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Serena Williams and Ruby Bridges to Join National Women’s Hall of Fame

by Sophia Chen
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Women's Hall of Fame Induction

The National Women’s Hall of Fame announced on Thursday that Serena Williams and Ruby Bridges are set to be inducted next year, joining the ranks of other illustrious women during the Women’s History Month celebrations in March.

This 2024 inductee group, according to the Hall of Fame, comprises individuals who have transcended barriers, defied conventional norms, and made a significant mark on history.

Previously in the spring, the Hall of Fame had disclosed eight other inductees. Adjustments in the ceremony’s timing and location enabled the inclusion of Williams and Bridges, as per a hall representative.

Serena Williams, aged 42, is celebrated for her 23 Grand Slam tennis titles and her record as the longest-standing No. 1 player. She concluded her tennis career last year and recently made history as the first athlete to receive the Fashion Icon award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Ruby Bridges, now 69, was a pivotal figure in the desegregation of schools in New Orleans, being one of the first African American students in 1960 at the age of six. Her story was immortalized in 1963 by Norman Rockwell in his painting, “The Problem We All Live With.” Bridges founded the Ruby Bridges Foundation 24 years ago, focusing on fostering tolerance and change through educational means.

Immediate comments from Williams and Bridges were not available.

The inductee list also includes Peggy McIntosh, 88, recognized for her work on privilege; Kimberlé Crenshaw, 63, a pivotal figure in the development of critical race theory; and Judith Plaskow, 76, who is celebrated as the first Jewish feminist theologian.

Additionally, the induction will recognize Loretta Ross, 69, founder of the National Center for Human Rights Education; and Allucquére Rosanne “Sandy” Stone, a transgender studies pioneer born in 1936.

The Hall of Fame will also posthumously honor Dr. Patricia Bath, an innovator in laser cataract surgery; Dr. Anna Wessels Williams, known for her work on diphtheria; and Elouise Pepion Cobell, or “Yellow Bird Woman,” a trailblazer in indigenous banking.

Marking a first, the induction ceremony will be nationally televised during prime time from New York City. Previous ceremonies were held near Seneca Falls, New York, the birthplace of the Women’s Rights Movement and the site of the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Jennifer Gabriel, the Hall of Fame’s chief executive, remarked, “The inductees of 2024 are a diverse group of scientists, activists, performers, and athletes. They are today’s pioneers and tomorrow’s inspiration for women, recognized for their commitment, ambition, and abilities. We are excited to celebrate their achievements on a national platform.”

Nominations for the Hall of Fame are open to the public, with an expert committee responsible for the selection process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about National Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees

Who are the new inductees to the National Women’s Hall of Fame?

Serena Williams, a celebrated tennis player and fashion icon, and Ruby Bridges, a civil rights pioneer and education advocate, will be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2024. These two notable figures join other distinguished women who have significantly contributed to various fields.

What achievements are Serena Williams and Ruby Bridges known for?

Serena Williams is renowned for her 23 Grand Slam tennis titles and being the longest-standing No. 1 player in tennis. She has also been recognized in the fashion industry. Ruby Bridges is celebrated for her role in desegregating schools in New Orleans as a child and later established the Ruby Bridges Foundation to promote tolerance through education.

When and where will the National Women’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony take place?

The induction ceremony is scheduled to be broadcast nationally in prime time from New York City for the first time, marking a departure from the previous ceremonies held near Seneca Falls, New York. The event will take place during Women’s History Month in March 2024.

What is the significance of the National Women’s Hall of Fame induction?

The induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame is a prestigious honor recognizing women who have broken barriers, challenged the status quo, and significantly impacted history in various fields such as science, activism, the arts, and sports.

How are nominees for the National Women’s Hall of Fame chosen?

Nominees for the National Women’s Hall of Fame are selected based on public nominations. These nominations are then reviewed and chosen by an expert selection committee, ensuring a diverse and impactful representation of women’s contributions across different sectors.

More about National Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees

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