Disability rights activist Stacey Park Milbern to be 1st Korean American on US quarters


The U.S. Mint has revealed some of the designs for the quarters featuring Korean American disability rights activist Stacey Park Milbern as part of the bureau’s American Women Quarters program.

Key details: Milbern is one of five women who will be honored by the U.S. Mint as part of its American Women Quarters Program for 2025, the bureau announced in a press release on Oct. 17. She is reportedly the first Korean American to be engraved on U.S. currency.

The four other women featured in the 2025 program are NAACP co-founder Ida B. Wells, Girl Scouts organization in America founder Juliette Gordon Low, trailblazing multi-sport athlete Althea Gibson and trailblazing astronomer Dr. Vera Rubin.

Showcasing the design: In a post in late October, the U.S. Mint showcased the design candidates for Milbern’s U.S. quarters, one of which shows the disability rights activist sitting in a power wheelchair, smiling with a smartphone in her hand.

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About Milbern: Describing her as a “visionary leader and powerful activist for people with disabilities” by the U.S. Mint, Milbern worked to become an important figure in the disability rights movement. She became an activist and joined the disability justice movement after moving to San Francisco, where she began working in a bank.

Former President Barrack Obama appointed Milbern to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in 2014. She also set up the Disability Justice Culture Club (DJCC) with her friends to create “an affordable haven for low-income Disabled BIPOC in a rapidly gentrifying Bay Area.”

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Work during the pandemic: Born with congenital muscular dystrophy to a conservative, military family on May 19, 1987, in Seoul, Milbern helped Oakland, California, residents during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing them with health kits containing masks and hand sanitizer through her DJCC.

She died on her birthday in 2020 at a hospital in Stanford, California.

Other trailblazing women: Besides Milbern, the U.S. Mint has also featured other trailblazing Asian American women in its quarters, including former U.S. representative from Hawaii Patsy Mink, Hawaiian hula teacher Edith Kanakaʻole and Chinese American film star Anna May Wong.

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