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The Ackermann Room Project

A stately wood-paneled public meeting space in Cambridge’s City Hall, the Ackermann Room was renamed in 1982 to honor Barbara Ackermann, the first woman to serve as mayor or Cambridge (1972-73). In the words of then-mayor Alfred Vellucci, this renaming was meant to “signify to the women of the world that the City of Cambridge, for the first time since its beginnings in 1620, has recognized the work of women.” However, of the thirteen portraits of civic leaders that have hung on the walls all these years, only one has been that of a woman.

In the summer of 2021 Mayor E Denise Simmons, then a City Councilor, began the Ackermann Room Project, working with a group of Cambridge students to reconsider the imagery in the space. After careful consideration of candidates, the portraits that now hang in the Ackermann Room showcase a group of individuals who have lived lives of notable public service to the city of Cambridge.

It is our honor to highlight these women's contributions to shaping the Cambridge of today. 

Click on each image or name to learn more!

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