HGTV Host Joins Every Living First Lady for Historic Project

First Ladies

Getty All five living First Ladies: Rosalyn Carter, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, Melania Trump, and Jill Biden

Comedian, actress and HGTV host Retta can add a new title to her resumé: ambassador. The host of “Ugliest House in America” was just named one of the first members of the Council of Ambassadors for the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation, a group of luminaries who will help make this longtime dream a reality with support from all five living U.S. First Ladies.

Retta Joins 21 Other Ambassadors to Make Monument a Reality

If you’ve ever toured visited Washington D.C. to take in all of the statues and monuments dedicated to history-makers, you might have noticed something missing: women. Fewer than 5% of statues in the nation’s capital depict women, according to the foundation behind the Women’s Suffrage National Monument that Congress wants to be built along the National Mall. A powerful group of luminaries will help make that dream a reality, including Retta.

Advocates say it’s ludicrous that there’s still no formal tribute honoring the brave women who stood up for gender equality, gaining the right to vote in 1920. According to, it took activists nearly 100 years to win that right with the 19th Amendment, facing all kinds of opposition along the way.

Even getting a monument to commemorate the milestone has taken years. But, according to USA Today, Congress authorized the creation of a monument in 2020, and former President Donald Trump signed the bill into law right before his term ended.

In October 2022, the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation announced that all five living U.S. First Ladies — Jill Biden, Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Rosalynn Carter — have all agreed to serve as the project’s Honorary Chairs.

Organizers also announced the inaugural members of its Council of Ambassadors, a bipartisan group of luminaries dedicated to helping build awareness, help get a site approved and raise private funds so that the monument can be built. The ultimate goal is to honor the women who “lobbied, marched, picketed, and protested in their decades-long fight for equality,” press materials said.

Retta posted the news of her being named one of the ambassadors. She’s one of 22 public figures on the Council, which also includes filmmaker Ken Burns, producer and actress Rosario Dawson, author Malcolm Gladwell, “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell, Gold Medal Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.

Retta’s Calendar is Getting Very Full


GettyRetta attends the US Open Tennis Championships in September 2022

Retta’s appointment to the Women’s Suffrage Monument’s Council of Ambassadors is just the latest major project added to her plate.

Her HGTV Show, “Ugliest House in America,” has been such a hit that just days after the season 2 premiere in August, HGTV announced it will return for a third season in early 2023. The series follows Retta as she tours homes in five regions of the country with designs that are odd and unsightly, with a winner crowned at the end of the series to receive a renovation. Retta offers her funny commentary along the way.

Also known for her roles on “Parks & Recreation” and “Good Girls,” Retta will star in a pilot for a new NBC crime drama called “Murder By the Book.” According to Deadline, it’s part of a “talent holding deal” she signed with NBCUniversal TV & Streaming, in which NBC is developing projects for her across its networks.