Dr. Paulette Brown was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year award by the Society of Extraordinary Women. She was also presented with a special painting. (Images by Jeremiah Hill solcaptionsie.pic-time.com)

Breanna Reeves |

As March marks Women’s History Month, the Society of Extraordinary Women hosted its 2nd Annual  Gala in Riverside, CA on Sunday,  March 6 to honor outstanding members of the inland community. The event recognized a host of women (and a few men) for their achievements and contributions to the fields of education, STEM and business.

The event featured Tim Grambling, LP.D., Dean of the School of Business and assistant professor at California Baptist University, as the guest speaker. He spoke on the event’s theme of achievement, empowerment and giving back and reminded the audience of an African American phrase: “I am because we are,” acknowledging that the success of an individual is owed to the success of the community as a whole.

Guests also enjoyed an interactive monologue delivered by Gigi Coleman, great-niece of Bessie Coleman in which she moved through the crowd while recounting Coleman’s childhood, achievements and goals. Coleman’s performance reminded the audience that Bessie Coleman never let adversity stop her from achieving her goals and it shouldn’t stop any of us from doing the same.

The Humanitarian of the Year Award was the last honor of the evening. Before Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds approached the stage to receive her award, she was introduced by a video presentation that featured her mother, former assembly member and Black Voice News publisher emeritus Cheryl Brown, who congratulated Brown-Hinds on her achievement. 

Shirley Coates closed the event by leading the audience in an inspirational chant that she uses to fire up the girls in the Ignite Leadership Academy. She encouraged the audience to chant, “Together everyone achieves more!”

Breanna Reeves is a reporter in Riverside, California, and uses data-driven reporting to cover issues that affect the lives of Black Californians. Breanna joins Black Voice News as a Report for America Corps member. Previously, Breanna reported on activism and social inequality in San Francisco and Los Angeles, her hometown. Breanna graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in Print & Online Journalism. She received her master’s degree in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics. Contact Breanna with tips, comments or concerns at breanna@voicemediaventures.com or via twitter @_breereeves.