In honor of Women’s History month, League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County (LWVMD) held its annual “Women That Shine” event on March 25, 2017 at the Sonesta Coconut Grove to recognize outstanding women who have a meaningful impact on our community and who are role models for the community.
Click here for event photos.
The 2017 Women That Shine Honorees included:
2017 Women That Shine "Lifetime Achievement Award"
A three-term Miami-Dade County commissioner from 1976 to 1984, Shack became known as an independent thinker who made decisions based on what she felt was right and just, and willing to challenge popular opinion of the times. As a first time commissioner she sponsored an unpopular amendment to add the prohibition on basis of sexual orientation to the County’s anti-discrimination ordinance. Ruth’s remarkable legacy includes a multitude of philanthropic initiatives, including the Dade Community Foundation which we now know as The Miami Foundation. Ruth Shack is a leading voice in Miami for art, historic preservation and anti-discrimination, and an outstanding role model for all.
2017 Women That Shine Honorees
Marisel is an effective and courageous healthcare leader and advocate for the underserved in our community. She’s driven by the disparity in access to health care for those less fortunate and its impact on the overall health of our community. As President and CEO of HCSF, Mari most recently founded and is the current Chair of the Free Clinics of South Florida, to improve access to health care for Florida’s uninsured, especially women with children. Marisel is also an adjunct professor in Health Policy at FIU, her Alma Mater and a sought out speaker throughout the state for her expertise in Public Health.
Marcia has been laser focused on helping and mentoring the youth of our community throughout her professional career. As an attorney for Dade Legal Aid, a non-profit law firm that serves the unmet legal challenges of the residents in Miami Dade, she provided assistance in family law, domestic violence, guardianship, child advocacy, and other legal issues for those in need. As such, it troubled her to know that at the age of 18, children in foster care are taken out of the system and sent out to care for themselves. This sad reality led her to create Casa Valentina, which provides safe and affordable housing, along with intensive case management and comprehensive life skills curriculum, to encourage self-esteem and successful independence. Marcia is also a mentor for at-risk high school girls with Women of Tomorrow.
Maria is a relentless advocate for all migrants. She is the first executive director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC). Under Maria’s leadership, FLIC provided some of the first investment in immigrant youth organizing, including support for the ‘Trail of Dreams’ that helped launch the DREAMer movement in Florida and across the country. This early support paid off this past year with passage of an in-state tuition legislative victory. She is driven by the vision of a Florida without racism or exclusion and where migrants can live without fear.