Women's History Heroes 2010
The Lemon Lady
Anna Chan is a mother on a mission to save the world, one little lemon at a time. With a passion that all children deserve fresh fruit at their table, it shocked Anna to find neighborhood fruit rotting to the ground while families in the community were going hungry. In her grassroots efforts, Anna has spent countless hours knocking on fruit tree owners' doors, distributing flyers, and asking them to share with the poor. She harvests the fruit herself and delivers to local food pantries. She also networks with farmers for leftover market donations. In the first year, Anna's efforts yielded $100,000 worth of fresh produce to local hunger relief organizations. She soon realized this forgotten urban harvest spans across America. She is hoping to inspire others that one person can truly make a difference to those less fortunate.
Anna furthers her outreach by public speaking, community gardening, and publishing her blog, which has become a respected community resource, emphasizing food education, the value of whole, fresh foods, gardening, the needs of our community food banks, and the population they serve. For outstanding public service and selfless commitment to the hunger cause, Anna "The Lemon Lady" has been recognized in dozens of media, honored with a special Commendation from California Garden Clubs, Inc., and the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service.
Joyce Cook is a families organizer with Books Not Bars, a campaign of the
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (EBC), a strategy and action center based
in Oakland. Joyce started at EBC as a member of the Families for Books Not
Bars Network, tirelessly working to engage parents of incarcerated family members
in a statewide campaign to reform the California Youth Authority. She has testified
in Sacramento to transform the juvenile justice system and conducts outreach
at youth prisons around California to connect with and support family members
of incarcerated youth.
Being raised in one of the Bay Area's most violent neighborhoods and watching several of her family members fall victim to a life of crime and drugs helped Joyce realize that today's youth had to experience something positive in the community they were growing up in. She began working in the city of Richmond, encouraging families to take part in their children's lives. Joyce is a single mom and head of her family, currently supporting five children, six grandchildren, two nephews, and three nieces. She is known for her honesty and warm generosity. Outside of her work with the Ella Baker Center, Joyce is a poet who is guided in her work by the principle that many of our children are merely "Lost souls with stories to be told."
Inspired by a commitment to social justice, Maria Eitz has devoted her career and her personal life to advocating for children exposed to trauma and violence. For over 35 years, Respite Care has provided free child care, early assessments, and interventions for at-risk children, as well as support for parents. Maria has worked tirelessly -- locally and internationally -- to support vulnerable children and women.
Maria is also the founder and director of Medical Volunteer International and has extensive experience caring for children and overseeing staff and volunteers in child development and human rights programs in Asia and Africa. In 1975, Maria organized and directed the services at the Presidio for 2,000 children airlifted from Vietnam, involving hundreds of San Francisco volunteers and services.
Maria has four adopted children from Vietnam and has seven grandchildren. She has been a loving foster mother to many children in the Bay Area. Maria was born and educated in Germany and came to America in 1963. She is an author and currently working on her fifth book.
Mujeres Unidas y Activas
Andrea Lee is an experienced fundraiser, community organizer, and popular educator who joined the Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) staff in 2004. A passionate ally and advocate for MUA's work to support personal transformation and build community power amongst Latina immigrant women in the Bay Area, Andrea has brought her skills in direct donor fundraising, administration and finance, long-term organizational planning and visioning, volunteer management, and training of women and youth as effective community organizers and political actors to MUA. Under Andrea's leadership MUA has become an independent 501c3 organization, implemented its first five-year strategic plan, formed a community-led board of directors, launched new statewide and national organizing campaigns for household workers rights, and created new member-led direct service programs. Andrea has also worked to obtain local and federal government funding contracts for MUA's domestic violence services, built the organization's individual donor and grassroots fundraising program, tripled the organization's budget and staff, and created a substantial emergency financial reserve.
Prior to coming to MUA, Andrea served as the president and executive director of the Greater Boston chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) from 1999-2002 and as the Women in Politics training program director for the Commonwealth Coalition of Massachusetts from 1998-2001. Andrea also has experience working as a field organizer on a variety of local, state, and national electoral campaigns. Andrea served on NOW's national board of directors from 1998-2002, where she focused on building the representation of under-represented constituency groups within NOW's membership. Andrea is bilingual in Spanish and English and has lived, studied, and worked in Guatemala and traveled throughout Central America and Mexico.
Green MBA, Dominican University of California
Jane Lorand is co-founder of the GreenMBA, teaching the lead courses, "Critical
Thinking for Business Redesign" and "Systemic Thinking Labs."
A top graduate of Hastings College of the Law, University of California, San
Francisco, she spent three years as research director at the Center for Critical
Thinking. Jane helps students develop the illusive quality of judgment, enabling
them to collaborate and respond to the question, "Is this idea a good
idea?" Students are challenged to form clear pictures of their Higher
Purposes and to figure out what they believe and why they believe it.
Along with her consulting partner, Bruce McKenzie, Jane led the Fort Baker Leadership Summits in 2009, developing a Vision and Guiding Principles for a Sustainable Future for California with 40 leaders from industry, NGOs, and government. She authored California Leaders Under Pressure: Complexity and Sustainability 2008-2028 (available as a PDF on FutureInsightMaps.com). Jane is active in bringing together business, policy making and community development through sustainability and complexity management in the United States, Thailand, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Also on KQED.org this week ...
KQED Celebrates the Earth
April 22 is Earth Day, but KQED is celebrating our planet all month long. Tune in for special programs, attend special events, and find more resources online.
Where's the Rain?
KQED covers news about California's drought, offers water-saving tips, and more.