During World War II, Rita Narimatsu Inoway's family was forced from their California home into internment camps in Arkansas, then Arizona. They were imprisoned for being Japanese-American.
She learned about injustice in those camps, but not as one might expect."It was almost a reverse justice issue there. Japanese-American children picked on a white child. I was so angry. I think my feelings about unjust treatment came from childhood."
Inoway will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award for human services during the YWCA's LeaderLuncheon II.
When the very young Inoway emerged from camp, she couldn't sing the "Star-Spangled Banner." Her brother kidded her; but she couldn't explain.
"I just didn't feel like a citizen then. It took a long time."
Pursuit of justice has shaped Inoway's involvement in the world. She is director of the Volunteer Center of the Community Services Council.
"Working at the Volunteer Center gives me a chance to see people who want to make the world a better place. They help people who are lonely, who are hungry, who are sick. Ultimately, I would like to work with agencies that deal with causes, as well as needs."
She is chairwoman of the Housing Authority of Salt Lake County and has been active in many organizations and on boards, working with issues like child care and domestic violence. She has also been active with health and charitable organizations, Scouting and the PTA.
Her main concern, though, centers around racial conflicts. She is the chairwoman of a national committee that studies incidences of violence against Asians and Pacific Americans. Because of emerging violence, she's had to learn about guns and the damage they can do - "I didn't think I'd ever have to know about things like that.
"I see racial conflict emerging again," she says. "People are feeling economic pressures, and one of the ways to handle these feelings is to take it out on someone . . . children, animals, whoever they perceive as weaker and different."
America needs to come to terms with its melting pot, she said, because it has historically been a land of opportunity, and there's no way to close the door.
"The world is becoming a global community. The walls are coming down. And that makes me optimistic."
Marjorie Janove didn't follow her career to Salt Lake City. She led it - and sometimes it seemed like it was kicking and screaming.
"It's been uphill all the way, but I'm very proud to say that I've started to carve my niche. My name is starting to stand on its own."
The pianist/mother/teacher/volunteer will receive the YWCA LeaderLuncheon II Outstanding Achievement Award in arts.
She came to Utah from Illinois eight years ago, after earning a doctorate in piano performance from Indiana University. She recently joined the faculty at Westminster College.
Janove is popular in Utah for her concerts with members of the Utah Symphony, performances on Temple Square and as part of the Kol Ami synagogue series, which she originated. She's been involved with Ballet West, Repertory Dance Theater, Children's Dance Theater and others.
"I think I'm most proud that I have been here for eight years with no official position, but free-lancing. And I've done well. Everything I've achieved was through my own effort, not by virtue of a position."
She describes her free-lance status as a "source of both pain and motivation. Oftentimes, when you have a secure position, it's the beginning of the end. I have had to keep growing and carve a place for myself."
Carving has been complicated. She juggles career and responsibilities as a mother. She and attorney-husband Jathan Janove have three children under age 5; the oldest was born prematurely and suffered neurological damage. Lately, Janove's had to cut back on her volunteer work.
A little. She says she finds time, somehow, to pursue her passions.
"My real commitment, volunteerwise, is to my synagogue." She is an active member of the National Council of Jewish Women. Another of Janove's joys is teaching gifted teenagers who want careers in music.
In her small physician's office near Holy Cross Hospital, Kristen Ries works surrounded by AIDS art.
On one wall, a painting by Randall Lake shows an AIDS patient sitting in bed with a jumble of brilliantly colored medicines close at hand. On another wall, Ries has a watercolor of Athens, painted for her by one of her patients who has AIDS. The city shines with sunlight.
As the artists choose to focus on the brightness of life, so too does Ries focus on life, even as she is surrounded by death.
Ries specializes in infectious diseases. Most of her patients are either elderly or have AIDS. They define her role as a doctor. "I have a belief in good science combined with giving care to those who need it the most."
Not that she's reached the pinnacle of being either a great scientist or a great caregiver, she hastens to add. "But I try."
Because she tries so hard with patients some doctors avoid, Ries won the YWCA Leadership Award in the area of science/medicine/-technology.
Her greatest frustration is with rising medical costs. "I have elderly patients, older women who if they bought the medicine they need wouldn't have enough money left over to eat," she says.
And if we, as a society, are failing the elderly, we aren't doing enough about AIDS either. In the early 1980s, Ries says, she saw the AIDS epidemic coming. And now, here in Utah, she predicts what she calls "the second wave."
In the past six months Ries has begun to see young women who contracted the AIDS virus from heterosexual relations when they were teenagers.
"It saddens me so," she says. "I feel so strongly that we aren't reaching our high school students with information about AIDS." One of her newest patients is a 21-year-old married woman, with a 10-month-old baby, who was stunned when Ries told her she had AIDS. "She had no idea how she got it," Ries says, since she'd had only a few sexual partners.
But when the young woman named her former partners, Ries recognized a name. The young man got AIDS from a blood transfusion. He was a patient of Ries. He died last year.
She says, "We've got to encourage anyone at risk to come in and be tested. If we start early to keep them well, with good nutrition - and we've got new medicines - we can prolong and improve the quality of their lives."
She's an old-fashioned kind of doctor, she says, very involved. Yet as involved as she is, she's learned to let go without too much sadness when a patient dies. Death is bearable, she says, if she knows she did the best she
Last year, when she was the principal of Bennion Elementary, Phyllis White spoke to second-graders about self esteem. White asked the children to think of a negative action, something someone could do to make them feel bad about themselves.
"When your teacher doesn't call on you," said a small black boy.
White agreed with him. Teachers can make you think less of yourself.
"That is an assumption on the teacher's part," explains White. "The teacher assumes the child isn't capable."
Perhaps the teacher is merely trying to be kind, to protect the child from making a mistake in class. No matter, White says, the net result is the same.
Educators send messages to children, White says. If you think a child who is dirty, or who is black, or who wears old clothes is somehow less capable - it has a subtle influence on how you treat the child, White says.
"We need to be careful that we treat children with integrity," she says.
White's integrity as an educator is one reason she was chosen to receive the YWCA's Leadership Award for education.
"The administrator sets the example for the teachers," she says. "Through continuous articulation, the leader says, `This is the way we want children to be treated.' "
White was an elementary school principal for five years in Salt Lake's Central City. The job played havoc with her blood pressure. She retired this year and moved to Mexico.
The year White became principal, Bennion's test scores were the lowest in the district. She instituted year-round school, achievement grouping, extended kindergarten, computer labs and other special programs to help her students succeed.
Salt Lakers remember her for her readings of black poetry.
Bennion students and parents remember her because she helped students set reasonable goals and achieve them, because she taught children to respect each other, and because she celebrated even the smallest successes.
Even though she occasionally wanted to wring a little neck, she says, she never did. "I always tried to treat a child the way I would want someone else to treat my child."
could. "Helped them do what they want to do with the time they had."
Ries is heartened by her patients. She says she feels honored but embarrassed about getting an award for work that brings her such satisfaction. "Every day," she says, "I get to see the strength of people and the goodness of people."
Jackie Nichols believes in sharing. "I am always anxious to ask competitors questions, and I'll share my answers with them," she says. "There aren't any big secrets in business."
Her win/win philosophy just won her the YWCA Leadership Award for business.
Eleven years ago, when her husband died, Jackie Nichols found herself the new owner of Quality Press. Nichols had a bachelor's degree in child development and some clerical experience, "none of which helped in this business."
"For a long time I let things go on their own," she says. The employees were honest. They knew what they were doing.
Then Quality Press reached a turning point. "I could see we had to expand." Nichols started working 12 hours a day, buying new equipment, making tough decisions.
She took the business from a $500,000 a year enterprise to one that will gross $3 million this year, says her son Brad. (All four of her children work in the industry - both sons and one daughter work for her.) Nichols has been recognized before as a business leader and an outspoken supporter of women in business. Among other honors, she was the Utah recipient of the Small Business Person of the Year Award in 1984, president of Printing Industries of Utah in 1985, and is currently president of the Utah Association of Women Business Owners.
Her advice to other business owners? "Join professional organizations." Also, she says, "Be prepared for failures with a backup - something you can continue to do and not feel defeated."
And finally, she advises, business owners need a good accountant and good legal services. "People who will give you honest answers."
At the end of the year, Frances Farley will drop the title "senator" from her name. She's doing it by choice, she said, with both joy and regret.
The view she sees now looking back on her years in the Utah Legislature is very different from the picture she thought she saw as a young college student looking into the future.
Farley's father died when she was 3, and during the height of the Depression she saw her mother struggle to make ends meet on her $80-a-month salary. "We were luckier than most," she says, "but it was a struggle."
She attended college in World War II and, ever the realist, she looked for a career where a woman could do well. "The only two areas I saw that a woman could do well and that I liked were movies or retailing," she laughs. "No one was going to put me in the movies." She earned a bachelor's degree in business and a master's in retailing.
Farley is recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award for government/public service. But when she was in college and even after, politics wasn't a consideration. She was busy as a merchandise manager, buying high-fashion ready-to-wear clothing. When she married and moved to Utah, she became an administrative assistant at LDS Hospital and later a fund-raiser for Community Nursing Services.
Her love for a close friend, a black woman, planted the political seed. She abhorred discrimination. In 1961, while she still lived in Minnesota, she joined the fight to pass a Fair Housing Act. She didn't dream that almost three decades later and hundreds of miles away, she'd be leading
the same fight in Utah. Winning that fight in 1989 was one of the things of which she is most proud.
The most important thing she ever did, Farley believes, is release a topographical map that showed the impact the MX missile could have on the Utah's western desert. That map - and the fight against the MX by people like Gov. Scott Matheson and Farley - turned public opinion around.
She helped form the Utah Women's Political Caucus several years before she ran for office herself. Farley has served several terms in the Utah Senate. She was the first elected female senator, "which is gratifying," and the lone female in the Senate chamber, "which is not gratifying at all."
A colleague described Farley as "tireless in her pursuit of what's fair." She has served on the Social Service and Health committees (unpopular among many of her colleagues because they are "depressing"). Many of the bills she's sponsored have benefited the poor and minorities, including recodification of labor laws that led to an increase in minimum wage.
Her plans for the future? She doesn't really care about the short term. "I'm not planning anything for a year. I'm going to spend time with my son and daughter and the world's most beautiful granddaughter. I want a year to play."