The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at California State University, Northridge will host the “Tenth Biennial Phenomenal Woman Reception and Awards Fundraiser” on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the University Student Union’s Grand Salon.
The award ceremony honors women from various disciplines who have made an impact and/or significant contributions to the community. This year’s event will honor
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams, human rights activist Melissa Roxas, community activist Chanchanit Martorell, political activist Lindsey Horvath and performance artist Maria Elena Gaitan.
In 1997, Williams became the 10th woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in its then almost 100-year history for her contribution as founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Today, Williams travels all over the globe serving as a campaign ambassador for the ICBL, which is active in more than 90 countries.
For more than 15 years, Roxas has performed community and social justice work in the United States and the Philippines. In 2009, while performing health care services in the Philippines, she was taken at gunpoint and held in a military camp where she was tortured for six days. Today, Roxas champions for justice for other victims by writing and speaking out against human rights violations across the world.
In 1994, Martorell established the Thai Community Development Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the lives of Thai immigrants by implementing services that promote cultural adjustment and financial independence. In her more than 20 years of social activism, she has worked on several key human rights cases involving Thai victims of human trafficking.
Some of Horvath’s many political accomplishments include her service on West Hollywood’s City Council from 2009 to 2011 and her work as Young Feminist Vice President of the California National Organization for Women. She fought to secure funding and clear the backlog of untested rape kit evidence in the county of Los Angeles. She also began West Hollywood’s first-ever domestic violence community response team.
Gaitan employs both music and satire to produce important creative explorations of women’s history, immigrant human rights, race and identity. Her work has appeared in “Meet the Composer” and “Arts International,” and she is the first Latina to be featured in the Ford Foundation’s Africa Exchange Project, creating projects exploring the African diaspora in Mexico.
The biennial award ceremony includes a reception and silent auction with proceeds going to the gender and women’s studies department for special programming, student and faculty research and financing scholarships for students. Funds also go toward supporting CSUN’s Women’s Resource and Research Center. This year, the event is introducing a new feature that offers an online component of the silent auction to anyone who would like to support the event while continuing the silent auction in person for attendees at the ceremony.
“One of the main goals of the event is to have women who serve as role models to our students,” said Sheena Malhotra, chair of gender and women’s studies. “And over the years, as many of our past awardees return, we’ve built a room that’s more and more filled with women who have really done some amazing things.”
Tickets are $65 each and $40 for alumni. Reservations are due by Oct. 27. For more information, contact the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at (818) 677-3110 or visit the website http://www.csun.edu/gws/PW/phenomenalwoman2012.html.