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Michelle Obama to be inducted into National Women's Hall of Fame

Posted at 7:52 AM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 09:52:38-05

Former first lady Michelle Obama will be inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame (NWHF), the organization announced on Monday, International Women's Day. She will join several other inductees who will be honored with a ceremony in October.

"Advocate, author, lawyer, and 44th First Lady of the United States—the first Black person to serve in the role—Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most influential and iconic women of the 21st century," NWHF said in a press release about the 2021 inductees.

NWHF praised Obama for creating the several programs as first lady, including the Let's Move! program that focused on ending childhood obesity, the Joining Forces organization for veterans, which she lead with current first lady Dr. Jill Biden and Let Girls Learn, which supported girls' education around the world.

"During her eight years as First Lady, Michelle Obama she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, transforming the White House into the 'People's House,'" NWHF said. "Since leaving the White House, she has continued to have a profound public impact."

Obama released a best-selling personal memoir, "Becoming," in 2018, for which she won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album. She has also launched The Michelle Obama Podcast, and with her husband, former President Barack Obama, created Higher Ground Productions.

"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," NWHF said.

Other 2021 inductees include Rebecca "Becky" Halstead, the first female in American history to command in combat at the strategic level, and poet, musician, playwright, painter and author Joy Harjo. In 2019, Harjo, a member of the Mvskoke Nation, made history as the first Native American be appointed U.S. poet laureate.

Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi, professional soccer player and Olympian Mia Hamm, and artist, author, feminist, educator and intellectual Judy Chicago will also be inducted into the hall of fame.

NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, activist Emily Howland, and best-selling author Octavia E. Butler will be posthumously inducted.

An in-person induction ceremony will be held on October 2, 2021 at the NWHF's new home, the 1844 Seneca Knitting Mill building in Seneca Falls, New York. The NWHF will also host a live virtual streaming of the ceremony, which will be free to the public.

Past inductees include Aretha Franklin (2020), Gloria Allred (2019), Jane Fonda (2019) and Nancy Pelosi (2013).