The best quarterbacks that don’t even play football

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U.S. Mint

The five quarters that will be released in 2022, featuring Maya Angelou, Dr. Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Nina Otero-Warren, and Anna May Wong.

While it may not seem all that exciting, sorting coins into collection books was one of my favorite activities growing up. I quickly learned about some of the nation’s greatest leaders and became fascinated by the new national park and state quarters; however, never once did I see the face of a woman come across a U.S. coin. 

The faces on U.S. currency have a long history of being replaced and traded out for figures that make more sense; still, a woman has rarely been given that honor. Currently, Sacagawea is the only woman represented on circulating U.S. currency, claiming her spot on the dollar coin after Susan B. Anthony. 

In regards to paper bills all over the world, only 9% have women, with Queen Elizabeth II dominating the featured face. Clearly, the female representation on the bills we carry is heavily lacking, and the United States is one of the many countries that are lagging. 

Harriet Tubman—conductor of the Underground Railroad—was due to replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill; however, the change has been delayed to 2026. This was an unfortunate setback, but it’s still an exciting prospect for the future. 

The long wait for female representation on U.S. coins will soon be over. Starting in 2022, a new set of quarterbacks featuring five groundbreaking women will be released. Every design displays a female pioneer, each one diverse in their contributions: Maya Angelou, Dr. Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Nina Otero-Warren, and Anna May Wong.

This way, even after their deaths, they continue to spread awareness for the obstacles the nation has overcome and the ones that still need to be climbed.”

— Lauren Brace

From authors to actors to astronauts, each woman represents a different group in society that fought against the racism and sexism that they faced. Helping to give voices to the silenced half of the population was just one of their many accomplishments; improving education, adding their talents to the arts, and becoming powerful role models are some of the many other reasons that they deserve their recognition on the backside of America’s quarters.

With their images incorporated on U.S. coins, it also provides a learning opportunity for anyone curious about the figures that appear when they find a quarter tail-side up. This way, even after their deaths, they continue to spread awareness for the obstacles that the nation has overcome and the ones that still need to be climbed. 

Releasing these sets of quarters with monumental female figures will continue for the next three consecutive years. Several organizations are involved in the selection process as to which women are featured, but they are guaranteed to be diverse in their backgrounds and impacts—ranging from political activism to their contributions to science or the arts.

It’s exciting not just for me, but for everyone pouring out their coin collections to see representation that has gone largely unnoticed from the U.S. Mint in the past. While five women on the tail sides of quarters may not seem like a huge victory for feminism, it is certainly a powerful step. 

Including them and their milestone breakthroughs on our quarters is long overdue, but happily welcomed nonetheless; it just makes cents.