“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
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.
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
Founder, Operation Gratitude
Renowned Primatologist and Conservationist, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace, Founder of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, and Author
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
Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Bay Area-based Friendship House
Advocate for the homeless
Self-Help Pioneer, Author and Founder of Hay House
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
Women’s Right Activist, Author and Founder of Ms. Magazine and Ms. Foundation for Women
Speaker of the House of Representatives
SWEET ALICE HARRIS
Founder and Executive Director of Parents of Watts
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
Co-Founder of Citizens Against Homicide
SANDRA OROZOCO STAPLETON, RAMONDA DELGADO and JENNIE HERNANDEZ GIN
Founders of Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE):
Designer of the “Quickie” Wheelchair and Founder of the “Winners on Wheels” Youth Program
DR. SALLY RIDE
Astronaut, Scientist and Writer (Lifetime Achivement):
ANITA L. DEFRANTZ
SISTER JENNIE LECHTENBERG
Poet and Humanitarian
Former First Lady (Lifetime Achivement)
Co-Founder and Clinical Director of the LA-based Program for Torture Victims
Founder and Artistic Director of the Lula Washington Contemporary Dance Foundation (LWCDF)
“Political Oncologist” and Advocate for Cancer Research and Prevention
DR. MIMI SILBERT
Founder and President of The Delaney Street Foundation (Lifetime Achievement Award)
READ MY BLOG
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the pillars of the society I want to live in. The society I want to work in. The society I want to grow old in.
Love, as I wrote last week, is the guiding principle of that society. There are several other principles as well, which I’ll get to over the next few weeks. But today, on Father’s Day, I want to focus on the concept of kindness.
Kindness, I believe, is one of the most important qualities that we can have. It’s what can lead us out of our current atmosphere, which is anything but kind.
We rarely recognize kindness as a form of strength, but it is. It takes strength to lead your life from a place of kindness — whether you are leading as a father, an elected official, a teacher, a CEO, or as someone in some other role.
Being kind starts with being kind to yourself. You know that inner voice that so often berates you and everyone around you? That voice that tells you that you’re not working hard enough? That you’re not keeping up? That says, ‘Who do you think you are’? Well, when that voice finishes berating you, it comes out of your mouth and reaches everyone around you.read more