The first woman of color elected to Congress will be honored with a portrait at the U.S. Capitol, reports USA Today.
The late Patsy Mink championed Title IX banning sex discrimination in education and school sports. She is also remembered as a strong advocate for social justice and civil rights.
She served decades in Congress representing Hawaii.
“We have pushed for this so that everybody who walks down the halls of the Capitol can see that an Asian American woman was a prominent leader who influenced this country to be better,” Rep. Judy Chu, chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said to USA Today.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who joined Mink in the announcement of the founding of the Congressional Asian Pacifica American Congressional Caucus in 1994, pushed for the portrait, according to Hawaii News Now.
The portrait will be unveiled June 23.
When first elected in 1965, Congress consisted of just 11 other elected representatives including two in the Senate. She served from 1965 to 1977 and again from 1989 until her death in 2002.
President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 2014.
“It’s inspirational. It’s really important. It’s necessary because in a lot of cases our history books are just full of older White men,’’ said Jean Sinzdak, associate director of the Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. “It’s an important moment for so many reasons politically and culturally to highlight Asian American leaders and the impact that they’ve had and their accomplishments and in this era.”
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