Throughout Virginia’s history, women have played important, but often overlooked, roles as educators, entrepreneurs, health care providers, religious leaders, farmers, artists, writers, reformers, pioneers, laborers, and community builders. From a Pamunkey chief to a runaway slave to a pioneering scientist to educators and community activists, you can learn about some of the featured Virginia women who changed the world in this exhibit provided by the Library of Virginia.
The Library of Virginia recognizes and celebrates women’s accomplishments in all walks of life with the annual Virginia Women in History program, which honors women of the past and present who developed new approaches to old problems, strove for excellence based on the courage of their convictions, and initiated changes in their communities, state, and nation that continue to affect our lives today. The women honored this year are:
- Ann, fl. 1706-1712, Pamunkey Chief from King William County
- Ona Judge, ca. 1773-1848, self-emancipator from Fairfax County
- India Hamilton, ca. 1879-1950, educator from King William County
- Lucy Randolph Mason, 1882-1959, labor organizer and social reformer from Richmond
- Kate Peters Sturgill, 1907-1975, musician and folk song collector from Wise County
- Georgeanna Seegar Jones, 1912-2005, endocrinologist from Norfolk
- Claudia L. Dodson, 1941-2007, women's sports advocate fro Charlottesville
- Sharifa Alkhateed, 1946-2004, community activist from Fairfax County
The Virginia Foundation for Women started the popular Virginia Women in History educational program in 2000 and in 2006 transferred it to the Library of Virginia, which sponsors a traveling exhibition as well as an essay contest with Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Women in History is supported by the Virginia Business and Professional Women’s Fund. For more information about the Virginia Women in History, visit the Library of Virginia website.