TALLAHASSEE — The ten finalists for the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame, chosen by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women (FCSW), have been announced and sent to Governor Ron DeSantis who will soon select the 2020 inductees into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame. As is customary, the Governor will select up to three women for induction into the Hall of Fame, which recognizes and honors women who, through their works and lives, have made significant contributions to the improvement of life for women and for all citizens of the state of Florida.
The Commission has determined that the following nominees exemplify the great diversity of women’s contributions to Florida life: Alice Scott Abbott, formerly of Bunnell; Florence Alexander, Ph.D. of Longwood; Samira Beckwith of Fort Myers; Jane Castor of Tampa; Nancy Hogshead-Makar of Jacksonville; May Mann Jennings, formerly of Brooksville; Senator Arthenia Joyner of Tampa; Alma Lee Loy, formerly of Vero Beach; Audrey Schiebler, formerly of Gainesville; and E. Thelma Waters of Indiantown.
Waters is a community activist who has improved the lives of hundreds of adults and children living in rural Martin County. She was a leading force in her community for civil rights, suitable migrant housing, medical care, early childhood education, and quality daycare. She started a daycare center for farmworkers' children. She educated parents about health issues and advocated passionately for a health clinic. In 2017 she was one of the three founders of the articles of incorporation for the Village of Indiantown.
“The Florida Commission on the Status of Women, in the true spirit of celebration, is proud to honor these outstanding women who have had such a meaningful impact on our state and its history,” said Commission Chair Rita Barreto Craig. “Each year it is more difficult to choose ten finalists to send to the Governor because of the many superb nominations we receive.” This year marks the thirty-eighth year of the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees will be honored at a special ceremony on Nov. 18.
“The Florida Women’s Hall of Fame was created in 1982 to honor women who, through their lives and efforts, made significant contributions to the improvement of life for women and all Florida citizens,” said Commissioner Maruchi Azorin, Florida Women’s Hall of Fame Chair. “They are pioneers who have broken down barriers, created new opportunities, and championed issues to better Florida and its people. Only three of these trailblazing women will join their sisters and be immortalized on an honorary wall in the halls of the Florida Capitol.”
Every year, the Florida Commission on the Status of Women accepts nominations for both historic and contemporary Florida women to the Hall. For updates and additional information, please visit www.fcsw.net.