March is "Women's History Month", and to commemorate this we'll look at women who have paved the way for others, or those who have made their passion to highlight the successes and cultural progresses is of other women throughout history.
One of those women is Karen Stasser.
Stasser is the founder of the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM), which has administrative offices in Alexandria, Va.; just outside the District of Columbia.
She was inspired by diverse travel and living experiences, coupled with post-graduate education and corporate practice in managing change within complex systems guided Stasser, via NWHM's website. Her vision was for the organization to serve as a catalyst for cultural change on a national basis.
She quickly moved to establishing base in her basement as the initial foundation of this future organization. She then produced a "white paper” which outlined the explicit need for a national women's history Museum. This basement office eventually became an established not for profit entity which would lead to galvanizing support from people in all walks of life.
In 2012 the National Women's History Museum eventually made changes to its governance thanks to a Huffington Post investigation.
There is no physical structure that is the NWHM, there is a NWHM Cyber-museum (www.nwhm.org), and NWHM newsletter, “A Different Point of View.”
While Stasser's group seems to be moving in the right direction, it did experience growing pains in the form of mismanagement and lack of accountability through a HuffPost two-month investigation.
"Board members are keenly aware of the challenges we have in front of us. We need to grow the organization. We need to make some changes," mentioned Joan Wages, then-NWHM President and CEO to Huffington Post.
A report stated:
Wages confirmed that "a couple" of fundraising events had "not worked out" since the story ran. She said plans were under way for other events in Washington and additional cities but gave no details. She also said legislation in Congress to allow the museum to buy or lease a spot on the National Mall is "still not in a stage to talk about."
The museum had "no indication" that Meryl Streep, the distinguished actress, Kennedy Center Honoree, and Oscar-winner who had been its most visible and important supporter, was going to withdraw financial support. Streep serves as spokeswoman for the museum.
Once the museum is built it will be known as the first on the National Mall designed by a woman.
There is also a statement that Wages had released, saying:
"It took some time for us to, I mean, we felt like we were being attacked, and so it took some time for us to take a step back, take a deep breath. In hindsight, maybe it could have been done differently. That's why we're trying to start over."
Stasser now lives in Anchorage, Alaska.
Through her valiant efforts suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were returned to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
National Women’s History Museum has administrative offices located at 205 S. Whiting St., Suite 254, Alexandria, VA 22304.