The National Women’s Hall of Fame will induct 12 women in a ceremony at Seneca Falls, New York tomorrow. Among these women is Patsy Mink, the first Asian-American Congresswoman in the history of the US and a champion of women and girls, who passed away last year. Mink was co-author of Title IX, the landmark legislation that prohibits discrimination against women and girls in federally funded education. “Patsy Mink was a champion – a true friend of the women’s, civil rights and social justice movements,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “I can close my eyes and hear her booming voice, her clear vision. She has left an indelible mark on the women’s movement. The millions of young women who have benefited from Title IX will have better lives because of her vision and inspiration. This is her true memorial.”
Another champion of Title IX will also be inducted this year: Donna de Varona, a swimmer who won two gold medals at the Olympics, set 18 world records, and became an advocate for women and girls in athletics as the first president of the Women’s Sports Foundation. De Varona was also one of the few supporters of Title IX placed on a commission to study its impact, where she, along with Julie Foudy, a member of the US soccer team, fought to protect Title IX.
Other women to be inducted tomorrow include Sacagawea, Shoshone guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition; Dorothea Lange, a pioneer in documentary photography; Stephanie Kwolek, a scientist who discovered the fiber that led to the development of Kevlar; and Sheila Widnall, the first woman appointed Secretary of the Air Force, in 1993.