On Wednesday, May 29th, the California Women’s Law Center honored Sandra Fluke, the Honorable Fiona Ma, Amy Ziering and Susan Burke at the Abby J. Leibman Pursuit of Justice Awards breakfast. Sandra Fluke was honored for a career advocating for women’s rights. She came to national prominence in 2012 after being denied the chance to testify at a congressional hearing on insurance coverage for birth control. She has since continued to be an outspoken advocate for women and girls using platforms like the 2012 Democratic National Convention to bring these issues before a broader audience.
Former Speaker Pro Tempore of the California State Assembly Fiona Ma was honored for her tireless work fighting for women’s rights in the California State Legislature. Assemblymember Ma chaired the Assembly Domestic Violence Committee and discussed her effort to enact legislation on behalf of incarcerated women who are survivors of domestic violence.
Amy Ziering and Susan Burke were awarded the Pursuit of Justice Award for their roles in the documentary “The Invisible War.” Producer Amy Ziering was horrified to discover an ongoing epidemic of sexual assault in the military where survivors are not provided access to an impartial system of justice. Susan Burke, a lawyer featured in the film for her role filing suit on behalf of survivors of sexual assault in the military, was honored for her commitment to justice. Burke’s firm interviewed hundreds of survivors and now represents dozens of plaintiffs in several complaints. The film has been cited by community and elected leaders as a key motivating factor in the pursuit of legislation to protect survivors of sexual assault in the military.
The breakfast also honored departing Executive Director Katie Buckland who left CWLC in April to serve as the Executive Director of the Writers Guild Foundation. Board President Lois Thompson and Interim Executive Director Betsy Butler both spoke about Katie’s dedicated service and plans for CWLC’s growth building on Katie’s work.