Congratulations to Our 2021 Women Who Dare Awardees!
These truly extraordinary women exemplify strong, smart, and bold
and provide powerful role models for girls.
BARBARA LEE, Honorary Award
Congresswoman for the 13th District of California
Barbara Lee was born in El Paso, Texas in 1946 and her family moved to California in 1960. Growing up in the segregated Southwest, Congresswoman Lee learned at an early age the importance of standing up for one’s beliefs and of fighting for equality for all. Currently, Barbara serves on the Budget Committee and the powerful Appropriations Committee, which oversees all federal government spending. Rep. Lee is the highest-ranking Woman of Color in Congressional Leadership, serving as House Democratic Co-Chair of the Policy and Steering Committee. As Co-Chair, Barbara works to ensure that committees reflect the diversity, dynamism, and integrity of the Democratic Caucus. In addition, she currently serves as the Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, Co-Chair of the Cannabis Caucus, and most recently, Chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee on State and Foreign Affairs. She is the former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Award-winning Director, Writer, Actor, and Producer
Marielle is an award-winning and critically acclaimed director, writer, actor, and producer. She most recently directed A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood starring Tom Hanks, which earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. Heller previously directed the three-time Academy Award-nominated film, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, starring Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant, just three years after the release of her highly lauded directorial debut, The Diary Of A Teenage Girl. She is currently starring in the Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit. Heller is also the founder of Defiant By Nature, a production company focused on telling stories that uplift and entertain while shining a light on women and non-binary creators. The company’s first release was a filmed version of the Pulitzer Prize winning play What The Constitution Means To Me, available now on Amazon Prime. A proud native of Alameda, Marielle currently resides in Brooklyn with her family.
Senior, Alameda High School
Raquel is an honor student and varsity basketball player who has accepted early admission to play for the University of Rochester. Last season as captain, she helped lead the Alameda High School varsity basketball team to the division championship. Raquel has been attending Girls Inc. of the Island City since second grade and feels their empowering programs have been instrumental in helping her achieve her academic and personal goals. She entered the Girls Inc. Eureka! Teen Achievement program as a freshman in high school. Raquel credits Eureka! with introducing her to a diverse group of successful female role models who inspired her to strive for excellence in her everyday life. She currently serves as president of the Black Student Union at Alameda High School and is the Diversity Commissioner. Raquel also is the vice president of the Youth Activists of Alameda and a member of the City of Alameda’s Police Reforms and Racial Equity’s Subcommittee on Systemic and Community Racism.
Girls Inc. of the Island City is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Our Federal Tax ID # is 94-1581103.
Visit our website at www.girlsincislandcity.org.
Girls Inc. of the Island City
1724 Santa Clara Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501
510.521.1743 | email@example.com