“In looking for a namesake and symbol for these awards, I chose Minerva, the Roman goddess of ‘a thousand works,’ not only because she graces the California state seal, but also because she embodies what I believe to be truly heroic and feminine qualities.” – Maria Shriver, Founder, Minerva Awards
The Minerva Awards were created by Maria Shriver in 2004, then First Lady of California, to recognize remarkable women “who serve on the front-lines of humanity,” celebrating their unique contributions that better the lives of others in communities across this country and around the world. Each of the 33 women honored at the Minerva Awards has found herself in extraordinary circumstances and risen to the challenge to become a visionary and Architect of Change. Click on each woman below to watch short, inspiring videos about their remarkable legacies honored by the Minerva Awards.
Chairwoman and CEO, Harpo Productions and the Oprah Winfrey Network
SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR
First Woman Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Serving from 1981 – 2006.
Founder, Operation Gratitude
ORAL LEE BROWN
Helps at-risk kids graduate high school and college through the Oral Lee Brown Foundation
SISTER TERRY DODGE
Executive Director, Crossroads Inc., working with women being released from prison
DR. JANE GOODALL
Founder, The Jane Goodall Institute & Roots and Shoots; Environment Peace Activist
Founder, Schools of Wheels; Educator of Homeless Children