News • March 25, 2021

Women's History Month: Kim Coco Iwamoto

Throughout March, ENC spotlighted trans women elected to political office from all across America. These history-makers have forever transformed our culture's conception of what leadership can look like while breaking numerous glass ceilings along the way.

Today, we're closing out Women's History Month by honoring Kim Coco Iwamoto, someone who began charting her own course in politics long before the transgender rights movement entered mainstream media.

A fourth-generation American of Japanese ancestry, Iwamoto became the highest-ranking openly transgender elected official in the country after winning a seat on the Hawaii State Board of Education in 2006. She was then reelected in 2010 with 25% more votes than in 2006. Iwamoto focused much of her time as a member of the State Board of Education on policies to protect LGBTQ students from bullying, while also working with the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission to expand the rights of LGBTQ families.

In 2013, Iwamoto had the honor of being recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change, a title intended to honor Americans who have helped "our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century."

Iwamoto, and all of the incredible women we've featured this month, have dedicated their lives and careers to helping America forever reimagine the face of leadership and public service in this country.

This sentiment is at the core of our work at Equality North Carolina, where we're committed to ensuring that the most vulnerable members of our community have a seat at the political table.

Thank you for supporting Equality North Carolina and the communities that we serve. Happy Women's History Month!

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