Women of Distinction Ceremony

The only way to predict your future is to create it. Lincoln said it, and every year NCCWSL honors women who have lived it! They’ve found their place, they’re making the world better, and they’re going to empower you to do the same.

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Join us at the Women of Distinction Awards ceremony as these women share their advice, inspiration, and experience with the future leaders of tomorrow (that’s you, right?). After hearing their remarkable stories, you’ll have the opportunity to meet them, face-to-face, during the reception after the ceremony.

Who are the 2015 NCCWSL Women of Distinction?

Awardees are leaders in their fields, creators of unique programs and services, and lifelong advocates for critical issues. Here are this year’s inspiring women.

Elizabeth AcevedoElizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo is a poet born and raised in New York City, and her work is infused with her Dominican parents’ bolero and her beloved city’s grit. Currently living in Washington, D.C., she holds a bachelor’s degree in performing arts from George Washington University and is a master of fine arts candidate at the University of Maryland.

With more than 12 years of performance experience, Acevedo has been a featured performer on the BET and Mun2 television channels and delivered a TED Talk in March 2013. She has graced stages both nationally and internationally, including renowned venues such as the Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and South Africa’s State Theatre in Pretoria.

Acevedo is the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam representative for Washington, D.C., and placed in the top 25 in the overall competition. Additionally, she was named the 2014 Beltway Grand Slam Champion, and is a National Poetry Slam Champion. Acevedo has been published or has poems forthcoming in the Acentos Review,the Ostrich Review, Split This Rock, Callaloo, Poet Lore, and the Notre Dame Review.

Debbie SterlingDebbie Sterling
CEO and founder of GoldieBlox

Debbie Sterling is the founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, an award-winning toy company on a mission to “disrupt the pink aisle” with interactive construction toys and stories for girls. Sterling is an engineer, spokesperson, and one of the leaders of the movement getting girls interested in engineering and technology. Sterling was named Time magazine’s Person of the Moment and Business Insider‘s 30 Women Who Are Changing the World. GoldieBlox was named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company and Educational Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association, and it became the first-ever small business to win a free commercial during the Super Bowl. Sterling has made it her life’s mission to tackle the gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and math. She completed her degree in engineering at Stanford University in 2005 and currently lives with her husband in San Francisco.
Read more about her story.

Miriam W. Yeung, MPAMiriam W. Yeung, MPA
Executive Director

Miriam W. Yeung, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), guides the country’s only national, multi-issue, progressive organization dedicated to building a movement for social justice and human rights for Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls in the United States. Yeung is an expert on issues related to reproductive justice; immigrant rights; women’s rights; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues; and cross-movement alliance building. With offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Atlanta and chapters in 15 cities, NAPAWF is the nation’s leading policy voice and leadership platform for Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls.

Recently, under Yeung’s leadership as co-chair of the We Belong Togethercampaign, 125 women activists participated in the largest all-women civil disobedience action in modern times to call for human immigration reform policies. Yeung is also the country’s leading expert on so-called “prenatal nondiscrimination” laws, which seek to ban abortions and target Asian American women.

Prior to NAPAWF, Yeung held many positions during her 10-year career at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center in New York City. During her last year there, she served as director of public policy and government relations, where she oversaw policy matters on the local, state, and federal levels and helped develop the New York City Domestic Partnership Equality Act, the New York City Dignity for All Students Act, and the New York State Dignity for All Schools Act.

Yeung has been published in diverse publications both in print and online and is a sought-after speaker and workshop presenter. In 2014, Yeung was honored at the Ms. Foundation’s annual Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision. In 2012, she was recognized by the National Council for Research on Women with the Making A Difference for Women award and in 2007 received special recognition from the New York City Council for her work with the LGBT youth community.

Born in Hong Kong and raised in the projects of Brooklyn, Yeung is a proud queer Asian American immigrant woman activist who is committed to building social justice movements and raising her two young daughters to be fearless. She holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a master’s of public administration from Baruch College.

Follow @miriamyeung.

Check back as we announce our remaining 2015 Women of Distinction!

When does this year’s ceremony take place?

The event will be held the evening of Thursday, May 28, 2015.

How can I attend the ceremony?

Register for the conference.

What happened at last year’s ceremony?

Check out the highlights from the 2014 Women of Distinction ceremony.