The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame will hold its 18th Annual Induction Ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. The theme of this year’s ceremony is “Women of Influence and Change.” Tickets may be purchased online by going to the website www.cwhf.org
The three inductees this year are Isabelle M. Kelley, principal author of the Food Stamp Act of 1964 and first director of the U. S. Food Stamp Program, Denise L. Nappier, the first African-American female in the nation to be elected State Treasurer and the first elected to a statewide office in Connecticut, and Patricia M. Wald, the first female judge to sit on the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, subsequently serving as its chief judge.
There are eight Notable Women of Influence Honorees as well, whose names can be found on the website, which has several noteworthy links, including the history of the CWHF.
To summarize that history briefly, the Hall of Fame grew out of the Connecticut Forum back in 1993, which “sought to bring the national focus on remarkable women to a local level by showcasing Connecticut women’s contributions to history . . . there was no organization or venue that collectively celebrated the state’s greatest women.” The CWHF team sought community support and continued to partner with the Connecticut Forum. The Hartford College for Women joined in the effort to identify and research great Connecticut women of the past and present “who contributed to the state, nation, and the world in ways that should be celebrated and preserved.” Teachers were one of the key groups in the process. In 2004 a curriculum project designed to help teachers in grades four through eight integrate women’s history into their curriculum was launched.
The first Induction Ceremony was held in 1994; 46 women were inducted that year, 36 of them posthumously. Their names and credentials can be found on the website. In 1997 the CWHF became an independent organization and the search for a permanent home began. In August of this year a new Virtual Hall of Fame website was launched to meet increasing demand for interactive, educational content and to make the CWHF’s resources available to more people.
Another noteworthy link on the CWHF website is educational resources, which includes conversations with many inductees.
It should be obvious that the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame is a worthwhile organization and that it “has already achieved more than its founders might have imagined” by remaining true to its mission: “to honor Connecticut’s women and preserve their stories, educate the public about their achievements, and inspire future generations of women and girls.”