The rest of the lineup will be decided by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen — with input from the American public.
Maya Angelou (pictured here in a concept design) will be featured on the backs of quarters starting in 2022. Credit: United States Mint
The museum welcomes entries of women known for their work in civil rights, science, the arts and abolition, among other areas, with an emphasis on women from “ethnically, racially and geographically diverse backgrounds,” according to the US Mint.
Ultimately, Yellen will choose the women who will appear on the coins after consulting the Smithsonian Institution American Women’s History Initiative, National Women’s History Museum and the Bipartisan Women’s Caucus, as per the Mint.
The first batch of coins, featuring Ride and Angelou, will start circulating in January 2022. The Mint will create up to five designs for the tails side of the quarters in the program, which will run through 2025.
The women chosen by Yellen and the public will join a highly accomplished duo. Angelou, also a civil rights activist, is best known for books including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” considered one of the 20th century’s seminal works. Ride, a former NASA astronaut, was the first American woman to go to space.
Ride’s partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy, said the astronaut would have been “so moved” to appear on American currency.