Celebrate Your District's 2024 Woman Making HERstory

Find out how your Assembly Member or Senator is celebrating a 2024 Woman Making HERstory in your district by finding your Assembly and Senate representatives.

2024 California Women Making HERstory Celebration

On Monday, March 11, 2024, in concurrence with Women's History Month, members of the California legislature celebrated 8 women of distinction from across the state. Each HERstory Maker was honored on the Assembly and Senate floors in a ceremony hosted by the Legislative Women's Caucus. These women have demonstrated and exemplary role in California's innovation and progress.  

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Meet the 2024 Honorees



Toni G. Atkins

Senate President pro Tempore Emerita

Toni Atkins made California Legislature history when her colleagues elevated her to Speaker of the Assembly in 2014 – the first San Diegan and first lesbian to hold the position. Elected to the state Senate in 2016, she was promptly chosen to lead the Senate as Senate President pro Tempore, the first woman and first openly LGBTQ person to serve in that role. Atkins also holds the distinction of being the only woman, the first person in 150 years, and the third person in California history, to serve as leader of both houses of the Legislature. Among the landmark legislation Atkins authored was SCA 10, the constitutional amendment that made abortion and contraception a fundamental right for all Californians. Prior to the Legislature, Atkins served as Clinic Services Director at San Diego’s Womancare Health Center, aide to former City Councilmember and Senator Chris Kehoe, and member of the San Diego City Council.

Nalleli Cobo-Uriarte

Environmental Justice Champion

Nalleli Cobo-Uriarte began her activism at the age of nine after experiencing health related issues tied to pollution in her South Los Angeles community. She co-founded ‘People not Pozos’, which aims to secure safe and healthy neighborhoods, and the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition, which focuses on environmental racism. To help mobilize her community against the disproportionate pollution burden present in their neighborhoods, Cobo-Uriarte went door-to-door, held meetings and rallies, and spoke at city council meetings. As a result of these efforts, both the Los Angeles City Council and the LA County Board of Supervisors took action to protect her community enacting limits on oil drilling in residential neighborhoods. Her story and leadership led to Nalleli Cobo-Uriarte being honored with the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2022.

Mai Der Vang

Award-winning Poet

Born in Fresno to Hmong refugees, Mai Der Vang’s multiple award-winning poems and anthologies draw from community, family, nature, and astronomy. Her debut collection Afterland, won her the prestigious 2017 Walt Whitman First Book Award from the Academy of American Poets. Released in 2022, Yellow Rain, her book of documentary, poetry, and collage, was awarded the Academy of American Poets Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, an American Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, and placed Vang as a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize, positioning her among the top poets in the nation. Vang teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Fresno State, and holds a degree in English from UC Berkeley in addition to an MFA from Columbia University.

Mildred García, Ed.D.

Chancellor, California State University

A pioneering first-generation college graduate, Dr. Mildred García is the first-ever Latina to be named Chancellor of the California State University (CSU), the largest four-year public university system in the nation. As part of her distinguished career, Dr. García served as president of Cal State Fullerton from 2012 to 2018, achieving record improvements in graduation rates. She also served as president of CSU Dominguez Hills from 2007 to 2012, the first Latina president of a CSU campus. During her tenure, she dramatically increased retention rates for freshman and transfer students and eliminated a structural deficit. Prior to her appointment as CSU chancellor, Dr. García served as president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities making her the first Latina to lead one of the six presidentially based higher education associations in Washington, D.C.

Patricia Guerrero

Chief Justice, California Supreme Court

A daughter of Mexican immigrants born and raised in the Imperial Valley, Patricia Guerrero made history as the first Latina to be named Chief Justice of California’s Supreme Court. Prior to becoming Chief Justice, she served as an associate justice, the first Latina to serve on the state's high court. In her first State of the Judiciary address, Chief Justice Guerrero highlighted her commitment to a more diverse and inclusive judicial branch. She is a champion of the ‘Power of Democracy Civic Learning Initiative’ and has been active in the ‘Judges in the Classroom’ civics program. Among her many accolades are being named one of USA Today’s 2023 Women of the Year, the 2022 Bernard E. Witkin Award for Excellence in the Adjudication of the Law, and the 2023 Justice Cruz Reynoso Community Service Award – Mexican American Bar Association.

Christina House

Award-winning Photojournalist

Growing up in Long Beach, Christina House found her love for photography when, as a child, she visited the Philippines, her mother’s native country. This led to a degree in photography at Cal State Fullerton and 10 years as a freelance photographer. In 2017, House joined the staff of the Los Angeles Times as a photojournalist. Among her many awards, House won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography and the 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Domestic Photography for ‘Hollywood’s Finest’, an intimate look at the life of a pregnant 22-year-old woman living on the street. In 2021 she received the Cliff Edom New America Award and the 2021 National Press Photographers Association’s Best of Photojournalism award for her work on ‘Game Changers: A Celebration of Women in Sports’.

Aileen Lee

Venture Capital Pioneer

Aileen Lee, founder and managing partner of Cowboy Ventures one of the first female-led venture capital firms, is renowned for coining the term "unicorn" to describe startups exceeding $1 billion in value. An advocate for increasing diversity among founders and investors in Silicon Valley, Lee co-founded ‘All Raise’ in 2018, a nonprofit which seeks to increase the amount of funding that female investors receive. Lee set forth the purpose for All Raise, stating: “We believe that by improving the success of women in the venture-backed tech ecosystem, we can build a more accessible community that reflects the diversity of the world around us.” Lee earned recognition on Forbes' list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women and in 2020, on the Midas List, a ranking of the world's top 100 tech venture capitalists.

Janette Robinson Flint

Founder, Black Women for Wellness

In response to her own birthing experience, Janette Robinson Flint founded, and serves as Executive Director of, ‘Black Women for Wellness’, a reproductive justice organization committed to the health and well-being of Black women and girls. Under her leadership, the organization brings focus to racial disparities impacting maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, advances woman-centered, community-based care, and educates Black women and girls about reproductive justice issues. Her work on Black maternal and infant mortality helped catalyze a national movement, resulting in national and state action to address the stark reality that Black women in America have more than three times higher risk of death related to pregnancy and childbirth than their white peers. Flint is also an active member of the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom and In Our Own Voice, a national coalition of Black women advocating for reproductive justice.


Watch the Senate Floor Ceremony

Woman of the Year

For information regarding our historical Woman of the Year celebrations and previous honorees, please visit our Woman of the Year page.