2016 CEDAW Women's Human Rights Awardees

Click here to view photos of the CEDAW Awards


 Sun-Reporter Publishing

 CEDAW Award for Media

One of the few women newspaper  publishers in the country, Amelia  Ashley-Ward has had a long and  distinguished career in journalism  dedicated to a vibrant African American press in San Francisco. A native of Mississippi, her family moved to San Francisco when she was a child. She graduated from San Francisco public schools and received a BA in journalism and photojournalism from San Jose State University.

She began her career as a student intern at the Sun-Reporter, a newspaper steeped in the African American community since its start in 1944. After graduating from college, she was hired as a reporter and photojournalist. Her exceptional photographs were also published in national magazines such as Jet and People. In 1980, the National Newspaper Publishers Association recognized her extraordinary work with a photojournalism award. Within five years, she was promoted to managing editor and when legendary publisher Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Jr. retired in 1994, Ms. Ashley -Ward assumed the top position. There, she continued the outspoken advocacy of Dr. Goodlett, her long-time mentor.

In 1998, she was named Publisher of the Year by the National Newspapers Publishers Association. Eventually, she purchased the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company, including all three of its newspapers, the California Voice, the Metro, and the Sun-Reporter. A tireless voice of the community, she has served on the board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People San Francisco Chapter and, in 2004, she founded the nonprofit Sun-Reporter Foundation. That same year, San Jose State University named her Alumna of the Year. Her son Evan Carlton Ward is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University in broadcast communications.


 Founding President

 CEDAW Award for Philanthropy

A third generation Japanese American, Janice Mirikitani is a celebrated visionary, poet, and community activist. Ms. Mirikitani and her husband Reverend Cecil Williams have, for the past 50 years, dedicated themselves to creating transformative change among the poor and marginalized of San Francisco. They have developed 87 programs, covering education, recovery, mental health, job training, and housing services to support the homeless and other vulnerable communities. Ms. Mirikitani has championed programs specifically for women struggling with substance abuse, sexual and domestic violence, as well as physical and mental health issues. She also expanded resources for parenting, childcare, health and wellness, and job training.

She has authored five books of poetry, most recently, Out of the Dust: New and Selected Poems (University of Hawaii Press, 2014) and edited numerous anthologies of works by writers of color, women, youth, and children. In 2000, Mirikitani was appointed San Francisco’s Poet Laureate. Her experience as a child incarcerated in the Rohwer Arkansas prison camp as part of the mass internment of Japanese Americans during World War II has shaped her fearless activism in civil rights causes for various multi-ethnic communities.

A graduate of UCLA, she received a teaching credential from UC Berkeley and is the recipient of two honorary doctorate degrees. Her extraordinary social change work has earned her over 50 awards and honors, including the Governor and First Lady’s “Minerva Award,” the American Book “Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature,” and the University of California at San Francisco Chancellors “Medal of Honor.”


 US House of Representatives

 CEDAW Award for Government


Congresswoman Jackie Speier represents the 14th Congressional District which includes the southern part of San Francisco and San Mateo County to Redwood City. Since her election to Congress in 2013, she has distinguished herself as a fighter for women’s rights, the public good, and national security. In Congress, she has exposed and demanded accountability for the epidemic of sexual assault in the military and on college campuses, urged the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, and led the fight to end gender discrimination in healthcare and biomedical research. She is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Armed Services Committee, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel where she has fought tirelessly to protect reproductive rights.

Prior to serving in Congress, she spent 18 years in both houses of the California Legislature where she authored over 300 bills that were signed into law, including a measure to recover $2 billion in delinquent court-ordered child support payments. In 1978, she was an Aide to Congressman Leo Ryan and nearly lost her life attempting to rescue former followers of the Reverend Jim Jones in his controversial commune in Jonestown, Guyana. She recounts this experience and strategies for resilience in her popular 2009 book This Is Not the Life I Ordered: 50 Ways to Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down.

In 2012, Newsweek named her among the top 150 “Fearless Women” in the world. Congresswoman Speier received a BA in Political Science from the University of California at Davis and a JD from UC Hastings College of the Law. She is married to Barry Dennis and has two children.





 President US National  Committee for UN Women San  Francisco Bay Area

A global women's human rights activities for twenty years, Amy Logan is on a mission to empower women, girls and male allies through her corporate gender equality consulting, non-profit board leadership, public speaking, advocacy, campaigning, film making, writing, research, leadership development and executive coaching.

Amy is President of the US National Committee for UN Women San Francisco Bay Area where she has led a turnaround of the organization and presented the HeForShe Champions for Change Celebration.

She was a 2016 Delegate to the United Nations' 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women and the White House Summit - The United State of Women. Amy serves as the Chair of the Global Advisory Board of the Women's E-Learning in Leadership Project at George Mason University, and as a member of the global advisory boards of World Leaning, Women's Voices Now, the Muslim American Leadership Alliance and the documentary "Honor Diaries."  She is planning a high-level global panel on women's economic empowerment in Spring 2017.

Amy was the first to establish a thoughtful theory on the origins of "honor violence" based on scholarly research and published it in the The Seven Perfumes of Sacrifice, her critically acclaimed novel about the search for the divine feminine and the ancient, lost origins of "honor killing" in the Middle East, lauded by former Egyptian First Lady Jihan Sedat, Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.

Amy is the Founder and CEO of Gender Innovation, a consulting firm that helps organizations integrate gender equality and partnership into their cultures and systems to enhance corporate social responsibility, performance, engagement, retention, innovation and competitiveness.


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