#OverIt Moment: Ann Shaw became the first African American to serve as President for the YWCA, and the first African American and first woman to serve on the California Commission on Judicial Performance.
Ann Shaw was born on November 21, 1921 in Columbus, Ohio. After the Watts riots in Los Angeles, she led a committee to ease tensions in Los Angeles schools, which led her to pursue a Masters of Social Work degree at USC, where she graduated from in 1968. She dedicated her life to eliminating barriers for women and African Americans achieving positions of authority in the boardroom. After dedicating time to volunteering when she couldn’t find work, Shaw was appointed as the first African American President of the YWCA of Los Angeles. In 1975, former California Governor Jerry Brown appointed her as the first African American and woman to serve on the California Commission on Judicial Performance, and she later served in numerous leadership positions on local boards in efforts to confront both racial- and gender-based discriminations. Her drive to advocate for women and African Americans was recognized with numerous achievement awards over her lifetime, including the “50 Most Powerful Women in Los Angeles.”