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“Women in Leadership—Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”



  • Exhibit celebrates women who helped shape Delaware’s history

(Dover, Delaware—February 19, 2008)—The vision, courage, and tenacity of women who have made a significant impact on the State of Delaware will be explored in the exhibit, “Women in Leadership—Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,” which will be on display at the Delaware Visitor Center and Galleries, 406 Federal St. in Dover, Delaware from February 29, 2008–December 31, 2008. An opening reception for the press and invited guests, hosted by Delaware Secretary of State Harriet Smith Windsor, will take place at the Visitor Center at 10 a.m. on Friday, February 29, 2008.

Co-sponsored by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA) and the Delaware Commission for Women, the exhibit shines a spotlight on a representative sample of the many women whose compelling stories have touched Delaware and made life better for future generations from all backgrounds and time periods.

The women and organizations featured in the exhibit are organized under the following headings:

      Women in Leadership—Yesterday

      • Haile L. Alford, Delaware Superior Court Justice
      • Roxana Cannon Arsht, Delaware Family Court Justice and philanthropist
      • Emily P. Bissell, campaigner against tuberculosis
      • Mary Louise Chambers Corkran, founder, Rehoboth Art League
      • State Senator Vera Gilbride Davis, legislator and community activist
      • Ethel Pennewill Brown Leach, artist
      • Jane E. Mitchell, health care leader and community activist
      • Mabel Lloyd Fisher Ridgely, artist and historic preservation activist
      • Cecile Long Steele, pioneer of Delaware’s broiler-chicken industry

      Women in Leadership—Today

      • Carolyn Berger, Delaware Court of Chancery and Supreme Court Justice
      • Anna “Silver Feathers” Coker, officer and activist for the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware
      • Phyllis Yoshie Edamatsu, Director of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research, Delaware State University
      • State Representative Tina Fallon, legislator and educator
      • Marian L. Harris, founder and volunteer executive director of The House of Pride
      • Governor Ruth Ann Minner, executive, legislator, and public servant
      • Jean “Princess Laughing Water” Norwood, Director, Nanticoke Heritage and Cultural Affairs, and tribal activist
      • Brenda L. Sammons, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware Department of Justice
      • Nancy Churchman Sawin, artist and educator
      • Carolann D. Wicks, P.E., engineer and Secretary, Delaware Department of Transportation
      • Dr. Harriet Smith Windsor, educator and Delaware Secretary of State


      Women in Leadership—Tomorrow

·       4-H, youth program that encourages leadership, citizenship, and life skills
·       Girls Incorporated, youth organization that inspires girls to be strong, smart, and bold
1       Girl Scouts of the USA, organization that helps girls build character and skills for success in the real world

In tandem with the “Women in Leadership—Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” exhibit, an adjacent gallery within the Visitor Center will host the “Hall of Fame of Delaware Women—The Legacy Endures,” a display that honors the 92 women who have been inducted into the hall from 1981 through 2006. Created by the Delaware Commission for Women in 1981, the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women recognizes the lasting contributions and achievements of Delaware women in a variety of fields, including agriculture, the arts, business, education, government, health, homemaking, human rights, industry, media, science, sports, and volunteer work.

Additional displays on notable women will be presented at the following locations:

      • John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover, Delaware: Display on Jane Richards Worth, founding member of the Friends of the John Dickinson Mansion
      • Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover, Delaware: Display on operatic soprano and Victor recording artist, Rosa Ponselle
      • New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle, Delaware: Display on historic preservation activist, Louise Evelina du Pont Crowninshield
      • Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes, Delaware: Display on pioneering astronomer, Annie Jump Cannon


Women in Leadership—Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”
Exhibit dates:          February 29, 2008–December 31, 2008
Location:               Delaware Visitor Center and Galleries
                        406 Federal St., Dover, Delaware 19901
Telephone:              (302) 739-4266
Hours of operation:     Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sunday, 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Admission:      Free and open to the public. Group tour reservations are required.
Disabled Access:        The Visitor Center is fully accessible to people with disabilities.
Parking:        Free, but limited, parking is available in the Visitor Center parking lot. Free street parking is also available.    

The Delaware Visitor Center and Galleries is one of eight museums administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA), an agency of the State of Delaware working in partnership with the First State Heritage Park at Dover. HCA enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality, and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history and heritage. In addition to its museums, HCA operates two conference centers, manages over thirty historic properties, and serves as the state’s historic preservation office. Funding for HCA’s programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly, revenue from HCA’s History Stores, and grants from the National Park Service, a federal agency.

For 27 years, the Delaware Commission for Women (DCW) has recognized and honored the contributions and achievements of Delaware women. The DCW Hall of Fame is one of the state’s most prestigious awards. The commission is the central point of contact for issues impacting women and families. Through workshops, referrals, and the distribution of informative resources, the commission advocates for the equality of women in a way that fosters self-esteem, self-reliance, and self sufficiency among women of all ages by promoting political, economic, social, educational, personal, and professional growth.



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