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History of the Woman Warrior Awards

To further its goal of recognizing and honoring Asian and Pacific women, PAAWBAC established the Woman Warrior Awards. Since 1983, several dozen Bay Area women – “unsung heroines” – have been honored for their achievements and service to the community. The awardees have distinguished themselves in their professions while advancing the status of Asian and Pacific women and promoting the interests of Asian and Pacific communities.

The term “Woman Warrior” evolved from the ancient Chinese story of Fa Mu Lan, daughter of a retired army general. The father is called on to quell a rebel uprising but is too old to respond. Fa Mu Lan disguised as a man, goes in his place. Through many years of battle, she proves to be a skilled and resourceful soldier. Fa Mu Lan rises up in the ranks and ultimately leads her troops to victory. Not until she is about to be rewarded for her bravery does she reveal her identity.

Our modern-day Woman Warriors are similarly talented, dedicated, courageous, and worthy of honor. They have changed society for the better. But unlike Fa Mu Lan, these leaders don’t need to don disguises to gain credibility. In twenty-first century America, our awardees can proudly proclaim their womanhood!

For 25 years, PAAWBAC recognized 101 Women Warriors for their distinguished contributions in work and community.  In 2006, we established the Monarch Awards to recognize emerging API women leaders who inspire those around them and who are making outstanding contributions at a young age.

(L to R): Carole Jan Lee, Alice Bulos, Adrianne Chang Kwong, and Caryl Ito.

(L to R): Carole Jan Lee, Alice Bulos, Adrianne Chang Kwong, and Caryl Ito.


  • Janice Mirikitani
  • Juanita Pascual
  • Sandy Ouye Mori
  • Dong Hau
  • Ida Dear Liu
  • Kathy Yen


  • Mitsu Yashima
  • Beth Rosales
  • Velma Yemeto
  • Julie Hatta
  • Jade Snow Wong
  • Caryl Ito


  • Ruth Asawa
  • Carole Jan Lee
  • Michi Oka Onuma
  • Mabel Teng
  • Barbara Fong


  • Patti Jo Hirabayashi
  • Dorothy Chin Wong
  • Elaine Kim
  • Effie Chow
  • Dora Kim
  • Alice Bulos
  • Janet Tom
  • Shirley Wong


  • Pauline Lo Alker
  • Florence Fang
  • Leslie Tang-Schilling
  • Noriko Sawada Bridges
  • Teresita Bravo-Paredes
  • Sister Elizabeth Lang
  • Heather Fong
  • Grace Ong Hing


  • Dalisay Bocobo-Balansat
  • Rhonda Hirata
  • Reiko Homma-True
  • Min Paek
  • Kathy Owyang Turner
  • Donna Yick
  • Connie Young Yu
  • Anita Fong


  • Theresa Gee
  • Chizu Iiyama
  • Deeana Jang
  • Nancy Yoshihara Mayeda
  • Emerald Yeh
  • Mary Jung
  • Moira Shek


  • Brenda Wong Aoki
  • Ligaya Avenida
  • Ellen Kiyomizu
  • Kathleen Lim Ko
  • Pamela Tau Lee
  • Adrienne Pon
  • Dianne Yamashiro-Omi
  • Katherine J. Lee
  • Arlene May Gong Chow
  • Gladys Hu
  • Virginia Mei
  • Mei Nakano
  • Alice Fong Yu

  • Patricia Chang
  • Anni Chung
  • Judith Kajiwara
  • Lynette Jung Lee
  • Peggy Saika
  • Young Hai Shin
  • Marianne Wong


  • Tessie Guillermo
  • Yo Hironaka
  • Annie Nakao
  • Mayseng Saetern
  • Lt. Sandra Tong
  • Appolonia “Dee” Uhila
  • Sylvia Mei-ling Yee
  • Janis Hom


  • Dr. Sue Chan
  • Tho Thi Do
  • Doris Him Grover
  • Gerrye Wong
  • Anna Sawamura Higaki
  • Jan Masaoka
  • Cherie M. Querol Moreno
  • Patricia Shiu
  • Sharon Yow
  • Valerie Nara


  • Loni Ding
  • Christine Hiroshima
  • Patricia Lee
  • Lydia Tanji
  • Pearl Wong
  • Ginny Poon Yamate
  • Mona Lisa Yuchengo
  • Helen Zia
  • Laura Takeuchi


  • Jeanette Dong
  • Dianne Fukami
  • Jennie Chin Hansen
  • Sally Yu Leung
  • Susan Shirasawa Muranishi
  • Katie Quan