The list of women include individuals from science and politics to business and art.
When Cara Dessert came out as queer in high school, she quickly realized she wanted to spend the rest of her life advocating for social justice.
“I didn’t have the framework for understanding oppression yet, but I knew right from wrong, and the rampant homophobia and discrimination that I saw at every institution was wrong,” she says.
“So I started organizing, first in high school and then as a student at UCSD.”
That passion led Dessert to advocate for marriage equality, attend law school at UCLA, and even to work for future Vice President Kamala Harris. She became CEO of The San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center for short) three years ago. Some of her proudest accomplishments as CEO include opening the first LGBTQ center for youth in Chula Vista, and providing much-needed services to the queer community during the pandemic: The Center increased its food program to serve 2,000 people each month and provided $200,000 in rent relief.