I joined Washingtonians in support of women’s history early this week at the Arena Stage by the Southwest Waterfront to honor standout females in science, technology, and law enforcement during the Women Making History Gala. Honorees included Dr. France Córdova, Director, National Science Foundation; Cathy Lanier, Chief of Police, Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department; and Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Director, Johnson Space Center. Previous NHWM Honorees have included poet Dr. Maya Angelou; photographer Annie Leibovitz; Yahoo president Marissa Mayer; broadcaster Cathy Hughes; robotics pioneer Helen Greiner; world renowned mezzo soprano Denyce Graves; breast cancer screening pioneer radiologist Dr. Etta D. Pisano; and American Tony Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad. Here’s a video that highlights of all previous honorees.
During the VIP reception, I had the pleasure of sharing a cocktail table with the evening’s first honoree, Dr. France Córdova. She was delightfully down to earth, and shared stories with me about her 11 (!) siblings. She attended Stamford for her undergrad, where she majored in English, but decided to chose a different career path shortly afterwards, pursuing and achieving an advanced degree in the sciences at Cal Tech. Her remarks upon receiving her award illustrated her natural artistic gifts, while her CV speaks volumes to her work in the sciences, particularly in her leadership roles in such a male-dominated field.
The National Women’s History Museum’s vision is to build a world-class museum at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The National Women’s History Museum currently raises awareness and honors women’s diverse experiences and achievements through its dynamic online museum, educational programs, scholarship and research. Once housed prominently among the other great museums of Washington, D.C., it will create better understanding and greater partnerships among men and women. The National Women’s History Museum will be the first museum in any nation’s capital to show the full scope of the history of its women and will serve as a guiding light to people everywhere.
The Museum researches, collects and exhibits the contributions of women to the social, cultural, economic and political life of our nation in a context of world history. The museum will use innovative and engaging means including permanent and online exhibits, educational programs, and outreach efforts to communicate the breadth of women’s experiences and accomplishments to the widest possible audience. The sharing of this knowledge will illuminate and encourage women and men, people of all classes, races and cultures to move into the future with respect, equal confidence, greater partnership, and opportunity.