Starting With Maya Angelou, These Women Will Be Featured on the U.S. Quarter

A new quarter featuring legendary poet Maya Angelou is now being shipped around the country.

The coin is the first in a new series from the United States Mint that will highlight influential women from U.S. history over the next four years. According to the agency, the women will be from racially diverse backgrounds and from a range of fields including suffrage, civil rights and the arts.

"Each 2022 quarter is designed to reflect the breadth and depth of accomplishments being celebrated throughout this historic coin program," Mint Deputy Director Ventris C. Gibson said Monday in a statement. "Maya Angelou, featured on the reverse of this first coin in the series, used words to inspire and uplift."

The Angelou coin, which is the first time a Black woman has been featured on the quarter, depicts the writer and civil rights activist with her arms uplifted. The design, from Emily Damstra, also depicts a bird in flight and rising sun.

The next coin will be released this March, the United States Mint confirmed to Newsweek.

The National Women's History Museum, which helped the United States Mint identify women to represent on the coin, said it was "overjoyed to see women's representation" on the U.S. quarter.

"Every woman's voice, every woman's story, matters, and we hope that this remarkable series of coins inspires people to learn about the powerful, yet often untold, history and accomplishments of American women," Jennifer Herrera, the museum's vice president of external affairs, told Newsweek.

Here are the other women who will soon be featured on the U.S. quarter.

These Women Will Be Featured On Quarter
A new United States Mint program will feature prominent women from U.S. history on the quarter. In this photo, a woman holds both an American and Canadian quarter in her hand, both showing the "heads" side of the coin. Holly Hildreth/Getty Images

Dr. Sally Ride

Astronaut Sally Ride was the first American woman to fly in space and flew on the Challenger shuttle on June 18, 1983. Ride, a physicist, was accepted into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut program after responding to a newspaper ad for astronauts. In 2003, she was inducted to the Astronaut Hall of Fame, joining Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and others.

The quarter featuring Ride will be released in March.

Wilma Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller is recognized as the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, and the first woman to be elected chief of a major Native tribe. She led the Cherokee Nation from 1985 to 1995, and the population more than doubled during her leadership. She was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President Bill Clinton in 1998.

The Mankiller quarter will be released in June.

Nina Otero-Warren

Adelina "Nina" Otero-Warren was the first Hispanic woman to run for U.S. Congress. In 1922, she won the nomination to be the Republican Party's nominee for New Mexico to the House of Representatives. She lost in the general election by less than 9 percent. But she remained politically active and was a leader in the state's suffrage movement. She also served as the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools.

The quarter depicting Otero-Warren will be released in August.

Anna May Wong

Anna May Wong is credited as the first American Chinese film star. Her movie career spanned three decades, but she was never cast in a lead role. In a 1933 interview, she expressed frustration about the roles she was given, asking "why is it that the screen Chinese is nearly always the villain of the piece, and so cruel a villain—murderous, treacherous, a snake in the grass. We are not like that."

Wong's quarter will be released in October.

Update 1/12/22, 10:30 AM ET: with comment from the National Women's History Museum.