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Actress Jane Fonda, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and attorney Gloria Allred are being inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. They are among 10 members of the Class of 2019, it was announced Friday.
The other honorees include: civil rights activist Angela Davis; Native American lawyer Sarah Deer; retired Air Force fighter pilot Nicole Malachowski; the late suffragist and cartoonist Rose O’Neill; New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, who died last year; composer Laurie Spiegel, and AIDS researcher Flossie Wong-Staal.
“We are pleased to add these American women to the ranks of inductees whose leadership and achievements have changed the course of American history,” said National Women’s Hall of Fame president Betty Bayer.
The formal induction ceremony will take place in September outside Seneca Falls, the upstate New York city considered the birthplace of women’s rights and where the hall is located.
The eight living and two deceased honorees will join 276 other women who have been inducted to date, including suffragists, sports and political figures, authors and entertainers. Those honored are nominated by the public and judged by a team of experts across the various fields.
More about this year’s class:
— Gloria Allred has represented women in numerous high-profile and celebrity cases, including several women currently accusing singer R. Kelly of sexual abuse. In more than 40 years in practice, she has been honored for her work on behalf of marriage equality, LGBTQ civil rights and against the exclusion of women from private clubs.
— Angela Davis has been politically active for decades, including as a member of the Black Panther Party, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Communist Party USA. More recently, she has been an outspoken supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
— Sarah Deer is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma and an activist for indigenous women. A lawyer and University of Kansas professor, her work on violence against Native American women has been recognized by the American Bar Association and the Department of Justice.
— Jane Fonda, an actress, author and political activist, has received Academy Awards, Golden Globes, a Primetime Emmy and the AFI Life Achievement Award. In 2018, she was the subject of the HBO documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts. Her anti-war activism in the 1970s stirs debate and demonstrators to this day. Fonda acknowledged making a “terrible mistake” by posing atop an anti-aircraft gun during a controversial 1972 visit to North Vietnam.
— Col. Nicole Malachowski was the first woman to fly for the Air Force’s elite Thunderbirds team. She went on to serve as an adviser to former first lady Michelle Obama and helped promote a social media campaign, #WomenVets, that showcased stories of women veterans.
— Rose O’Neill, who died in 1944, is the country’s first published female cartoonist. She is the creator of the cherubic comic strip characters, Kewpies, and the popular Kewpie dolls. O’Neill used her fame as a cartoonist in the early 1900s to campaign for women’s right to vote.
— Louise Slaughter, a Kentucky coal miner’s daughter, had represented her Western New York district for 31 years when she died at age 88. The Democrat championed a 2008 law intended to protect people with genetic predispositions to health conditions from facing discrimination from employers or health insurers. She also helped write the Violence Against Women Act and was the chief force behind a 2012 law to ban insider stock trading based on congressional knowledge.
— Sonia Sotomayor was nominated to the nation’s highest court by President Barack Obama in 2009. She is the third woman and the first Latina justice to serve on the Supreme Court. A graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, she has written several books, including the 2013 autobiography, My Beloved World.
— Laurie Spiegel’s electronic music compositions have been used in the Hunger Games movies, museums and appear on NASA’s “golden records,” shipped out on the Voyager spacecrafts to offer future listeners a taste of Earth’s life and culture. She is known for her pioneering work with early electronic and computer music systems.
— Flossie Wong-Staal was part of a team of scientists at the U.S. National Cancer Institute whose work was instrumental in proving HIV to be the cause of AIDS. She was named the top woman scientist of the 1980s by the Institute of Scientific Information.
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