The National Women’s History Museum Announces the Return of Its “Women Making History Awards” on March 31st with Viola Davis and Meryl Streep Serving as Honorary Co-Chairs

For Immediate Release


Following the launch of the museum’s first interactive in-person exhibit, the gala will honor Uma Thurman, Ashley Graham, Sharon Stone, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Willie Pearl Mackey King for their extensive work in women’s activism and civil rights

Washington, D.C (03/28/23) – On March 31st, the National Women’s History Museum will host its 12th annual Women Making History Awards at The Schuyler at the Hamilton Hotel in Washington, DC, with Viola Davis and Meryl Streep serving as honorary co-chairs.

The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) began its awards program to honor trailblazing women who have made—and continue to make history—through their achievements and contributions to our nation. This year’s honorees include:

  • Uma Thurman, Critically acclaimed actress, activist, and philanthropist (Room to Grow)
  • Sharon Stone, Internationally recognized actress, producer, humanitarian and New York Times bestselling author 
  • Ashley Graham, Supermodel, Designer, and Activist
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s longest congressional representative
  • Willie Pearl Mackey King, Civil Rights Activist who worked for and transcribed Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous Letter from Birmingham Jail

The ceremony celebrates, amplifies, and uplifts the stories and voices of women, past and present, and galvanizes support to ensure women’s history is embedded in the fabric of our national narrative and is accessible and available to all. This year’s programming will feature performances by Broadway actresses Laura Bell Bundy and Shayna Steele, and remarks by trailblazing women, including NWHM Board Chair Susan Whiting and Karen Horne Senior Vice President of DEI, North America at Warner Bros. Discovery.

“We are thrilled to honor these remarkable women at this year’s ‘Women Making History Awards,”’ says Cheri Kaufman, Gala Chair & New York Chair of NWHM. "Their stories are deeply inspiring and the contributions that they have made to American history deserve to be praised and celebrated."

Prior to the gala, the virtual museum will debut its first in-person exhibition of this magnitude. Curated by historians Sherie M. Randolph and Kendra T. Field, the exhibition highlights the stories and voices of Black feminist organizers and theorists whose work changed the trajectory for the lives of millions including – Anna Julia Cooper, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mary Treadwell, and Nkenge Touré. Oprah Winfrey will introduce an interactive component of the exhibit via video message. The We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist DC exhibit will live at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in DC and will be open and free to the public from March 30, 2023 - September 2024. 

“The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is an inspiring venue to exhibit dynamic cultural content, contextualize the importance of community, and offer the unique opportunity to experience women’s history up close and personal,” said Susan Whiting, Board Chair, NWHM. “Our inaugural exhibit at the MLK LIbrary explores the stories and voices of Black feminist organizers and theorists whose work changed the trajectory for the lives of millions—work that continues today."

For more information on the organization, exhibit, and gala, please visit

We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist DC Sponsors 

AARP Foundation, ArentFox Schiff, Chicago Pacific Founders, Dr. Nancy O’Reilly, 

Jon S. and Kerrie Bouker, Kaiser Permanente, Mari Snyder Johnson, Mary Tolan, Meryl Streep, Silver Mountain Foundation for the Arts, Morgan Stanley, Women Connect4Good Foundation, Susan D. Whiting

Women Making History Award Host Committee

Laura Bell Bundy, Sharon Bush, Cathleen Civale Fisher, Ann Dexter-Jones, Donna Karan, Eleanora Kennedy, Sandra Lee, Dr. Ainsley MacLean, Stephanie Mineo, Lee Murphy, Kara Ross, Donna Woolf, Cheri Kaufman

Women Making History Award 2023 Sponsors

The Women Making History Awards Gala is made possible by the generous support of the following: AARP Foundation, Alliant Energy, Burke Foundation, Cheri Kaufman, Husch Blackwell, Kemper Corporation, Max Mara, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, Nielsen, Northern Trust, Paramount, Urban Zen, Warner Bros. Discovery.

Media Contacts:

Kaitlyn Holohan, [email protected]
Sarah Corn, [email protected]

About the National Women's History Museum
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.

The 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 four 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. The Museum is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and visit us at