SENECA FALLS, New York, September 28, 2015 - On October 3, ten inspiring women will be inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, the birthplace of women's rights. These ten women will join the 256 great women already inducted into the Hall. The 2015 inductees include breast cancer advocate and pioneer Nancy Brinker and the youngest of the Little Rock Nine, civil rights advocate Carlotta Walls LaNier. Tickets are still available at www.womenofthehall.org .
To kick off Induction Weekend, The Hall, in partnership with the Smith Center for the Arts House in Geneva, NY, will be hosting a special preview showing of SUFFRAGETTE, followed by a discussion with the film's screenwriter, Abi Morgan, moderated by Chris Woodworth. Admission is free and tickets can be obtained by calling 315-781-5483 or online at thesmith.org .
Tenley Albright ( 1935 - ) - Diagnosed with polio at age 11 and told she might never walk again, Tenley Albright returned to the ice rink and at age 16, won a silver medal at the 1952 Olympics. In 1953, she became the first American woman to win a world figure skating championship and became the first winner of figure skating's triple crown. A gold medalist at the 1956 Olympics, Albright pursued a career in medicine. A successful surgeon and leader in blood plasma research, Albright was the first woman to serve as an officer on the U.S. Olympic Committee and was named one of the "100 Greatest Female Athletes" by Sports Illustrated.
Nancy Brinker ( 1946 - ) - In 1982, with a promise to her dying sister, Nancy Brinker launched the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation ( changed to Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 2007 ). Since its inception, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure has raised over $2 billion for research, education, and health services, making it the largest breast cancer charity in the world. Along the way, Brinker pioneered the concept of cause-related marketing and established the color pink as the iconic representation for breast cancer. Almost 300 global and national companies are Komen sponsors, providing funding to fulfill the organization's promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever.
Martha Graham ( 1894 - 1991 ) - Martha Graham's impact on dance was staggering and often compared to that of Picasso's on painting, Stravinsky's on music, and Frank Lloyd Wright's on architecture. Her contributions transformed the art form, revitalizing and expanding dance around the world. She created the Martha Graham Dance Company, one of the oldest dance troupes in America. As a teacher, Graham trained and inspired generations of fine dancers and choreographers. Graham technique, now a standard, codified method of training dancers, developed from the movement vocabulary she created for each new work. Graham introduced the use of moving scenery, used props as symbols, and combined speech with dancing - creating a whole new language of dance. She was also the first to integrate her group, using African Americans and Asians in her regular company.
Marcia Greenberger ( 1946 - ) - Marcia Greenberger's work has affected virtually every major law of importance to women and girls in the U.S. for more than 40 years. A sampling of these laws include the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act ( 1978 ), the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. After serving as the first female lawyer at Caplin and Drysdale, in 1972, she founded what today is called the National Women's Law Center. This established her as the first full-time women's rights legal advocate in Washington, DC. She is a leader in securing the passage of major legislation, counsel in landmark litigation establishing new legal protections for women, and the author of numerous published articles. Her work has culminated in U.S. Supreme Court victories strengthening protections for students and teachers against sex discrimination in schools and in the workplace and beyond and she frequently testifies before Congress.
Barbara Iglewski ( 1938 - ) - Dr. Barbara Iglewski's landmark discovery, that pathogenic bacteria communicate with each other via a system known as "quorum sensing," showed how this system is a global regulator of virulence in humans. Her work served as the foundation for an entire field of study into how this system works across the various types of bacteria. Several drugs that interrupt the bacterial communication process, thereby preventing infections, have been developed based on her work. Iglewski's work demonstrated how the pathogenic bacteria damages the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis and has had an enormous impact nationally and globally. In addition, she has studied the biofilms that bacteria make that cause intractable problems both in the body and in clinical and industrial pipes. She holds seven patents, is a prolific writer and editor, and a strong advocate and mentor for women in the sciences.
Jean Kilbourne ( 1943 - ) - Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. In the 1960s, she began her exploration of the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women and eating disorders. Kilbourne launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems - a radical and original idea at the time that is today mainstream and an integral part of most prevention programs. She has transformed the way in which organizations and educational institutions around the world address the prevention of many public health problems including smoking, high-risk drinking, eating disorders, obesity, the sexualization of children, and violence against women.
Carlotta Walls LaNier ( 1942 - ) - In 1957, at age 14, Carlotta Walls became the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine; nine African-American students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Inspired by Rosa Parks and determined to get the best education possible, she enrolled in Central High School. Anger and violent behavior threatened their safety and motivated President Dwight D. Eisenhower to dispatch the Army's 101st Airborne Division to protect their constitutional rights. Escorted to classes by armed guards, Walls and every other Little Rock student were barred from attending Central the next year when all four Little Rock high schools were closed. A 1960 graduate of Little Rock Central High School, LaNier has been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
Philippa Marrack ( 1945 - ) - Philippa "Pippa" Marrack is one of the world's leading research scientists investigating T-cells, the family of cells that help the body fight off disease. Her work has led to a greater understanding of their role in the immune system, and has impacted the health of people across the world. Her findings shape medicine's current understanding of the human immune system, vaccines, HIV, and other immune disorders.
Mary Harriman Rumsey ( 1881 - 1934 ) - The founder of The Junior League, Mary Harriman Rumsey's initial organization was a group of 80 debutantes in 1901. The Junior League was established to unite interested young women of means in joining the Settlement Movement in New York City. Rumsey and the League's leaders brought together experts on the Settlement Movement to provide lectures and instruction to Junior League members. Today, The Junior League is one of the oldest, largest, and most effective women's volunteer organizations in the world, encompassing more than 150,000 women in 292 Leagues in four countries.
Eleanor Smeal ( 1939 - ) - The Founder of The Feminist Majority, Feminist of the Year Awards, a former president of the National Organization for Women, and publisher of Ms. Magazine, Eleanor Smeal's life and work has been dedicated to the achievement of women's equality and human rights. Known as a political analyst, strategist, and grassroots organizer, Smeal has played a pivotal role in defining the debate, developing the strategies, and charting the direction of the modern day women's movement. She was the first to identify the "gender gap" - the difference in the way women and men vote - and popularized its usage in election and polling analyses to enhance women's voting clout. She has been at the forefront of almost every major women's rights victory and pivotal in the passage of landmark legislation for women's equality. She has pushed to make Social Security and pensions more equitable for women, has campaigned to close the wage gap and she has worked to achieve pay equity for the vast majority of women who are segregated in low-paying jobs
About the National Women's Hall of Fame
The Hall is the nation's oldest membership organization dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the achievements of great American women. It was created in 1969 in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American Women's Rights Movement, by a group of local women and men who believed that contributions of American women deserved a permanent home in the small village where the fight for women's rights began. The Hall, a 501( c )( 3 ), not-for-profit organization, is located in the Seneca Falls Historic District in downtown Seneca Falls, NY.
The Hall seeks to enhance the public's understanding of American history and culture by showcasing and preserving the stories of pioneering American women whose achievements have enduring value, are of national importance, and have significance both in our country and the world. Rehabilitation of the Seneca Knitting Mill will transform the property into the Center for Great Women, a state-of-the-art facility that will become a vibrant educational venue where visitors, scholars, tourists and the community can discover inspiration in the history of women's struggles.
For more information about the Hall, its Inductees, and how to support its work, visit womenofthehall.org .