Women of Color in Congress

Since 1964, more than 70 women of color have been elected to Congress.

Firsts for Women of Color

  • 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.
  • The first woman in color elected to the Senate was Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois in 1992.
  • The first woman of color elected to both chambers was Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii, who was elected to the United States Senate in 2012.