Serena Williams and Ruby Bridges will be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame next year, the hall announced Thursday, adding the tennis great and civil rights icon to a previously announced list of women to be honored during Women’s History Month in March.
“The 2024 inductee class has broken barriers, challenged the status quo, and left an impact on history,” the Hall of Fame said in its announcement.Eight other honorees were announced in the spring. Williams and Bridges became available after the date and location of the ceremony were changed, a spokesman said.Williams, 42, is a 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion who holds the record for the longest player ranked No. 1. She retired from tennis last year and earlier this month became the first athlete to win the Fashion Icon award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Bridges, 69, was a 6-year-old first-grader when she became one of the first Black students at racially segregated schools in New Orleans in 1960. In 1963, painter Norman Rockwell recreated the scene in the painting, “The Problem We All Live With.” The Ruby Bridges Foundation she established 24 years ago promotes tolerance and change through education.Neither Williams nor Bridges could immediately be reached for comment.
Others in the class include Peggy McIntosh, 88, an activist known for her explorations of privilege; Kimberlé Crenshaw, 63, who helped develop the academic concept of critical race theory, the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions, and Judith Plaskow, 76, regarded as the first Jewish feminist theologian for calling out an absence of female perspectives in Jewish history.
Also to be inducted are Loretta Ross, 69, founder of the National Center for Human Rights Education in Atlanta, and Allucquére Rosanne “Sandy” Stone, a transgender woman born in 1936 and considered a founder of the academic discipline of transgender studies.