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First Lady Maria Shriver Announces Remarkable Recipients of the 2006 Minerva Awards

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 13 — Recognizing six exceptional California women for their undaunted courage and devotion to serving others, First Lady Maria Shriver today announced the recipients of the third annual Minerva Awards. Shriver will personally present honorees with their Minerva Award during the California Governor and First Lady’s Conference on Women in Long Beach, California on September 26, 2006. In its historic 20th year, the annual non-partisan conference will continue its tradition of inspiring and empowering the women of California to be “Architects of Change.”

Created by Shriver in 2004, the Minerva Awards are named after the Roman Goddess of Wisdom and Justice, portrayed on the California State Seal, who symbolizes the dual nature of woman as both warrior and peacemaker. Minerva Award recipients have made extraordinary contributions to California in the areas of the Arts, Health and Sciences, Community Activism, Business and Technology, Motherhood, Innovation, Education and Lifetime Achievement. Many of the nominees not only have made a significant contribution to their profession, but they also impart their knowledge and skills to the next generation either by mentoring, and/or by working for the inclusion and retention of women in their field.

The 2006 Minerva Awards go to: * Jane Alexander, Co-founder of Citizens Against Homicide * Sandra Orozco Stapleton, Ramona Delgado and Jennie Hernandez Gin, who founded Women Escaping A Violent Environment (WEAVE) * Marilyn Hamilton, Designer of the “Quickie” wheelchair and founder of “Winners on Wheels” youth program The 2006 Lifetime Achievement Minerva goes to: * Dr. Sally Ride, Astronaut, Scientist and Writer “All Minerva Award recipients stand as towering examples of determination, true leadership and selfless service,” said Shriver. “When these women faced profound obstacles or personal crises in their lives, they dared to envision a better world. By striving to make a difference, these bold architects of change have given us all a stronger, more hopeful California.”


Sandra Orozco-Stapleton, Ramona Delgado and Jennie Hernandez Gin founded WEAVE (Women Escaping A Violent Environment) as three victims of domestic violence tired of living in fear and having nowhere to turn for support. WEAVE is the first and only organization in the Sacramento region to provide emergency shelter and related support services to victims of domestic violence and their children. Sandra, Ramona and Jennie also challenged the Sacramento community to embrace appropriate changes in attitude and become aware about domestic violence as an important social issue. They have opened their homes to victims of domestic violence that needed a safe place to escape the violence of their own homes. They served as advocates on behalf of the victims’ with law enforcement and social service agencies when nobody else would. They campaigned to convince local agencies that domestic violence is a serious crime against women and children and must be addressed by the government. WEAVE helps over 6,000 victims every year and in a nationally recognized domestic violence and sexual assault agency.

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