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Nine women inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame

 The 2022 induction ceremonies for the National Women's Hall of Fame were held at the Smith Opera House in Geneva, N.Y.
National Women's Hall of Fame
The 2022 induction ceremonies for the National Women's Hall of Fame were held at the Smith Opera House in Geneva, N.Y.

Nine more women were inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame on Saturday. The women joined an elite group of more than 300 women who are recognized for their contributions to society.

The induction weekend began with fireworks and concluded on Saturday with ceremonies that included a keynote address by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The National Women's Hall of Fame is based in Seneca Falls, but the induction ceremonies were held at the Smith Opera House on Saturday and almost every seat was filled.

Inductees included Octavia Butler, Rebecca Halstead, Joy Harjo, Emily Howland, Katherine Johnson, Indra Nooyi.

The late Katherine Johnson, the mathematician who was portrayed in ‘Hidden Figures,’ the film about the early days of space flight, was represented by her two daughters who accepted the award on her behalf on Saturday.

Other inductees, including Judy Chicago, Mia Hamm, and Former First Lady Michelle Obama joined the ceremonies virtually.

The speeches on Saturday included remarks by Governor Kathy Hochul, and Hillary Clinton, who was the honorary chairwoman for the event.

“I know none of us is here on our own,” said Clinton. “We are bound together by history by shared struggle by hope by overcoming disappointments and setbacks by resilience and persistence.”

Rebecca Halstead is the first female graduate of West Point to attain General Officer ranking when she was promoted to Brigadier General 2004.

She said that she was humbled by the recognition, but added that the purpose of the Women’s Hall of Fame goes beyond that.

“I think it helps people go, I have potential, I have purpose.,” said Halstead. “And it doesn't matter where I was born, whether I came from a whole family or a broken family, but I have potential. And I think the stories help nurture that.”

Taraji Henson portrayed Katherine Johnson in Hidden Figures, and at the induction ceremonies her daughters said that their mother “…created quite a legacy. Schools bearing her name, NASA facilities, and other buildings bearing her name. And none of this would have been her wish. She was just doing her job.”

Former First Lady Michell Obama, who appeared virtually at the ceremony, dedicated the award to her mother and grandmother.

“From a very young age, these women taught me that I mattered,” said Obama. “And as I matured into a woman, a mother, a wife, and First Lady of the United States, it was those lessons that got me through those tough days. So today, I feel like my induction is their induction.”

You can see the entire program for the induction event at the website of the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Copyright 2022 WXXI News. To see more, visit WXXI News.

Racquel Stephen