Spring 2019 / Industry Profile

National Women’s Hall of Fame educates, plans expansion
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There’s no doubt about it: we’re in the midst of a paradigm shift where female empowerment is very noticeably on the rise.

The women’s movement is and has been an ongoing crusade in so many aspects of the world as we know it: voting rights, equal pay and equal employment opportunities among so many other issues.

In the mid-1800s, women’s rights discussions weren’t exactly commonplace. But in 1848, the first women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. There, an agenda for what would become the women’s rights movement was drawn. This two-day pivotal convention set in motion something colossal that we’re still watching unfold before our eyes.

Not only does the National Women’s Hall of Fame — located in the same 5-square-mile town as the momentous convention — aim to preservethese historical roots of our nation, but its more obvious job is to celebrate women who have, do and will continue to inspire people.

Seneca Falls is, for all intents and purposes, the birthplaceof the Women’s Rights Movement.

The establishment that celebrates the achievements of women is at a dynamic evolutionary place in history, as stated in the organization’s mission. And it’s within the Hall of Fame walls that you will find the likes of writers, activists, and pioneers in just about every industry. Women like one who has been in the news and all over pop culture lately; a cogin the women’s empowerment machine: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ginsburg has a Juris Doctor degree and multiple honorary Doctor of Laws degrees; has been named in Forbes Magazine’s list of 100 most powerful women; one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the year; one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people and is a resident inductee of the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She’s an advocate for gender equality and women’s rights and has been fighting on behalf of women since assuming office as a justice of the Supreme Court in 1993. Ginsburg, among others, is forever immortalizedin the Hall.

Natalie Munderville has a very important role as Education Coordinator for the National Women’s Hall of Fame. “Women’s achievements, today and throughout history, are often left out of textbooks — forgotten or cast aside,” she said. “The National Women’s Hall of Fame stands to challenge that reality. We document and display women’s incredible contributions to society, and women’s fascinating and adventure-filled biographies. Anyone who enters the Hall will be inspired by the magnificence and accomplishment of the women who line our walls.”

Her job is to bring these women and their success stories to the forefront.

There are currently 276 Inductees in the National Women’s Hall of Fame, with another 10-12 inducted every two years who are nominated by the general public. Each Induction cycle, the group at the Hall of Fame gathers all nominations and sends them to the panel of adjudicators selected for that specific induction cycle. The adjudication panel consists of living Inductees, as well as high-standing folks in their field. “Each adjudicator receives 5-10 nominees in their field of expertise to review,” said Munderville. “At the conclusion of this process, we compile all adjudication data and determine the 10-12 highest ranked women.” March is Women’s History Month. It’s also the month when the next set of inductees will be selected and announced.

In 2007, the Women’s Hall of Fame acquired the notable Seneca Falls Knitting Mill and launched a Homecoming campaign to move the organization to the new location. The plan is to relocate by 2020. “Once we finish the move, we will be in a four-story facility with a full research library, and rotating and permanent exhibits,” said Munderville. “Expansion is on the horizon and we could not be more excited to see what is to come”

 






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