U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, civil rights icon Angela Davis, actress Jane Fonda, and attorney Gloria Allred were among the 11 women inducted on Saturday into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
The inductees, all nominated by the public before being short-listed by a panel of experts based on their contributions in areas like art, government, and science, were honored at a ceremony at the hall in Seneca Falls, New York.
Induction chairwoman, Sujatha Ramanujan, told the AP that while the hall does not identify themes when calling for nominations, this year’s pool of nominees appeared to reflect the country’s sociopolitical mood.
“It shows up in the nominations because we ask the general public — and in a time when women feel like their voices need to be heard, they’re nominating women whose voices were loud,” Ramanujan said.
Speaking at the induction ceremony, Sotomayor, the first Latina justice on the country’s highest court, praised the “extraordinary” work of her fellow inductees.
“[My] co-honorees have touched so many people,” she said, according to WHAM-TV.
Accepting her award, Davis ― who has spent decades advocating for women’s and civil rights ― acknowledged the many other female leaders and activists who’d “enabled” her own activism and achievements.
“At each significant turning point in my life, when I was introduced to the world of progressive political activism, anti-racist prison abolition struggles, when I myself was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List and ended up spending two years in jail and on trial, when I became involved in many international solidarity efforts, intersectional feminist movements, I’ve always been one of many,” Davis said, according to AP.
“My own consciousness has been enabled always by shared endeavors and collective consciousness,” she added.
The Women’s Hall of Fame hosts induction ceremonies every two years. The other Class of 2019 honorees included:
- Sarah Deer, academic, lawyer and advocate
- Jane Fonda, actress and activist
- Nicole Malachwski, retired Air Force colonel and activist
- Laurie Spiegel, composer
- Diane von Furstenberg, fashion designer and philanthropist
- Flossie Wong-Staal, biologist
- Rose O’Neill, artist and activist (posthumous)
- Louise Slaughter, congresswoman (posthumous)