National Women’s History Museum Awards Event Engages, Inspires and Empowers Future Generations

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Contact: Chris Lisi 202-549-0696

clisi@nwhm.org

National Women’s History Museum Awards Event Engages, Inspires and Empowers Future Generations

Washington, D.C.—On May 16, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) hosted its Annual Women Making History Awards in Washington, D.C. at the Carnegie Institute for Science. The event commemorated the achievements of women, generated awareness of the importance of preserving women’s history, and highlighted the need for a national women’s history museum on the National Mall.

This year’s event honored former First Lady Laura Bush and featured a video tribute from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. NBC News’ Meet the Press Host Chuck Todd interviewed Mrs. Bush about the strength and power of women.

“I’m certain many of us can still remember that eye-opening moment—often much later than we should have—and we saw ourselves reflected back from the pages of our history books for the first time. That’s an experience every child should have,”said Secretary Clinton in her video introduction. “I look forward to the day when both my granddaughter and grandson can visit the National Women’s History Museum and come away feeling a little braver, walking a little taller, knowing they stand on the shoulders of generations of history makers and trailblazers.”

“It’s really important to have a museum that focuses on women because half of the population is left out from American History,”said former First Lady Laura Bush. “We need to figure out how we can encourage women to run for office—and to run for President.”

NWHM Board Chair Susan Whiting opened the night’s awards. “We were honored to celebrate with Mrs. Bush, our other honorees and continue to advocate for a national women’s history museum,”said Whiting. “We are the greatest nation in the world, with a story no other country can tell, but that story has missing pages. America’s history remains unfinished. It’s time to complete it.”

Award-winning journalist Cokie Roberts served as emcee, who introduced Sec. Clinton’s video and the night’s honorees. Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Ed Royce (R-CA), cosponsors of H.R. 19, the bill that would create the women’s history museum, also spoke at the event.

Rep. Maloney is a longtime advocate for a women’s museum, and said “When women succeed, America succeeds.”

“We all know there is a story that needs to be told to girls and boys,”said Rep. Royce. “A national museum that focuses on women’s history is the best way to tell that story.”

Event Honorees

The event honored a diverse group of accomplished women, and presented its Henry Blackwell Award, named after one of the founders of the Republican Party and American Woman Suffrage Association.

Honorees included:

Former First Lady Laura Bush

Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden (USMC, Retired), 12th NASA Administrator and Henry Blackwell Award recipient

Faye Laing, M.D., Pioneering Radiologist and Professor

Diane Rehm, Former NPR Host, The Diane Rehm Show

The Honorable Rosie Rios, 43rd Treasurer of the United States

Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught (USAF, Retired), Founding President, Women in Military Service for America Memorial

Through their professional endeavors, each of the women honored are outstanding examples of women’s accomplishments, and General Bolden’s unwavering support of women in STEM is an example for supporting women’s achievements.

The event was made possible by presenting sponsor Lifeway Foods (Nasdaq: LWAY).

“Supporting the women’s history museum isn’t just a box we check off for corporate social responsibility,”said NWHM Board Member and Lifeway Foods CEO Julie Smolyansky. “It’s in our very DNA.”Julie’s mother and father founded Lifeway Foods in 1986, and Julie became the youngest female CEO of a publicly held firm when she took over Lifeway Foods in 2002 at age 27. “My mother’s story is largely unknown, as is the story of so many women,”said Julie. “These stories are missing from business magazines, board rooms, history books, news stories, parliamentary halls and museums. The creation of a women’s history museum is an opportunity to start correcting those omissions.”

“Every day for the past 20 years our team has had a singular focus: to ensure that women’s contributions to our history and culture are incorporated into our nation’s narrative,”said NWHM President and CEO Joan Wages at the close of the event. “With the help of the people who joined us tonight, we can continue to focus on raising awareness about the need for a women’s history museum and advocating for the legislation needed to make it a reality. One that will be an enduring inspiration for future generations.”

Photos from the event on behalf of Getty Images: http://mm.gettyimages.com/mm/nicePath/gyipa_public?nav=pr526337987

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About the National Women’s History Museum

Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM, Inc.) is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the general public about the diverse historic contributions of women and raising awareness about the critical need for a national women’s history museum in our nation’s capital. Currently located online at www.nwhm.org, the Museum’s goal is to build a world-class, permanent museum on or near the National Mall that will herald and display the collective history of American women. A Congressional Commission has been established that is charged with producing a feasible plan, which would include the governance, fundraising, location and organizational structure of the museum. For additional information visit NWHM.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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