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International Women of Courage Honored

Diane McGlinchey, International Women of Courage recipients Godelive Mukasarasi, Dr. Feride Rushiti and Aiman Umarova; Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs designate Marie Royce, International Women of Courage recipients L’Malouma Said, Roya Sadat and Dr. Julissa Villanueva; event Chair Onma Lwin of San Marino and Janice Trojan at last Thursday’s ceremony at the Jonathan Club.

L’Malouma Said was born into slavery in Mauritania and later became elected to that country’s house of Parliament.

Godelive Mukasarasi dedicated her life after the 1994 Rwandan Genocide to fighting for a culture of peace and non-violence in Rwanda, as well as promoting the rights of women and girls affected by sexual violence in conflict zones worldwide.

Roya Sadat founded Roya Film House to tell compelling stories about her native Afghanistan. In more than 30 documentaries, films, and television shows, Sadat has not shied away from depicting the brutal injustices of life for Afghan women.

These three women were joined by seven others in receiving the International Women of Courage award at the State Department in Washington, DC and six were hosted at a dinner at the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 29 that hosted by American Women for International Understanding.

Now in its 12th year, the Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage award recognizes women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice. The award was created by Condoleezza Rice in 2007 and since its inception, the State Department has recognized over 120 women from more than 65 different countries.

U.S. diplomatic missions overseas nominate one woman of courage from their respective host countries. The finalists are selected and approved by senior Department officials.

San Marino’s Onma Lwin chaired the 2018 International Women of Courage awards dinner at the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles acknowledgement of the recipients at the Jonathan Club was chaired by San Marino resident Onma Lwin, who has been a member of American Women for International Understanding for four years, chaired the events that drew a capacity crowd of 260 attendees.

“We were honored to have hosted the 2018 International Women of Courage Awardees and to introduce them to the Los Angeles community,” Lwin said. “The awardees were applauded for their many achievements and we were equally proud to show our honored guests the warmth and welcoming nature of our Los Angeles sponsors and patrons. All left the evening feeling humbled yet inspired and energized.”

The awardees engaged in person-to-person diplomacy in different cities in the United States through the International Visitor Leadership program and received a grant from the American Women for International Understanding to continue her vital work in her home country.

Honorees attending the Los Angeles celebration were Godelieve Mukasarasia of Rwanda; L’Malouma Said of Mauritania; Dr. Julissa Villanueva of Honduras;  Dr. Feride Tudhiti of Kosovo; Aiman Umarova of Kazakhstan and Roya Sadat of Afghanistan.

San Marino residents attending the event were Carol Ann and Steve Warren, Laura Pollard, Wendy Gute, Wendy Greenleaf, Eva Margueriette and Duncan Toomey, Collen and George Ball and Lwin’s family, including husband Chris, sons Christopher and Michael, daughter Katie and her mother, Khin-Thida Lwin.

Onma Lwin on Monday will begin a new assignment heading up the Undergraduate Career Services Department at USC’s Marshall Business School.

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