MINERVA AWARDS

“In looking for a namesake and symbol for these awards, I chose Minerva, the Roman goddess of ‘a thousand works,’ not only because she graces the California state seal, but also because she embodies what I believe to be truly heroic and feminine qualities.”  

Maria Shriver

Founder, Minerva Awards

Named after the Roman Goddess Minerva, who graces the California State Seal, The Minerva Awards were created by Maria Shriver in 2004 to recognize remarkable women “who serve on the front-lines of humanity,” celebrating their unique contributions that better the lives of others in communities across this country and around the world. The Women’s Conference was capped off each year by the annual presentation of the Minerva Awards.

Thirty-three women received the Minerva Award between the years 2004 and 2010. Each had found herself in extraordinary circumstances and risen to the challenge to become a visionary and Architect of Change.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LEGACY OF THE MINERVA AWARDS

Watch short, inspiring videos below about the women’s remarkable legacies honored by the Minerva Awards.

2010

OPRAH WINFREY
Chairman and CEO of Harpo Productions

SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR
First Woman Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Serving From 1981-2006

ORAL LEE BROWN
Helps at-risk kids graduate high school and college through the Oral Lee Brown Foundation

SISTER TERRY LEE DODGE
Executive Director of the Claremont, CA-based Crossroads, which offers services for female parolees after their release from prison

CAROLYN BLASHEK
Founder, Operation Gratitude

2009

JANE GOODALL
Renowned Primatologist and Conservationist, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace, Founder of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, and Author

AGNES STEVENS
Founder of School on Wheels, which provides educational opportunities for homeless children ages 6 to 18 in Southern California

DR. KATHY HULL
Founder of the George Mark Children’s House in San Leandro, CA

HELEN WAUKAZOO
Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Bay Area-based Friendship House

2008

BETTY CHINN
Advocate for the homeless

LOUISE HAYE

Self-Help Pioneer, Author and Founder of Hay House

IVELISE MARKOVITS

Advocate for Foster Children and Founder of Penny Lane

BILLY JEAN KING

Pioneering Women’s Tennis Champion, Author and Founder of Women’s Tennis Assocation, Women’s Sports Foundation and Women’s Sports Magazine

GLORIA STEINEM

Women’s Right Activist, Author and Founder of Ms. Magazine and Ms. Foundation for Women

2007

NANCY PELOSI

Speaker of the House of Representatives

SWEET ALICE HARRIS

Founder and Executive Director of Parents of Watts

CHRISTY PORTER

Founder and Executive Director of Hidden Harvest

EUNICE SHRIVER KENNEDY

Founder of the Special Olympics (Lifetime Achievement Award)

COMMANDER MAUREEN PENNINGTON

Senior Nurse Executive, U.S. Naval Medical Center

2006

JANE ALEXANDER
Co-Founder of Citizens Against Homicide

SANDRA OROZOCO STAPLETON, RAMONDA DELGADO and JENNIE HERNANDEZ GIN
Founders of Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE):

MARILYN HAMILTON
Designer of the “Quickie” Wheelchair and Founder of the “Winners on Wheels” Youth Program

DR. SALLY RIDE
Astronaut, Scientist and Writer (Lifetime Achivement):

2005

ANITA L. DEFRANTZ
Former Olympian

SISTER JENNIE LECHTENBERG
SNJM

JANICE MIRIKITANI
Poet and Humanitarian

BETTY FORD
Former First Lady (Lifetime Achivement)

2004

ANNE DEUTSCH
Co-Founder and Clinical Director of the LA-based Program for Torture Victims

LULA WASHINGTON
Founder and Artistic Director of the Lula Washington Contemporary Dance Foundation (LWCDF)

HELENE BROWN
“Political Oncologist” and Advocate for Cancer Research and Prevention

DR. MIMI SILBERT
Founder and President of The Delaney Street Foundation (Lifetime Achievement Award)

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