Sen. Mazie Hirono and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the unveiling of Patsy Mink’s portrait at the U.S. Capitol last year.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Mint (Mint) on Feb. 1 announced the following 2024 honorees for the American Women Quarters Program:

• Patsy Takemoto Mink was the first woman of color to serve in Congress. As a member of the House of Representatives from Hawaii (1965-1977 and 1990-2002), she fought for gender and racial equality, affordable childcare, and bilingual education, most notably with the passage of Title IX, which was later renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. She also sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 1972.

• Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was a Civil War era surgeon, women’s rights advocate, and an abolitionist. She often crossed battle lines to care for wounded soldiers. Captured by Confederate troops as a suspected spy, she was held as a prisoner of war for four months. Walker is the only woman to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

• Pauli Murray was a poet, writer, activist, lawyer, and Episcopal priest, as well as a staunch advocate for civil rights, fighting against racial and sex discrimination. In 1966, she co-founded the National Organization for Women with Betty Friedan and other activists. Murray is regarded as one of the most important social justice advocates of the 20th century.

• Zitkala-Ša (meaning “Red Bird”), also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, was a writer, composer, educator, and political activist for Native Americans’ right to U.S. citizenship and other civil rights they had long been denied. She left her South Dakota home on the Yankton reservation at age eight to attend a boarding school run by white missionaries, where her native culture and traditions were prohibited.

• Celia Cruz (Celia Caridad Cruz Alfonso) was a Cuban American singer, cultural icon, and one of the most popular Latin artists of the 20th century. Known as “The Queen of Salsa,” Cruz’s numerous honors and awards include five Grammys, a National Medal of Arts, and a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Grammy.

“All of the women being honored have lived remarkable and multi-faceted lives, and have made a significant impact on our nation in their own unique way,” said Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson. “The women pioneered change during their lifetimes, not yielding to the status quo imparted during their lives. By honoring these pioneering women, the Mint continues to connect America through coins which are like small works of art in your pocket.”

The designs for the 2024 American Women Quarters will be released in mid-2023.

Authorized by Public Law 116-330, the American Women Quarters Program features coins with reverse (tails) designs emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of American women. Begun in 2022 and continuing through 2025, the Mint is issuing five quarters in each of these years. The ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse group of individuals honored through this program reflects a wide range of accomplishments and fields, including suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts.

This groundbreaking coin program is an excellent way to remind future generations what can be accomplished with vision, determination, and a desire to improve opportunities for all. Subscribe to the program to ensure fulfillment of your favorite product through 2025.

Congress created the U.S. Mint in 1792, and the Mint became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873. As the nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage, the Mint is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the nation to conduct its trade and commerce.

The Mint also produces numismatic products, including proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; silver and bronze medals; and silver and gold bullion coins. Its numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to taxpayers.

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Hirono Statement

Patsy Mink in 1972

The announcement follows a letter Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) sent to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in 2021 urging the Mint to include Mink in the American Women Quarters Program, as well as Edith Kanakaole, whose commemorative quarter is scheduled to be put into circulation later this year.

“Patsy Mink was a champion for social justice, equality, and civil rights — she was a trailblazer in every sense of the word,” said Hirono. “As the first woman of color to serve in Congress and a lead author of Title IX, Congresswoman Mink worked to ensure that all women in our country have every opportunity men have. I’m glad to see the Mint honoring Rep. Mink as part of the American Women Quarters Program so that people all across our country can learn more about her immeasurable contributions to Hawaii and our nation.”

Mink, who also served as assistant U.S. secretary of state for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs (1977-1978), president of Americans for Democratic Action (1980-1982) and a member of the Honolulu City Council (1982-1986), died in 2002 at the age of 74.

Mink was honored with an official portrait, which was unveiled at the U.S. Capitol in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX.

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