Alemi Daba was born in Ethiopia in an Oromo tribal village. Girls did not go to school, but her contact with American missionaries enabled her to get an education. Because Alemi was Christian, she was tortured and imprisoned under the communist government, which also executed her husband and other members of her family. Alemi, with her two daughters, escaped and arrived in San Diego in 1988 as refugees. Soon after arriving, Alemi launched her energies toward adapting a new language and culture.
Ingrid Croce’s passion for life and belief in the vitality of San Diego are the essence of the Women’s Hall of Fame Spirit award!
After a career as a musician and performer and the tragic death of her husband, songwriter Jim Croce, Ingrid found ways to flourish in San Diego, becoming a self-made entrepreneur, restaurateur, author, publisher and philanthropist. Starting in the early 1970’s she led the movement to revamp San Diego’s run-down historic Gaslamp district. In 1985, she opened Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar at the corner of 5th and F in honor of her late husband.
Joan Craigwell, Trailblazer, is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, a nurse who went on to become dean of a school of nursing. She has devoted herself to counseling veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and improving conditions for nurses, women and people of color. A recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Brain trust Award, the National Disabled American Veterans Commanders' Award, and the Congressional Distinguished Service Award, she has been a champion for nurses and women in the military and in the community.
Margaret “Midge” Costanza was the first woman appointed as Assistant to the President of the United States, Jimmy Carter (1977-1979). There she promoted civil and human rights, curbing world hunger, supporting minority rights as well as the arts and humanities. Midge has a long list of lifetime work in the community and the nation. She passed away in March of 2010.
Evelyn L. Clarke, has worked for decades on behalf of San Diego’s first women’s and human rights organizations such as San Diego National Women’s Political Caucus and the Older Women’s League. She has preserved the histories of organizations by photographing or videotaping their events for their archives. Curiosity and determination prompted Evelyn to take leading roles in many organization working on behalf of women's rights, human rights, healthcare, local and national politics, youth and multi-cultural issues and concerns.