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Feminism: The Second Wave

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Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) is an innovative museum dedicated to uncovering, interpreting, and celebrating women’s diverse contributions to society. A renowned leader in women’s history education, the Museum brings to life the countless untold stories of women throughout history, and serves as a space for all to inspire, experience, collaborate, and amplify women’s impact—past, present, and future. We strive to fundamentally change the way women and girls see their potential and power. NWHM fills in major omissions of women in history books and K-12 education, providing scholarly content and educational programming for teachers, students, and parents. We reach more than five million visitors each year through our online content and education programming and, in March 2023, mounted our first physical exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in downtown Washington, DC, "We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist DC."

Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history, she learns she is worth less.

Myra Pollack Sadker
Professor, Author, Researcher, and Activist

Explore More!

Did you know that NWHM records almost all of our virtual programs for on demand viewing? Watch a recording of a Sundays@Home conversation on the History of Black Feminism from March 2023 with Dr. Alison Parker, Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, and Dr. Anastasia Curwood. 

 

Watch the video here.

Featured Biographies for February

During the 1940s, artist and sculptor Selma Burke won a nationwide contest for the commission of a bronze relief portrait of President Franklin Roosevelt. Burke felt that photographs of Roosevelt were inadequate for her needs and requested a sitting with the President so she could sketch him. Roosevelt agreed and Burke sketched Roosevelt over two days in February 1944. Burke’s profile of Roosevelt is widely acknowledged as the basis for his image on the US dime. The dime’s image is officially attributed to US Mint Chief Engraver John Sinnock, but many, including Burke, claim that Sinnock borrowed from her depiction. 

Learn more about Black women in the arts throughout US history such as Burke, Bernice Johnson Reagon, and Laverne Cox in this month’s featured biographies. 

 

Use the NWHM’s compendium of online biographies to spark curiosity and dig deeper into women’s impact throughout our shared national history. Explore more here

 

If we want our girls to benefit from the courage and wisdom of the women before them, we have to share the stories.

Shireen Dodson

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Students and Educators

Discover our educational resources. Find lesson plans, biographies, posters, timelines, videos, and more on a wide variety of women's history topics. 

Museum News

Close-up image of Muse Award statue - woman wearing blue and gold dress with right hand on her face and left hand on her neck, set against a light gold background.

NWHM and Collaborative Partner Blue Telescope Named 2023 Gold Winner Recipient of the Muse Award for Experiential & Immersive Exhibition Experience for "Black Feminist DC"

The award, which recognizes technological innovation, follows in the Museum’s tradition of utilizing cutting-edge technology and creating digital experiences in the service of women’s history learning.
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Statement from Frédérique Irwin, President and CEO of the National Women’s History Museum, on the American Women Quarters Program and the 2025 Honorees

"As in previous years, the fourth and final year of this powerful program features five remarkable, barrier-breaking women whose vast contributions to our country have made a more equitable, inclusive, and just society."
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Calling All Kids (and their grownups)!

Join author Nancy Churnin on March 20 as she reads her 2019 picture book, Martin & Anne: The Kindred Spirits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank. Nancy will then answer young readers’ questions!

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Now Open at the MLK Library in Washington, DC!

NWHM's award-winning exhibition, We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist DC, traces Black feminism in Washington, DC from the turn of the 20th century through the civil rights and Black Power movements to today.

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Join Us

Join NWHM, the U.S. Mint, and DC Public Library on February 22 to celebrate Pauli Murray and the release of the 2024 Pauli Murray quarter, the 11th coin in the American Women Quarters™ Program.

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A History of Women's Access to Higher Education in the U.S.

Learn more about Title IX and the champions behind this seminal legislation that significantly expanded access to higher education.

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Upcoming Events

2024-02-22

Historic Change: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Reverend Doctor Pauli Murray

Celebrate the life and legacy of Reverend Doctor Pauli Murray and commemorate the release of the 2024 Pauli Murray quarter at the DC Public Library.
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2024-03-09

FITDC Herstory 5k

NWHM is proud to be an official partner of the FITDC Herstory 5k, the premier citywide celebration of women's history in Washington, DC.
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2024-03-20

Brave Girls Virtual Storytime: Martin & Anne with author Nancy Churnin

Calling all young readers and their grownups! Join author Nancy Churnin as she reads her 2019 picture book Martin & Anne: The Kindred Spirits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank. Nancy will then answer young readers’ questions!
READ MORE
2024-04-13

Bus Tour: Black Feminist DC

Explore the history of Black feminism in Washington, DC with National Coalition Partner A Tour of Her Own.
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