CSUN honored five women for their contribution and service to the southern California community.
More than 150 students, staff and community supports attended the seventh bi-annual Phenomenal Women Awards. Those honored included south Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Los Angeles Times columnist and KPCC host Patt Morrison, immigration activist and President of National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities Angela Sanbrano, communications studies professor and co-founder of the women’s studies program Elizabeth Berry, and internationally recognized sculptor and painter, Tina Allen.
“This is an extraordinary event,” said CSUN President Jolene Koester. “These women exemplify what Cal State Northridge stands for. They each give back to their community.”
While these women come from different arenas of society, including journalism, community activism, politics, arts and academics, they all have one thing in common. They give back to their respective communities.
“It is the best award, getting recognized by your peers,” Morrison said. “These women have all overcome obstacles to be where they are now and to get recognized by them is the best honor.”
The benefit luncheon included a silent auction to raise support for student scholarships, Women’s History Month events, and student and faculty research at the Women’s Studies Program.
“It is important to recognize these women’s work and show our women good role models to follow,” said Department of Women’s Studies Chair Nayereh Tohidi. “It also gives us a chance to raise some funds to support our programs.”
The event also recruited male students to volunteer and show their support. “I want to give tribute to these phenomenal women for their work,” said 24-year-old Terrell Moore.
While it is a forgotten field for most awards, Allen received a standing ovation for her courageous work tackling social and racial issues through the arts.
“This is an amazing institution,” Allen said. “They know how to prepare women, not only academically, but also spiritually.”
More than half of the audience stood up when communication studies professor Christie Logan asked the audience to stand if they were being mentored, supported or affected in any way by Berry’s work on campus.
CSUN’s Women’s Studies Department is home to the oldest continuing Women’s Research and Resource Center in the California State University system.