The National Women's Hall of Fame said that, "both in and out of the White House," the former first lady "has accomplished her initiatives and so much more"

By Sean Neumann
March 09, 2021 12:33 PM
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Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama
| Credit: Marla Aufmuth/Getty

Michelle Obama is headed to the National Women's Hall of Fame, the organization announced this week.

The former first lady will headline the 2021 class of women when they're formally inducted on Oct. 2.

Obama, 57, will be added alongside eight other women, including American soccer icon Mia Hamm, renowned science-fiction writer Octavia Butler, former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and artists Joy Harjo and Judy Chicago. 

Rebecca Halstead, the U.S. Military Academy's first female graduate, will also be inducted, while famed NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and 20th century abolitionist Emily Howland will be posthumously inducted.

The organization called Obama "one of the most influential and iconic women of the 21st century," noting she was the first Black woman to serve as first lady on top of her accomplishments as a lawyer, bestselling author and as an advocate for voting rights, nutrition and education.

Michelle Obama Visits The Tacoma Public Library
Former First Lady Michelle Obama
| Credit: Jim Bennett/Getty
Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama in December 2018
| Credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty

The organization — which is based in Seneca Falls, New York, where a historic convention on women's rights was held in 1848 — is planning to host an in-person ceremony come October, as COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out by the millions across the U.S. this spring.

"We will not open ticket sales until April or May 2021 when there is a better understanding of safety protocols for in-person events," the National Women's Hall of Fame says.

Obama has found much success since leaving the White House, publishing a smash-hit memoir, Becoming, and embarking on a sold-out book tour as well as working on a growing list of cross-media appearances.

An eponymous podcast was launched on Spotify last summer, while the former first lady is set to star in her own children's cooking show, Waffles + Mochi, premiering on Netflix this month. She has continued to spotlight activism for voters, students and food insecurity.

For more on Michelle Obama, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day.

"Both in and out of the White House, Michelle Obama has accomplished her initiatives and so much more—becoming an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, international adolescent girls' education, and serving as a role model for women and young girls everywhere," the hall of fame said in its announcement.

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Obama has also continued to push lawmakers to pass legislation to expand voting access, while cheering on the next generation of young women to take up the country's most vital social issues.

The former first lady recently told Good Morning America's Robin Roberts that she sees herself now as "someone that is comfortable getting out of the way so that the next generation can take the seat that I'm sitting in."

"They are our hope," Obama said about future generations she hopes to inspire. "They are not jaded yet. They are not beaten down by what they're supposed to be. They are still wide open."