Lisa Culp (center) of Women’s Empowerment accepts the Women’s Appreciation Award for Organization of the Year from Assemblymember Roger Dickinson, Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.

Women’s Empowerment named Organization of the Year at Inaugural Women’s Appreciation Awards
Nonprofit honored by Steinberg, Dickinson and Matsui for empowering homeless women

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United Way’s certified nonprofit partner Women’s Empowerment received the inaugural Women’s Appreciation Award for Organization of the Year at a ceremony on Friday at the California Museum hosted by Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assemblymember Roger Dickinson. The Sacramento nonprofit received the award for its work empowering women who are homeless to make the changes needed to obtain jobs, stable housing and healthy living choices for themselves and their children.

“I am truly honored to accept this award from three people who work tirelessly every day to ensure women and children can reach their dreams,” said Lisa Culp, Women’s Empowerment executive director, during her acceptance speech. “Thank you to Congresswoman Matsui, Senator Steinberg and Assemblymember Dickinson for helping to pave a smoother path for women and children.”

The awards ceremony at the end of Women’s History Month sought to raise awareness of the contributions local women are making to improve the region, California and the nation.

“During Women’s History Month we celebrate the enormous progress women have made throughout our history and the giants of our past who struggled, suffered and prevailed on behalf of women everywhere,” Matsui said. “I am pleased to join Senator Steinberg and Assemblyman Dickinson in recognizing the remarkable women who are making significant positive changes in our region and helping make it a better place to live.”

Britta Guerrero, CEO of Sacramento Native American Health Center, received the Leader of Tomorrow Award, and Dr. Rhonda Rios Kravitz, dean of the Learning Resource Center of Sacramento City College, received the Unsung Hero Award. The event was sponsored by SMUD, Sierra Health Foundation, Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente and PG&E.

“Sacramento is a community rich in talented, hard working women,” Steinberg said. “It is important that we take time to acknowledge some of the women who are standard bearers for the region. Together with Congresswoman Matsui and Assemblyman Dickinson, I am honored to celebrate Britta Guerrero, Dr. Rhonda Rios Kravitz and Women’s Empowerment for the work they do to make Sacramento the progressive city we love.”

“I am pleased to cohost the Inaugural Sacramento Women’s Appreciation Ceremony with Congresswoman Matsui and Senate pro Tem Steinberg,” Dickinson said. “There is no question that women are often pushed into the shadows of society. Far too many times throughout our nation’s history their accomplishments have been overlooked. As Sacramento’s elected representative in the State Assembly, I am proud that we all came together to recognize the women who make the Sacramento region better for all of us.”

Women’s Empowerment offers the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children. The 2009 Nonprofit of the Year has graduated 1,144 homeless women and their more than 2,500 children. In 2013, 80 percent of graduates found homes and 90 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded solely through private donations from the community. For more information and to donate online, visit www.womens-empowerment.org.