Mission: The National Women's History Museum (NWHM), founded in 1996, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and celebrating the diverse historic contributions of women, and integrating this rich heritage fully into our nation's history. Until legislation passes in Congress designating a permanent museum in Washington, D.C., the NWHM promotes women's history through its temporary exhibits, special events, Cyber Museum, and online educational materials.
Programs: The nwhm held special events in washington and los angeles to make the public aware of its efforts for a national women's history museum and to raise money for the nwhm programs. These events brought together in excess of 750 individuals and thousands more were made aware of the need for the museum through publicity and social media. Also in partnership with george washington university, nwhm held four forums:-"game changers: american women & sports" - february 2014-"standing up for change: women & the civil rights movement" - march 2014-"new beginnings: immigrant women and the american experience" - october 2014-"breaking in: women & stem, then and now" - november 2014those attending the events were informed about some of the accomplishments of women in history and shared in the recognition of the achievements of several remarkable contemporary american women.
the building site program developed and implemented legislative advocacy in support of the nwhm's legislation (h. R. 863 and s. 398) to create a commission. Legislation passed congress and signed into law that will make recommendations of governance, operations, fundraising, and site location. The commission will be funded with private monies.
the nwhm website (www. Nwhm. Org) is its primary means of disseminating women's history to the general public and it routinely adds educational information gaining more than 3 million hits in 2014. Nwhm launched an online exhibit and other educational resources such as biographies, educational videos on women from history, videos from forum discussions and two on-line exhibits. The public is updated on a regular basis about progress in congress to secure a permanent building site and about upcoming events. A study to enhance the site was done to upgrade the website platform.
other programs included on-line exhibit planning and the quarterly newsletter which brings news of special events to the membership while also informing them of progress towards building a physical structure to house the museum.
I have been part of the NWHM team for about a year and a half now and find it a fast-paced, interesting, hard-working group of people. It helps that the staff and 50,000+ members share a passion for creating a National Women's History Museum on or near the national Mall asap. In fulfilling the Museum's mission, there are hundreds of on-line biographies and exhibits worth visiting. (www.nwhm.org)
For March-Women's History Month-we had numerous events, activities and an exhibit at the National Press Club on the role of the press for the 1913 Suffrage march.
Billie Jean King says it best: "how are you going to shape the future if you don't know the past?"
Professional with expertise in this field
It is no small task to build a national museum in Washington -- two male senators put a hold on this museum's legislation last session of Congress -- and that meant starting over again. But while the museum works to get a building site, it also gets women's history out into the public through its website (www.nwhm.org) that has a ton of information about the many ways women have helped to build our nation. There are online exhibits on a range of topics -- a recent one is on women entrepreneurs. I've heard teachers say how much they appreciate the website and its lesson plans because textbooks have very little about women in history.
As long as Congress is only 20% women, it may be a tough climb for this museum to get federal land but the more people know about this effort to honor our nation's women at the National Mall, the more likely it will happen.