Eight women were selected for induction into the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame for 2020 and 2021.
These women were chosen for their remarkable achievements and contributions to the State of Delaware. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, two historic honorees will be inducted in 2020, and six contemporary honorees will be inducted in 2021.
2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women's constitutional right to vote. In honor of the anniversary, the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame Committee is partnering with the Delaware Women’s Suffrage Centennial Committee to induct two Delaware women’s suffragists into the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame: the late Margaret Burton White Houston, and the late Mary Seward Phillips Eskridge. The 2020 induction ceremony will take place during the historical marker dedication to women’s suffrage in Delaware at 11 a.m., Monday, Sept. 21, on the East Market Street side of the Sussex County Courthouse in Georgetown. The public is welcome to attend this free event; however, attendees must observe all public health guidelines in place at the time.
The 2021 inductees include: Fayetta M. Blake, entrepreneur, and founder and executive director of Pathways to Success Inc.; Marianne Blackburn Drew, first female line rear admiral in the Naval Reserve, retired military, and former president of Lord Baltimore Women’s Club and Air Warrior Courage Foundation; Ann Jaffe, retired teacher, Holocaust survivor and inspirational speaker; the Hon. Valerie Longhurst, Delaware House majority leader, executive director of the Police Athletic League of Delaware and advocate for equality; the Hon. Stephanie T. Bolden, member of the Delaware House of Representatives, founder of Burton-Phelan Memorial Scholarship Program, and senior citizen and foster care activist; and the Hon. Jennifer Cohan, community leader and secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation.
The 2021 inductees will be recognized Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Event details, including tickets and sponsorships, will be available in the coming months at de.gov/women.
“During this unprecedented time, it’s important that we take a moment to pause and celebrate the achievements of these outstanding Delaware women,” said Kay Keenan, chair of the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame Committee.
“These women not only overcame obstacles, but broke barriers, and have left their mark on our state, nation and world,” said Melanie Ross Levin, director of the Office of Women’s Advancement & Advocacy. “We encourage the public to sign up at de.gov/women to receive notification when tickets become available for the 2021 event.”