Famous feminist and child-welfare activist honored with plaque in her hometown

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Editor’s note: In broadcast WRBL News 3 reported Steinem was in attendance at the event in Lumpkin. Steinem however did not attend the event.

LUMPKIN, Ga. (WRBL) – Dorothy Pitman Hughes was honored with a plaque recognizing her accomplishments in her hometown of Lumpkin on July 18, 2021. Its been placed on the street where she grew up on and was unveiled to her while she was surrounded by her family.

The plaque was a gift from her lifelong friend and speaking partner, Gloria Steinem. Steinem wanted to recognize Hughes for all her accomplishments in a place that is very dear to Hughes.

“We just thought that this was very important and meaningful and that it would mean that everyone driving along that road would see this plaque, know Dorothy’s name, see a few words about her and be inspired by her as we all are,” said Steinem.

Steinem and Hughes met when Hughes opened one of the first child-care centers in New York City in the 1960s and Steinem wrote a story for New York magazine on it. The two then began a career together tackling issues like race, feminism and sexism.

The pair spent about three years traveling together, speaking and bringing awareness to controversial topics. Steinem believes many monuments and plaques are often dedicated to men and wars. She wanted to change the narrative and dedicate a plaque to a woman who worked towards positivity and equality.

“Dorothy Pitman Hughes, a woman that started out as a little girl with almost everything against her in this still racist, sexist country. That was way more so when Dorothy was born and yet, she never let this steal her voice or her sense of humor or her ability to reach out beyond race,” said Steinem.

Steinem describes Hughes as a very joyful person who brought a lot of positive attention especially to children. She said her message to women who want to make a difference is to remember you are not alone and to speak up because you will find likeminded individuals.

“Whatever it is that expresses you, that gives you joy and that brings you together with likeminded people, do it,” said Steinem.

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