Alameda County begins Women’s History Month by announcing its 2023 Women’s Hall of Fame inductees. From a nomination pool of over eighty outstanding women, thirteen will be inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame, and their stories will be shared and memorialized in County archives.
Since 1993, the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame has paid tribute to women’s sacrifices and community contributions. After a three-year pause due to COVID-19, the Women’s Hall of Fame is back to continue honoring local women’s strength, compassion and impact.
Nominations were submitted in thirteen categories and evaluated by a panel of judges. While the categories and contributions vary, there is one commonality among the inductees – giving back. Each of them has taken a passion, challenge or skill and shared it for the benefit of others. Undoubtedly, their individual contributions will have a collective impact on our community.
Inductees will be honored at an awards ceremony and luncheon at the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland on Saturday, March 25th. This event has historically brought out over 500 guests and dignitaries to honor women warriors of Alameda County.
For more information about the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame, 2023 inductees, or to purchase a ticket to the awards ceremony, visit acgov.org/whof or call 510.272.3882.
Business & Professions – Maya Shiroyama
Maya Shiroyama is the retired owner of Oakland’s Kitazawa Seed Company. Since 1917, Kitazawa has provided seeds for growing vegetables for traditional Asian dishes. Over twenty years ago Ms. Shiroyama kept Kitazawa’s doors from closing, preserving the sole source for growing vegetables for many Japanese American families and making a lasting investment in the culture and history of her Asian American heritage and community.
Angela Wellman – Culture & Art
Angela Wellman founded the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music. The Conservatory centers the Black experience in the development of American musical culture. Ms. Wellman leads a coalition to build a national network of public conservatories with a unified philosophy of equity, belonging, and empathy through music education.
Anna Wang – Community Service
Anna Wang is the co-founder and vice president of Friends of Children with Special Needs, an organization founded over 25 years ago by parents of children with developmental disabilities. Ms. Wang has devoted her life and career to connecting families with the support, care and resources needed to live healthy and happy lives and is a champion for health and equity for people with disabilities.
Elizabeth Shaughnessy – Education
Elizabeth Shaughnessy, two-term Berkeley School Board member and global chess champion, founded the Berkeley Chess School in 1982. Her love of the game propelled her to open the chess school which now serves over 7,000 youth annually. For over forty years Ms. Shaughnessy has been building the self-esteem and creative minds of youth by teaching the strategy and fun of the game of chess.
Davida Scott – Emerging Leader
Davida Scott is a teacher at the Hayward Adult School. Emboldened by the grief of losing students to gun and gang violence, she founded the Raising Leaders program to provide at-promise youth with the support they need to thrive. Through life skills workshops and internships, Ms. Scott has changed the trajectory of hundreds of young lives. She has dedicated her career to raising up an inclusive workforce for our community and nation.
Elsa Ortiz – Environment
Elsa Ortiz championed environmental policy while serving four terms on the AC Transit Board of Directors. Ms. Ortiz led efforts to connect Alameda County communities to reliable, affordable, and sustainable transit services, including advancing policies that reduce carbon emissions, promote clean energy and ensure equity-based programs that increase transit access to communities that need it most.
Stephanie Brown – Health
Dr. Stephanie Y. Brown is a board-certified emergency medicine physician practicing at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland and Berkeley. She is the clinical lead for the Sutter Health Institute for Advancing Health Equity. At the Institute, Dr. Brown contributes her clinical and population health expertise to advocacy, research, education, and innovation efforts to improve the health outcomes for vulnerable people across Northern California.
Corrina Gould – Justice
Corrina Gould is the tribal chair for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan Nation in the Bay Area, and co-founder of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, an urban Indigenous women’s community organization working to return Indigenous land to Indigenous people. Ms. Gould is an activist and organizer that has preserved and protected the ancient burial sites of her ancestors in the Bay Area for decades.
Zuhal Bahaduri – Philanthropy
Zuhal Bahaduri is a healthcare business analyst, founder of a mental health awareness brand called Breathe, and co-founder of The 5ive Pillars Organization, a volunteer-led group established to ensure a welcoming and dignified resettlement of Afghan refugees to Alameda County. Ms. Bahaduri is devoted to ensuring newcomer families are connected to critical health, housing, education, and other support services needed to feel safe, loved and connected to their new environment.
Patricia Hendricks – Non-Traditional Careers
Patricia Hendricks Sensei, 7th Dan Shihan Aikikai, traveled the world learning and teaching Aikido, a Japanese style of martial art that promotes health, well-being and self-defense. She studied Aikido in Iwama, Japan with renowned Saito Sensei Shihan. She served as Saito Sensei’s representative for the United States and runs the Iwama division in the California Aikido Association. Hendricks Sensei founded Aikido of San Leandro in 1984 and has produced aikido experts worldwide.
Darlene (Dar) Vendegna – Sports & Athletics
Darlene Vendegna has coached Bay Area sports for decades and is Oakland’s USA Pickleball Association Ambassador. She saw that COVID restrictions had many feeling isolated, so she started a pickleball club at Bushrod Park in Oakland that introduced hundreds of residents to the sport. Ms. Vendegna’s sports leadership has provided mental, emotional and physical support to countless residents of Alameda County and beyond.
Dr. Tanya Moore – Science, Technology, Engineering
Dr. Tanya Moore is committed to broadening participation in STEM fields for BIPOC women. She developed a national conference to educate and support minority women in STEM fields in collaboration with a team of women mathematicians. Dr. Moore founded Intersecting Lines, a company using creative approaches to empower leaders to use data science, statistics, and technology to drive business decisions. Her love of math and science has influenced many young women to enter the field and succeed.
Noor Dharni – Youth
Noor Dharni is a high school senior passionate about breaking down stigmas surrounding mental health. Inspired by her own experiences, Noor became a mental health advocate and is now a voice for youth across the country, dedicated to raising awareness and access to resources for youth with mental health issues. Noor plans to pursue the field of Psychology in her undergraduate studies.