Tuesday, March 21, 2023, 12:00-1:30 pm via Zoom
March is Women’s History Month and Washington, DC is fortunate to host two National Women’s History Museums and a variety of sites related to women. In our CWI March 2021 meeting we heard about and discussed the two museums. See the April 2021 CWI newsletter for a summary of this meeting. A video of this 2021 CWI meeting is available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6G1iIj6GPs.
In 2021 Julissa Marenco, Assistant Secretary Communications and External Affairs and Chief Marketing Officer for the Smithsonian, shared an early-stage update for the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. We are delighted that she is now rejoining us to give an update on progress to date. Jennifer Herrera, Vice President of External Affairs, National Women’s History Museum (NWHM), helped arrange for the then director and the Board Chair of the virtual NWHM to describe their activities. Jennifer Herrera will join us on 3-21-23 to share information on their opening of an in person exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington DC at the end of this March. Finally, Holly T. Joseph, CWI’s Treasurer and long-time feminist activist will share her research on women’s historical sites to visit in the DC area.
Update on Plans for the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum (womenshistory.si.edu), by Julissa Marenco. In the 2021 CWI meeting, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney and Wendy Pangburn, Executive Director of the American Museum of Women’s History Congressional Commission described Congressional actions since 2014 to create a Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. These actions culminated in passing H.R. 1980 in the 116 th Congress which was included in the bipartisan and bicameral omnibus spending package which became law Dec. 27, 2020. Julissa described the ongoing Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative and the appointment of Lisa Sasaki as the Museum’s interim director. Julissa will give an update on the site selection process. Her presentation will be followed by questions from the meeting participants since she needs to leave early. Lisa Sasaki the interim Museum director is unable to join us since she has been scheduled for another meeting in Detroit.
Update on the National Women’s History Museum (womenshistory.org) and its New DC In-person Exhibit and Future Plans by Jennifer Herrera. NWHM was incorporated in 1996. It is privately funded and mostly virtual. In the 2021 CWI meeting, they shared how they supported federal legislation for a women’s history museum and even contributed significant and instrumental funding to the Congressional Commission. They also discussed remodeling their extensive website and plans to host physical exhibits. Jennifer Herrera will discuss the Museum’s next chapter and how they plan to bring women’s history to communities across the country. Further, Jennifer will share information and extend an invitation to visit NWHM’s new exhibition, “We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist DC” at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, opening on March 30, 2023. The Library is located at 901 G St NW, near the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Gallery Place – Chinatown Metro. Finally, Jennifer will discuss other news about the Museum and share information on upcoming events and resources.
Women’s History Sites to Visit in the DC Area by Holly T. Joseph For Women’s History Month, CWI is studying institutions and smaller sites to pursue this exciting subject. There are many we know – starting with the Capitol and Alice Paul’s DC residence, now named the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, and perhaps some we don’t know. Holly hopes you’ll find abundant opportunities for visits in her presentation and for reflection on the topic of women in history – at a point in history that we hope is the end of the historic pandemic.