In honor of Women’s History Month, the Women’s Committee of the Oakland NAACP celebrated several generations of women leaders at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland Saturday, March 24. The Phenomenal Women Awards program honored 14 women, three posthumously.
Chief Executive Director of the Oakland Private Industry Council, Inc. (PIC), Gay Plair Cobb, was honored for her 35 years of activism in Oakland. Cobb spoke of her interactions with Martin Luther King, Jr. and hopes that sometime soon the world will not have to be reminded that “Black Lives Matter.” Cobb participated in the historic freedom rides leading to the desegregation of lunch counters.
Joyce Gordon, owner of Joyce Gordon Gallery spoke of wanting to ensure Black people have a space to showcase their talent. Through her non-profit she nurtures young artists. “I now focus on programs for the youth to cultivate their creativity,” she said.
Educator Lucella Thomas Harrison served Oakland for 36 years as teacher, administrator for Cole Elementary School and an office administrator for the Oakland Unified School District. She also served on the Oakland School Board for District 3.
Dr. Doris Limbrick, senior associate pastor of Acts Full Gospel Church of God in Christ spoke of what a joy it has been to serve her community with her brother, Bob Jackson, pastor of Acts Full Gospel Church. She now serves women with her GirlTalk Ministry. “It is important to hold spaces for women to come together as Christian women in and outside of the church,” she said.
Electra Kimble Price, who worked for the Oakland Unified School District’s Superintendent’s office, was honored for her commitment to youth and education. Dr. Robyn Fisher, president of R.T. Fisher Enterprises, was recognized for her work in preparing students for college. Lisa Landry, founder of the Oakland Homegrown Project, was awarded for her mission of supporting underprivileged youth.
For her support of single parents raising children, Alicia Murphy was honored. Murphy’s favorite scripture is; Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Howard University graduate Robin Thomas was one of the first Black nurses with a BSN degree to work for Doctors Hospital in Pinole. Thomas was recognized for her commitment to public health.
Dominica Zone Maggard, of LifeLong Medical Care was honored for her dedication to improving the disparities in healthcare. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in social work.
Patricia Waugh, founder of Bright Star Residential Care Home was awarded for her work with developmentally and mentally challenged patients in Oakland. Community advocate Allie Whitehurst was surprised with a recognition for her continued support and excellence in the areas of education and civil rights.
Legacy honorees included Marcella Ford, Tarea (Ty) Hall Pittman and Lillian Potts. Educator Marcella Ford lived to be 100 years old and was recognized as one of the contributing founders of the African American Museum and Library of Oakland.
Community activist, Tarea (Ty) Hall Pittman was active in the NAACP and organized protests to force war industries to hire African American Workers during World War II.
She lived to be 88 years of age and the South Branch Library in Berkeley was named in her honor in 2015.
Berkeley Victory Democratic Club leader and Civil Rights activist, Lillian Potts lived to be 92. During her lifetime she was an active member of the NAACP and sponsored the youth programs for five years.