Biennial Phenomenal Woman Reception and Awards Fundraiser to celebrate local women

Leonie Jones

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On Saturday the Ninth Biennial Phenomenal Woman Reception and Awards Fundraiser will be held to celebrate and honor the achievements and contributions of local women who dedicate themselves to the field of gender and women’s studies.

The event, which is hosted by the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, will be in the Grand Salon from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“The auction is a fun way for us to raise money,” said Professor Shira Brown, Director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center.

There will be food and wine served, while a jazz trio plays.

Although the main idea is to honor women, all genders are invited, Brown said.

The tickets are priced at $65 for regular admission and $25 for CSUN students.

The money raised from the fundraiser will go to student scholarships, faculty research, and will allow the department of women’s studies to sponsor special programming, Brown said.

At the beginning of the event, there will be a silent auction.  Guests will have the opportunity to bid on items that range from Lakers and Dodger tickets, to bath and body products. The winners will be announced at the end of the ceremony.

All of the items entered into the auction were donated by various people and local vendors.

There will also be door prizes given throughout the event, and as guests walk in they will receive a raffle ticket. Those whose numbers are called will receive a small door prize.

The women who are being honored have contributed to the cause of women’s studies in a positive way, Brown said.

Those who will be receiving an award are Val Zavala, anchor and reporter for KCET’s award-winning series, SOCAL connected, Katherine Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation and the Feminist Minority, Andrea Smith, co-founder of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence and the Boarding School Healing Project, Synthia Saint James, artist, Lisa Powell, leader in the LGBT movement since 1986, and Roberta Madison, professor emeritus from the Department of Health Sciences at CSUN.

“The people who will attend this event will hear from women who are making outstanding contributions to the community in a lot of different areas like entertainment, media, arts and science,” said Dianne Bartlow, associate professor for the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. “We honor women who are doing really fabulous things.”

The Phenomenal Women Awards ceremony began 18 years ago in 1996. The purpose was to reach out to the community by recognizing women in the region, Brown  said.

“When we started this we wanted to raise visibility of the women in the community, and the fundraiser was to support student scholarship and to enhance state dollars,” said Elizabeth Say, dean of humanities.

This event will give people who attend the opportunity to fellowship with those who may share a similar passion towards women’s issues.

Those who are involved said they are excited about what the guests can gain from their experience at the ceremony.

“I hope they are introduced to remarkable women who are making this world a better place,” Say said. “I hope they recognize the good work that these women do.”

Although the awards ceremony is every other year, on the off years the department keeps the recognized women active by allowing them to form a panel. A theme is chosen, and students have the opportunity to ask questions, and the awardees respond to the best of their ability, Brown said.

Bringing the awardees back keeps the students connected and allows them to interact with each other again, Brown said.