Via: My Sweet Charity

By: Jeanne Prejean

Texas Women’s Foundation’s 2024 Leadership Forum and Awards Celebration Co-Chairs Sakina Rasheed Foster and Veronica Torres Hazley have just revealed the speaker, the 2024 Maura Women Helping Women and Young Leader awardees and the program for the annual fundraiser.


First, let’s drop the impressive names who will be featured at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Tuesday, April 30. Award-winning journalist, ABC 20/20 Co-Anchor/ Senior National Affairs Correspondent Deborah Roberts will be at the podium at the evening’s award celebration and dinner.

Receiving the Maura Women Helping Women Awards will be Texas Advocacy Project CEO Heather Bellino, Marsha Clark and Associates Founder Marsha Clark, The University of Texas at El Paso Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Dr. Adeeba A. Raheem and Big Brothers Big Sisters Greater Dallas Senior VP Jamila Thomas.












The Young Leaders Awards will be presented to Allyn Media Account Executive Cimajie Best and Cannenta Center for Healing and Empowerment COO Hilda H. McClure.

The day’s program will kick off with #BESTSELF, “a half-day empowerment program for teen girls” from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

As Sakina explained, “Starting with our #BESTSELF program our community will share its collective wisdom and empower the next generation to become the best version of themselves and leaders in their circles of influence.”

After a two-hour break, the Leadership Forums featuring the award recipients will get underway from 4 to 5:45 p.m. followed by a general reception and the awards dinner including panel discussions moderated by Deborah.

According to Veronica, “Our honorees will inspire you with their stories. Their roles in academia, non-profits, leadership and business have impacted thousands of women and girls and their families to create a better community for all. Plus, we’re honored to have Deborah Roberts of ABC be part of the conversation.

Sponsorship opportunities are available here.

For a full description of the honorees and Deborah, follow the jump:

* Photo provided by Texas Women's Foundation

Maura Women Helping Women Awardees — For 45 years, the Maura Women Helping Women Award has been presented to more than 225 courageous individuals who have catalyzed change for women and girls. Brenda Jackson, selection co-chair, and Carrie Freeman Parsons, TXWF chairwoman and selection co-chair, led the committee to select the following honorees:

  • Heather Bellino of Texas Advocacy Project (TAP) (Austin, Texas)  — Heather Bellino is a visionary leader dedicated to transforming lives as the CEO of Texas Advocacy Project. With a commitment to serving victims of domestic and dating violence, child abuse, stalking, sexual assault and human trafficking, she leads a team that provides crucial legal services to those victims. At the heart of her leadership lies a passion for advancing the lives of women and girls. Through TAP’s initiatives, Heather raises awareness about critical issues, dismantles stigma, and fosters open dialogues, driving positive systemic change.
  • Marsha Clark of Marsha Clark & Associates (Frisco, Texas) — Marsha Clark has become a driving force in the realm of leadership development, change management, strategic planning, performance management, team development and executive coaching. A visionary leader, she has dedicated more than 20 years to crafting and delivering leadership development programs tailored for women. She is also an Amazon best-selling author of “Embracing Your Power.” Complementing her literary success, she hosts a weekly podcast titled “Your Authentic Path to Powerful Leadership,” accessible on
  • Adeeba A. Raheem, Ph.D. of The University of Texas at El Paso (El Paso, Texas) — Dr. Adeeba Raheem, UTEP associate professor of Civil Engineering, uses her academic prowess to help students. She has a multi-million dollar research portfolio with funding from U.S. federal agencies and non-profit organizations, which is directed towards supporting women and economically disadvantaged students in civil and construction engineering. For a decade, she has also been leading a construction safety training program where a large number of women representing diverse socio-economic backgrounds have been trained on occupational safety topics.
  • Jamila Thomas of Big Brothers Big Sisters Greater Dallas (Dallas, TX) — Jamila Thomas serves as senior vice president for Big Brothers Big Sisters and is responsible for establishing the strategic plan for corporate and community engagement. She also serves as an executive board member for Pipelines to Possibilities, an organization founded by four African American women judges focused on educating students on the justice system. Jamila helped establish the first Racial Equity Office in Dallas ISD and founded Cultured Consulting Group, an organization committed to the implementation of culturally responsive leadership best practices.

Young Leader Award —  The Young Leader Award recognizes breakthrough leadership exhibited by a trailblazer who is achieving success in a field, initiative or sector, and creating a path of opportunity for other women to follow. This year’s recipients:

  • Cimajie Best of Allyn Media (Dallas, TX) — Cimajie Best, an account executive with Allyn Media, is a trusted advisor to clients facing public affairs challenges, public relations opportunities, political elections and landmark fundraising campaigns. As a skilled tactician in capacity building and stakeholder management, she is a strong racial equity advocate and program evaluator. Cimajie works with nonprofits, foundations, elected officials and communities to create inclusive outcomes for all parties involved. She is a staunch advocate for collaborations, partnerships and a collective impact approach to producing change.
  • Hilda H. McClureof Cannenta Center for Healing and Empowerment (Addison, TX) — Hilda McClure, COO at Cannenta Center for Healing and Empowerment and a founding board member at Cannenta Foundation, is a skilled bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in adult therapy and trauma-focused counseling. Driven by a dedication to youth well-being, she pioneered an evidence-based program for children and single mothers in residential care. Committed to community growth, she trains professionals in serving Hispanic families and navigating the acculturation process.