirational women in their own lives.

Frangela keeps the audience in stitches!

“Too often, women’s history is marginalized as a separate, politically correct, addendum to American history,” said Ken Burns. “Marian Anderson’s voice was so powerful that music just happened to be the vehicle thru which we knew her,” noted Denyce Graves.  “Women in STEM find it too hard to succeed…I’ll work hard to change what’s possible for women and girls in science,” declared Dr. Pisano. “Where the women go, the culture goes, and it’s important to commemorate the contributions women make each day,” said Phylicia Rashad.

Prior to the program the Museum held a silent auction with a number of exciting prizes including a series of hand-crafted hats designed by Laura Spears, a recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin’s MFA program in design and technology, a Washington Redskins package, an Ultimate National’s Baseball fan package, a weekend in Miami and Broadway in New York City, among other prizes. Frangela announced the lucky winners at the end of the show.

Guests also enjoyed a beautiful reception  with an eclectic and delicious menu that included, grilled chicken, roast beef, snapper, macaroons, fruit, cheese and much more.

NWHM would like to thank all who were able to attend the show and to give a special thanks to the event’s honorary co-chairs, Senator Elizabeth Dole and Mrs. Lyda Bird Johnson Robb. We’d also like to thank our all of our sponsors.

Please check our Facebook page for an upcoming album with lots of fun photos from the evening!

NWHM’s “de Pizan Honors” Covered by The GEORGETOWNER

October 10th, 2013

Check out this wonderful article about NWHM de Pizan Honors last night in The GEORGETOWNER.

Women’s History Museum: Reclaiming Missing Half of the Story

In many ways, even though there is still no such thing as an actual, physical place called the National Women’s History Museum, it’s been something of a banner year for NWHM supporters, who number in the hundreds of thousands.

You could see it in the spring when legislation to create a federal commission to determine the feasibility of constructing a National Women’s History Museum was introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, introducing a companion bill in the Senate. The hope is through successful lobbying for the legislation and private funding that a museum will rise and come to fruition hopefully within five to seven years, and that women would be the principal designers and architects.

You could see it in May, when Joan Bradley Wages, president and CEO of the National Women’s History Museum, and Steven Knapp, president of the George Washington University, signed a memorandum of agreement to collaborate on public programs that will engage the local community on topics of historical relevance to women, called “Initiating Change/Adapting to Change.” The first program took place Oct. 2 with a lecture focusing on the hot topic issue of women in the military, a forum on “A New Order: Change for Women in the U.S. Military,” with Leisa Meyer of the College of William and Mary and retired USAF Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, president of the board of directors of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, Inc., moderated by journalist and columnist Eleanor Clift.

An even more vivid manifestation of the identity and effectiveness of the NWHM will take place Wednesday, Oct. 9, with the Third Annual NWH’s presentation of its 2013 Living Legacy Awards, the de Pizan Honors ceremony at the Mead Center for American Theatre at Arena Stage. The event and gala, chaired by former Senator and past president of the Red Cross Elizabeth Hanford Dole, a former de Pizan recipient, and former Virginia First Lady Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, daughter of President Lyndon Johnson. Read the rest of this entry »

#ThrowbackThursday: Post-de Pizan 2013 Edition

October 10th, 2013

By Elissa Blattman: Project Assistant

Yesterday we held our 3rd annual de Pizan Honors!  The event went really well and was a blast!  A special thanks goes out to those of you who attended.  We’re still in the de Pizan mood here at the Museum, so this week’s Throwback Thursday post is all about our honorees.  Below you can find the list of this year’s honorees and the awards they were given, as well as some of our favorite clips that show off their work!

Denyce Graves - Marian Anderson Living Legacy Award
Dr. Etta Pisano - Dr. Helen Taussig Living Legacy Award
Phylicia Rashad - Lena Horne Living Legacy Award
Ken Burns - Henry Blackwell Award

Marian Anderson

Denyce Graves

Read the rest of this entry »

“Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection”

October 8th, 2013

The Washington Post recently published a Q&A with Barnard College President Debora L. Spar, whose new book adds another voice to the recently reinvigorated conversation about the current state of feminist struggles. In the book, Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection, Spar suggests that the hard-fought feminist battles from the 1960s and 1970s, which yielded significant freedoms, have also transformed into impossible expectations for women today. “For the first time,” Spar argues, “[women] could go out and be journalists, astrophysicists, anything they wanted. But while we were adding these new expectations, we never got rid of the old ones.” Spar proposes that this new mythology of what a woman should be (that is, “beautiful, smart, economically independent, loving mothers, sexy wives and PTA presidents, all while keeping gracious homes and making nutritious, organic meals every night”) is unrealistic, and attempts to conquer this unattainable goal have left women overwhelmed, feeling inadequate, and with a deep sense of guilt. Spar attempts to counteract such unreasonable expectations by sharing her own messy life stories and urging her readers to learn to “satisfice”—or, realize that you may not always be able to get exactly what you want in every part of your life.

“de Pizan” Memory Lane: 2011 & 2012

October 8th, 2013

The 2013 de Pizan Honors is just one day away! As we continue to countdown to the event, we thought it would be fun to take a stroll down memory lane with a look at past de Pizan Honors.

Do you remember Dr. Maya Angelou’s poignant acceptance speech last year? She won the Gwendolyn Brooks Living Legacy Award:

Watch 2012 Dorothea Lange Living Legacy Award Winner, Annie Leibovitz, reflect on the importance of women’s history:

Check out these photos of 2012 Honorees,Richard Rhodes(Henry Blackwell Award), Elizabeth Dole (Clara Barton Living Legacy Award),

Annie Leibovitz and NWHM President & CEO, Joan Wages

2011 & 2012 de Pizan Honors Emcees: Frangela

2011 Ida B. Wells Living Legacy Award Winner Cathy Hughes

2011 Admiral Grace Hopper Living Legacy Award Winner Helen Griener

2011 Hedy Lamarr Living Legacy Award Winner Marissa Mayer

Don’t forget to purchase your tickets for the 2013 de Pizan Honors if you haven’t yet!

Countdown to the 2013 “de Pizan” Honors: Who was Chistine de Pizan?

October 7th, 2013

NWHM’s 3rd annual de Pizan Honors is just two days away! On Wednesday, Oct. 9th we will be honoring Dr. Etta Pisano, Phylicia Rashad, The Honorable Sally Jewell and Denyce Graves for their remarkable contributions to the world. We’ll also be posthumously honoring Dr. Helen Taussig, Lena Horne, Rachel Carson and Marian Anderson. While many people have heard of some or all of these honorees, many people have never heard of Christine de Pizan, the brilliant woman for which the de Pizan Honors is named after.

So, just who was Christine de Pizan and why did we feel she was so important that we named an award after her?

Christine de Pizan had a very unusual upbringing for a girl living in 14th century Italy. She was born to a prominent family in Italy circa 1364 and moved to Paris as a child where she received a good education thanks to her father. She married at the age of fifteen but was a widow at twenty-five. Christine wrote poetry after the death of her husband in 1389 as a way to support her three children.

Her transition from courtly poetry to more serious subjects was evident in The Letter of Othea the Goddess that highlights the legacies of wise women from history and myth and begins to develop the theme of the intrinsic worth of women. She devoted most of her life to rigorous study, and is considered the first professional woman writer in Europe, as well as the first woman publisher and the first woman of letters in France.

Her most famous work was also her most eloquent defense of women, A Book of the City of Ladies, in 1405. Christine challenged the prevailing misogynist arguments of the day among men that women were inferior. She also argued for equal education of women and that they are capable of learning law and science and should become warriors, artists, inventors and teachers.

The date and place of Christine’s death is not known but it is believed to be in 1430 or 1431. She is included in two important books about French women authors published in 1786 and 1838, and she continues to fascinate readers and scholars in the twenty-first century.

Christine is revered as the first woman to write about Western women’s history. The National Women’s History Museum is dedicated to continuing Christine de Pizan’s work of documenting women’s history and we are proud to present the Honors in her name.

If you haven’t purchased your tickets for the 2013 de Pizan Honors yet, there’s still time!

Click here to purchase your tickets.

NWHM Featured in The Washington Post

October 7th, 2013

Check out this Washington Post article about NWHM published on October 4th.

The first official act in what became the National Women’s History Museum was to help get the statue of suffragettes Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony moved from the Capitol crypt to the Capitol Rotunda in 1997.

Some of those involved in that effort decided to try to secure a permanent place for women’s history on the Mall. The National Women’s History Museum was incorporated in 1997 “with the mission to bring women’s history back to our mainstream,” says Joan Wages, a founding board member and president of the National Women’s History Museum since 2007. That effort is nearly 20 years old. Legislation to study the museum’s feasibility has never passed both houses of Congress. Wages says supporters are still advocating, raising money and spreading the word.


In the past decade, bills to study the feasibility of the National Women’s History Museum have passed the House and the Senate, but never in the same session. Measures to establish a privately funded congressional commission to explore possible museum sites were introduced to the House and the Senate in February. Seventeen of the 20 women in the Senate co-sponsored the bill.


Wages won’t give exact figures on how much has been raised. The commission to study the museum’s feasibility is expected to cost $1 million. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is set to open on the Mall in 2015, is costing an estimated $500 million, but “they are a bigger museum than what we’ve anticipated. We’re hoping we could do it for $400 million,” Wages says. They won’t have a good estimate until they identify the possible land, or an existing building. There are more than 50,000 museum members across the country, but “the really big gifts will not come until we have the site. Until there’s bricks and mortar, or solid ground that we can point to,” Wages says.


Upcoming lectures in partnership with George Washington University include women in the military Nov. 12 and women in sports in February. An Oct. 9 fundraising gala will honor opera singer Denyce Graves, actress Phylicia Rashad, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and Etta Pisano, a pioneer in radiology and breast imaging.

Click here for the original Washington Post article.

#FoodieFriday: Cooking with Alice Waters

October 4th, 2013

This week’s #FoodieFriday gives us a front row seat for a cooking lesson with famed chef and owner of Chez Panisse, Alice Waters. Bon Apetite!