Women of Color in Congress

Since Hawaii Representative Patsy Mink’s election in 1964, more than 50 women of color have served in the U.S. Congress. All of these women served in the U.S. House, with the exception of Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois, who served only in the U.S. Senate (1993–1999). With her election to the U.S. Senate in 2012, Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii became the first woman of color to serve in both chambers.

  • The first Asian-Pacific-American woman elected to Congress, Patsy Mink of Hawaii, won election to the House in 1964.
  • The first African-American woman elected to Congress, Shirley Chisholm of New York, won election to the House in 1968.  
  • The first Hispanic-American woman elected to Congress, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, won election to the House in 1989.

NameParty/StateDates of ServiceEthnicity
Patsy MinkD-HI1965–1977; 1990–2002Asian-Pacific American
Shirley ChisholmD-NY1969–1983African American
Yvonne BurkeD-CA1973–1979African American
Barbara JordanD-TX1973–1979African American
Cardiss CollinsD-IL1973–1997African American
Katie HallD-IN1982–1985African American
Patricia SaikiR-HI1987–1991Asian-Pacific American
Ileana Ros-LehtinenR-FL1989–presentHispanic American
Barbara-Rose CollinsD-MI1991–1997African American
Eleanor Holmes NortonD-DC1991–presentAfrican American
Maxine WatersD-CA1991–presentAfrican American
Carol Moseley BraunD-IL1993–1999African American
Corrine BrownD-FL1993–presentAfrican American
Eva ClaytonD-NC1993–2003African American
Eddie Bernice JohnsonD-TX1993–presentAfrican American
Cynthia McKinneyD-GA1993–2003; 2005– 2007African American
Carrie MeekD-FL1993–2003African American
Lucille Roybal-AllardD-CA1993–presentHispanic American
Nydia VelázquezD-NY1993–presentHispanic American
Sheila Jackson LeeD-TX1995–presentAfrican American
Juanita Millender-McDonaldD-CA1995–2007African American
Julia CarsonD-IN1997–2007African American
Donna M. ChristensenD-VI1997–2015African American
Carolyn Cheeks KilpatrickD-MI1997–2011African American
Barbara LeeD-CA1997–presentAfrican American
Loretta SanchezD-CA1997–presentHispanic American
Stephanie Tubbs JonesD-OH1999–2008African American
Grace NapolitanoD-CA1999–presentHispanic American
Hilda SolisD-CA2001–2009Hispanic American
Diane WatsonD-CA2001–2011African American
Denise MajetteD-GA2003–2005African American
Linda SánchezD-CA2003–presentHispanic American
Gwendolynne MooreD-WI2005–presentAfrican American
Doris MatsuiD-CA2005–presentAsian-Pacific American
Yvette ClarkeD-NY2007–presentAfrican American
Mazie K. HironoD-HI2007–presentAsian-Pacific American
Laura RichardsonD-CA2007–presentAfrican American
Donna F. EdwardsD-MD2008–presentAfrican American
Marcia L. FudgeD-OH2008–presentAfrican American
Judy ChuD-CA2009–presentAsian-Pacific American
Karen BassD-CA2011–presentAfrican American
Colleen HanabusaD-HI2011–2015Asian-Pacific American
Jaime Herrera BeutlerR-WA2011–presentHispanic American
Terri SewellD-AL2011–presentAfrican American
Frederica WilsonD-FL2011–presentAfrican American
Joyce BeattyD-OH2013–presentAfrican American
Tammy DuckworthD-IL2013–presentAsian-Pacific American
Tulsi GabbardD-HI2013–presentAsian-Pacific American
Michele Lujan GrishamD-NM2013–presentHispanic American
Gloria McLeodD-CA2013–2015Hispanic American
Robin KellyD-IL2013–presentAfrican American
Grace MengD-NY2013–presentAsian-Pacific American
Alma Adams D-NC2014-presentAfrican American
Brenda LawrenceD-MI2015-presentAfrican American
Ludmya (Mia) LoveR-UT2015-presentAfrican American
Stacey PlaskettD-VI2015-presentAfrican American
Amata RadewagenR-AS2015-presentAsian-Pacific American
Norma TorresD-CA2015-presentHispanic American
Bonnie Watson ColemanD-NJ2015-presentAfrican American