ROCHESTER, NY (AP & WXXI News) – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, actress Jane Fonda and attorney Gloria Allred were among the inductees at the National Women’s Hall of Fame on Saturday.
The Class of 2019 inducted into the hall in Seneca Falls also included activist Angela Davis , attorney Sarah Deer, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg , retired Air Force fighter pilot Nicole Malachowski, the late artist and suffragist Rose O’Neill and the late U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York.
The ceremonies were held at the del Lago Casino & Resort in Waterloo.
Composer Laurie Spiegel was honored for her electronic music compositions, and molecular biologist Flossie Wong-Staal for work that helped prove HIV is the cause of AIDS.
Davis, a onetime leader of the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party USA who was prosecuted for her alleged involvement in a 1970 courthouse shootout and ultimately acquitted, said her activism was not hers alone.
“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 in accepting her award. “My own consciousness has been enabled always by shared endeavors and collective consciousness.”
After being nominated by the public, the inductees are chosen by a panel of experts based on their contributions in arts, athletics, business, education, government, humanities, philanthropy or science. A new class is inducted every other year.
This year, former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America who helped eliminate the pageant’s swimsuit competition, was the master of ceremonies.
Video of the pre-induction news conference by WXXI’s Katie Epner and Austin Radford: