"I write about being human, mostly about African-American humans, because our story has not been told, and it is best for us to tell our own story. If I don't tell our story, my story, who will?"


--Lucille Clifton, Maryland Women's Heritage Center Honorary Board Member, Poet, Author, and Former Maryland Poet Laureate 


(Credit: Harford Cable Network's "We Are Our Mothers' Daughters" - April 2009)

Honorary Board

The Honorary Board of the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center is made up of renowned Maryland women, many of which are “firsts” and “founders.”  

Helen Delich Bentley, Former Congresswoman and First Woman Director of the U. S. Maritime Commission

In Memory of Helen Delich Bentley (1924-2016)
Thank you for your service to Maryland and the Nation

The Honorable Helen Delich Bentley has focused her career both on the advancement of America’s industrial/manufacturing base and its maritime community. In honor of her work, the Port of Baltimore was renamed The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore in 2006. That same year, Bentley served as Chairman of the Port of Baltimore’s Tricentennial Committee, which oversaw a yearlong celebration honoring the Port’s 300th anniversary. From 1985 – 1995, she served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and was Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission from 1969 – 1975. Prior to this, she was the Maritime Reporter and Editor at The Baltimore Sun from 1945 – 1969. Click here for more information about Helen Delich Bentley

*Lucille Clifton, Poet and Author, 
former Maryland Poet Laureate
(1936 - 2010)

Lucille Sayles Clifton was an accomplished and nationally-recognized poet and author.  Her family has inspired her writings, and her early poems are celebrations of African-American ancestry, heritage and culture.  At 16 she entered college at Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she met Sterling A. Brown, A.B. Spellman, Chloe Wofford (Toni Morrison) and Fred Clifton, whom she married in 1958.  Like her poetry, Clifton's short fiction extols the human capacity for love, rejuvenation, and transcendence over weakness and malevolence.  Clifton served as Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1979-1982. Her other achievements include fellowships and honorary degrees from Fisk, George Washington University, Trinity College, and other institutions; two grants from the National Endowment of the Arts; and an Emmy Award from the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  Clifton was Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary's College in Maryland.  She was the proud mother of six children.  

Dominique Dawes, Olympic Champion

Dominique Dawes is best known for her tremendous success as an Olympic gymnast who competed in three Olympics, won three medals and has a permanent place in the U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame. Throughout her career, Dawes has won more National Championship medals than any other athlete, male or female, since 1963, as well as numerous World Championship medals. One of Dawes’ greatest feats came when she swept all four events and won the All Around title at the 1994 National Championships. She is much more than a champion gymnast, though. After retiring from the sport to which she dedicated 18 years of her life, Dawes has found a new passion empowering others. She is an accomplished motivational speaker, speaking to audiences on topics focusing on passion, leadership, teamwork, health, fitness and wellness. She also hosts gymnastics clinics, has served as a spokesperson for multiple local and national campaigns, including as President of the National Women’s Sports Foundation, and most recently, traveled to Beijing, China, as a media analyst for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Click here for more information about Dominique Dawes.


Barbara A. Mikulski, United States Senator

The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski has served as U.S. Senator since 1986, when she became the first Democratic woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate in her own right. As the most senior female Senator, she is the Dean of the Women, serving as a mentor to other women Senators when they first take office. Senator Mikulski was major sponsor of the legislation to establish March as National Women’s History Month. Mikulski represented Maryland’s third district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1976 – 1986, and was a Baltimore City Council member prior to that appointment for five years. She grew up in Highlandtown, Baltimore City, and worked as a social worker. Click here for more information about Barbara A. Mikulski.


Cokie Roberts, Author and Political Commentator

Bestselling author Cokie Roberts has penned two New York Times bestsellers, We Are Our Mother’s Daughters, and From This Day Forward, which she co-wrote with her husband. She has also written Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation and Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation.

She is a political commentator for ABC News and serves as senior news analyst for National Public Radio. From 1996 to 2002, she and Sam Donaldson co-anchored the weekly ABC interview program This Week. In addition to broadcasting, Roberts, along with her husband Steven V. Roberts, writes a weekly column syndicated in newspapers across the country by United Media. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting. In 2008, the Library of Congress named her a “Living Legend.”


Nora Roberts, International Best-Selling Author of Mystery and Romance Novels

Bestselling author Nora Roberts has published more than 150 romance novels. She also writes romantic suspense novels under the pseudonym J.D. Robb for the “In Death” series. Since 1999, all of her novels have been a New York Times bestseller, and 124 of her novels have ranked on the Times bestseller list. She is a founding member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), and was the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. In 2007, Time magazine named her one of their "100 Most Influential People." Click here for more information about Nora Roberts. 



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