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County Women’s Hall Of Fame to induct five local women

REGION — The San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame will induct five local women for their life’s achievements next month, the organization announced today.

“The honorees chosen represent and reflect the full depth of the diversity of San Diego County,” the Women’s Museum of California said.

“Awards are granted on the basis of values, empowerment, activism, trailblazing, cultural competency, and historical preservation.”

The women were all nominated by the community. There are five categories for Hall of Fame nominees: bridgebuilder, historian, empowerer, activist and trailblazer. The five women being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year are:

— Lilia Garcia, under the bridgebuilder category. Garcia is an attorney who “has advanced the causes of equality, justice and empowerment on both sides of the border,” according to the Women’s Museum.

— Ruth Golsschmiedova Sax, under the historian category. Sax is a survivor of three Nazi concentration camps who “used her story to speak out against hate groups and advocate for a national Holocaust education center.”

Sax will receive the award posthumously; her daughter, Susan Scheller, will accept the award for her.

— Colleen O’Harra, under the empowerer category. An attorney and the founding executive director of the Oceanside Women’s Resource Center, she also served on the Oceanside City Council.

— Bridgit Wilson, under the activist category. Wilson is a military veteran who has advocated for female and LGBT veterans. “She played a key role in the repeal of the military’s `Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, and helped to craft the Obama administration policy to allow transgender individuals to serve openly,” according to the Women’s Museum.

— Dr. Dorothy Smith, under the trailblazer category. She was elected to the San Diego County Board of Education in 1981, and was the first black woman elected to public office in the county. “During her tenure on the board, she helped to establish educational policies and program to promote equity and excellence,” the Women’s Museum said.

In retirement, she has continued to play an active role in community organizations including Common Ground Theater.”

The women will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, March 3, at 2:30 p.m. at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center Celebration Room at 404 Euclid Ave. in San Diego.

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