The Maryland Women’s Heritage Center (MWHC), a 501(c) (3) non-profit, non-partisan organization, was established to preserve the past, understand the present, and shape the future by recognizing, respecting, and transmitting the experiences and contributions of Maryland women of diverse backgrounds and from all regions of the state. The Center is an outgrowth of the Maryland Women’s History Project that began in 1980 as a collaborative venture between the Maryland Commission for Women and the Maryland State Department of Education.
The mission of the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center is to achieve positive change in the lives of Marylanders by recognizing and documenting contributions of women to our social, political and economic order, and promoting opportunities and equality for women and girls.
The first comprehensive state center of its kind in the nation, the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center honors Maryland’s historical and contemporary renowned women and girls who have been inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame, as well as the Unsung Heroines who have shaped their families and communities. It serves as a national model that can be replicated and adapted by other states to honor the women and girls in their states.
The Center also serves as a resource clearinghouse for information about Maryland women and a gathering place to hold workshops, forums, and other special events, including a forum to address issues impacting girls, women, and their families and to develop leadership by girls and women.
The initial site for the Center has been donated by David Hillman, CEO of Southern Management Corporation, and is located in the former Baltimore Gas & Electric Building at 39 West Lexington Street in downtown Baltimore.
A permanent home of the Center will also feature continuing and changing exhibits about individuals, organizations, events, and special topics; a place to convene meetings and conferences; an interactive, state-of-the-art student learning center; a resource and reference library; a women’s history archive; displays of arts and crafts; dramatic, musical, and dance performances by or about Maryland women and girls; dialogues and seminars on women’s issues; space for special events and receptions; and a gift shop with art, literature and unique gifts by Maryland women. It will also serve as a community-based forum to gatherings to study and act upon issues of importance to Maryland girls and women, their families and communities.
The leadership of the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center is comprised of Maryland business, civic, educational, and political leaders who serve on the Center’s Executive Board, Board of Directors, and Honorary Board. Further leadership is drawn from throughout the state and region consisting of women’s organizations, the local commissions for women, and various organizations for women and girls, many of which are listed as partner and supporting organizations. Local historical sites and networks are also providing ongoing guidance and support.