Maya Angelou and Sally Ride will both be in American neighborhoods

Aaron RapoportGetty Images

Much like America itself, our country’s currency has long been dominated by white males. Only a handful of women, including Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea, and Martha Washington, have ever had their image on US currency, but that is starting to change, in part thanks to the US Mint’s new American Women Quarters program. From January 2022, a total of 20 new coin designs will be released, each featuring a different iconic woman.

United States mint announced last month that Maya Angelou, the pioneering poet, author and civil rights activist, and Sally K. Ride, the first American woman in space, will be the first two women whose portraits will appear on the tail side of A quarter.

In its press release, the Mint confirmed that George Washington will continue to be on the tails of the coin, but the image will be “designed to distinguish it from the current image.” Although no other names were listed, the press release also provided more details on the selection criteria. All coin designs will be “emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of a distinguished American woman … contributions may come from a wide range of fields including, but not limited to, suffrage, civil rights , abolition, government, humanities, science, space and the arts. The women honored will come from ethnically, racially and geographically diverse backgrounds. “The statement also said that by law no living person can be included in the coin designs, so all women must be deceased.

Mayan angelou district design

American currency

neighborhood design sally k ride

American currency

The project was carried out by Senator Deb Fischer and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, with Representative Barbara Lee from California bringing it to the House. It will see a total of 20 women represented, with their respective coin designs released through 2025. In an April press release, the US Mint said: “Contributions can come from a wide range of fields. , including, but not limited to, suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space and the arts. Women honored will be from ethnically, racially and geographically diverse.

The audience also has the opportunity to weigh in on who should be included on the rest of the pieces, by submitting suggestions. via this online form. Final selections will be made by the US Mint and several advisory organizations, including the National Women’s History Museum, the Smithsonian Institution American Women’s History Initiative, and the Bipartisan Women’s Caucus. The rest of the 20 new coin models will be released through 2025.


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