Shriver created the awards in 2004 in order to recognize women from all walks of life who have done extraordinary humanitarian work in California on behalf of others. In addition to the recognition, the winners earn $25,000 to further their causes.
This year’s winners are media mogul and talk show queen, Oprah Winfrey; retired U.S. Supreme Court associate justice Sandra Day O'Connor; Carolyn Blashek, founder of Operation Gratitude, the largest civilian military aid organization in U.S. History; Oral Lee Brown and Sister Terry Dodge.
Dodge is the founder and executive director of Crossroads, Inc., a Claremont, Calif.-based organization that provides free housing, education, counseling and transitional support to women who have been incarcerated. Brown founded the Oral Lee Brown Foundation to send disadvantaged youth to college. To date, her California foundation has sent nearly 200 at-risk youth of Oakland through high school and on to college.
To learn more about the Minerva Awards, click HERE.