While all women in the United States Armed Forces share a history of discrimination based on gender, women of color have faced barriers of gender, race and traditional cultural values in their pursuit of opportunity for service in the armed forces. Through persistent efforts in demanding inclusion for their right to serve, women of color have seen their roles across society and all sectors tremendously expanded, including their presence in today’s military.
Born during a time when our country seeks healing amid persistent calls to dismantle systemic racism, this exhibit seeks to highlight the diversity of women of color in the nation’s defense. Across the decades and for all the challenges, women of color still found meaning and value in serving in uniform despite the military’s shortcomings and history of systemic discrimination on multiple fronts—from race, gender, ethnicity and national origin, to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Experience the Exhibit
Visit the Military Women's Memorial
Memorial entrance is free. Join us to experience not only this exhibit but the many exhibits and displays that tell the stories of servicewomen throughout American history.
The “Color of Freedom” can be explored virtually! Visit the virtual exhibit to learn about some of the many women of color who continue to pave the way for equality.
Download Free Educational Resources
We have crafted a custom lesson plan for educators to utilize in the classroom. And Still, They Served: Black Servicewomen in World War II examines the critical roles that Black servicewomen played in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II.
Programming and Events
Our educational programs explore the lived experiences of women veterans throughout American History. View our calendar to register for both in-person and virtual events related to the Color of Freedom.
Digital Press Kit
View press releases, news coverage, and download resources such as graphics, logos, and other digital assets.
Make a Donation
Your contributions make exhibits like the “Color of Freedom” possible. Help us continue our mission of preserving the history of women who have served our country.
“Instead of sitting around talking about it, they got off their tail bone and made things happen.“
– Michele Jones, retired Command Sgt. Maj.
Plan your visit
The Military Women’s Memorial is the leading memorial and education center honoring women’s contributions to the service of our nation.
As of February 2018, women of color represented nearly 61 percent of enlisted women in the U.S. Armed Forces and about 38 percent of women officers. The “Color of Freedom” highlights stories from some of the many women of color who have served within and alongside the U.S. Armed Forces. This showcase can be experienced alongside the many exhibits on display at the Military Women’s Memorial.
Experience the Virtual Exhibit
In addition to the physical exhibit, you can learn more about the women honored in the “Color of Freedom” with our digital exhibit.
Programs & Events
Staying true to our mission, programming explores the lived experiences of women veterans throughout American history.
Enjoy a new program each month, where women veterans share their stories in video chats with MWM President Phyllis Wilson. Throughout the run of The Color of Freedom exhibition, we will be spotlighting stories of servicewomen of color.
View the Full Event Calendar
And Still, They Served: Black Servicewomen in World War II examines the critical roles that Black servicewomen play in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. This lesson plan has been designed for grades 6-12 and meets Standards of Learning with Common Core, Commonwealth of Virignia and National Council for the Social Studies Standards.
There is an accompanying Resource Packet which includes suggested activities and worksheets for further exploration and examination. To assist with teaching this lesson plan, there are three versions of a presentation for use: digital presentation, presentation for print and a Power Point Presentation.
What People Are Saying
“Thank you…for remembering and honoring the service of these brave women of color.”
“Thank you for telling an American Story … They have always been our teammates & we must consider ourselves fortunate to serve alongside them.”
“I urge you to come and see. For women of color: This is for us.”
“This exhibit honors so many incredible women who faced significant barriers but persevered and served our country with honor and distinction.”
This exhibit was made possible with the generous support of the following organizations. Learn more about how you too can support our mission here.
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