The honors keep coming for Michelle Obama. In addition to her best-selling memoir Becoming and being named Gallup poll’s “most admired woman” in America for three straight years (2018, 2019 and 2020), Obama is now being inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame as part of the 2021 class of honorees.
According to Justine Coleman of The Hill, “the organization celebrated Obama as ‘one of the most influential and iconic women of the 21st century’ through her work as the first Black person to serve as first lady and her ambitions afterward.”
In their announcement of the honor, the National Women’s Hall of Fame wrote, “Both in and out of the White House, Michelle Obama has accomplished her initiatives and so much more — becoming an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, international adolescent girls’ education, and serving as a role model for women and young girls everywhere.”
Other nominees for the 2021 class include soccer star Mia Hamm; former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo (a 2020 DiversityInc noteworthy company), Indra Nooyi; retired Brig. Gen. Rebecca Halstead; NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson; renowned science fiction author Octavia Butler; Native American artist Joy Harjo; abolitionist Emily Howland; and artist Judy Chicago.
Created in 1969 in Seneca Falls — home of the first Women’s Rights Convention, where the struggle for women’s rights began — the National Women’s Hall of Fame was designed to offer a permanent place of recognition for the “long, hard fight” and notable contributions from women in all fields to the ongoing battle for women’s equality.
The National Women’s Hall of Fame inducts a new class every two years. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, organizers are monitoring whether the 2021 event can take place in-person, delaying potential ticket sales until April or May “when there is a better understanding of safety protocols.” Whether it’s completely virtual or partially in-person, this year’s ceremony will be livestreamed for free on Saturday, Oct. 2.