YWCA GREATER AUSTIN Annual Women of the Year Awards & Auction
On the evening of June 20, come celebrate extraordinary leaders at the YWCA Greater Austin's annual Women of the Year Awards & Auction Soirée. This annual celebration honors Austin women who have demonstrated excellence, leadership and integrity, and who serve as role models for women and girls throughout Greater Austin.
The 2014 Women of the Year are:
* Racial Justice Award: Shubhada Saxena
Shubhada Saxena incessantly works to provide equity across barriers of age, culture, immigration status, health and ability, as well as gender and socioeconomic status. Working with over 20 organizations, she advocates for the needs of immigrants who migrate at a late age and live with their children and grandchildren in suburban areas without adequate public transportation. She mobilizes communities and brings awareness to these needs and collectively develops successful solutions. She involves people of all ages, men and women, in dialogs to understand the problem and create solutions. Shubhada says, "We love Austin, its natural beauty, eclectic environment, and [its] spirit of giving back to the community. We hope that everyone living here can enjoy just as much."
* Economic Empowerment Award: Sheryl Cole
Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole has been a long-standing champion of change in communities that have often been left out of the conversation. Among such changes, she championed an equal pay resolution on the Austin City Council that required city employees to be paid the same regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. Recently, she also co-sponsored a resolution with Council Members Spelman and Morrison that would improve housing choices by prohibiting discrimination based upon an individual's source of income. She was determined to resolve the limited amount of geographical opportunities for low income residents, including veterans, seniors, children and people with disabilities who held housing vouchers in the city of Austin. And much more.
* Lifetime Achievement Award: Monica Benoit-Beatty
Monica Benoit-Beatty has practiced 25 years of nonstop community service which has allowed her to evolve as a strong community liaison who thrives on connecting people from all walks of life with available resources. Monica's extensive love for people and community service has garnered her a reputation as a resourceful, highly connected, "Go To - Can Do - Get It Done" person throughout the state of Texas.
* Leader of Promise Award: Christine Chen
Christine Chen has worked with brands and nonprofit organizations to create films that inspire women to fearlessly pursue what they love to do in life. Christine's latest project and debut feature film, Funemployment, co-written with a female intern, not only features multi-racial talent in non-traditional roles, but also showcases a strong female lead.
* Young Woman of Achievement Award: Ruby Fisher
Ruby Fisher is a senior at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. She prides herself on living up to the school motto of being a shoulder to lean on, a beacon of wisdom, and a crutch for support. Through her time at ARS, she's taken steps to ensure other girls are afforded new and unique opportunities. As part of the pioneering class, she has made strides to make sure her younger sisters have an easier time on their road to graduation. She offers advice to those younger than her, opens doors for other students as a part of the Ann Richards Roller Derby Team, and founded the ARS Gay Straight Alliance.