2023 Women of Distinction


The Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona (WFSA) honored the 2023 Women of Distinction at their Annual Luncheon on May 4, 2023, at the Tucson Convention Center. WFSA gathered with nearly supporters to celebrate and acknowledge the strides made through our state regarding advocacy, research, programs and grantmaking for women and girls.  

Four outstanding Arizona women were recognized for their contributions that support an Arizona where women and girls of all identities thrive. WFSA’s Women of Distinction Awards recognizes women who have demonstrated a deep commitment to their communities in one of four categories: research, philanthropy, advocacy, and innovation.  

View event video here: https://youtu.be/flOzGuLBbOs



This year’s honorary women include Dr. Michelle Téllez, who is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona. Her public and academic scholarship focuses on transnational community formations, mothering, and gendered migration along the U.S./Mexico borderlands. Her work has been published in journals such as: Gender & Society, Feminist Formations, and Aztlán and featured online in Truth Out, The Feminist Wire, and Latino Rebels. Téllez has a long history of grassroots community engagement and activism in multiple social justice projects that draw on critical pedagogy, principles of sustainability, community-based arts, performance, and visual media. She will be honored for her contribution in Women’s Research. Learn more about Dr. Téllez and her work here: https://youtu.be/zXytu4wm250 

Ann Lovell will be honored for her contributions to Women’s Philanthropy. Lovell is the President of The David and Lura Lovell Foundation and previously served as its executive director. Lovell has dedicated her philanthropic work to shining a spotlight on using cinematic storytelling to bring awareness and justice to issues impacting women and girls. Notable work includes serving as the Executive Producer of documentaries “Jacinta,” “Audrie & Daisy,” and “Athlete A.” Lovell is also the founding director and former chair of Women Moving Millions, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to catalyze unprecedented resources for the advancement of women and girls.  Learn more about Ann Lovell and her work here: https://youtu.be/-simQD6lHKk 

WFSA’s Women of Distinction award for Advocacy honors DeShawn Taylor, MD MSc. Taylor is a Gynecologist, Family Planning Specialist, Gender Affirming Care Provider, and Reproductive Justice Activist, whose work advances reproductive health care access through direct services, education and training, advocacy, and leadership. Taylor is an Associate Clinical Professor of OB/Gyn at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix and solo operates Desert Star Family Planning, an independent abortion clinic founded in 2013. Learn more about Dr. Taylor and her work here: https://youtu.be/lSQJfR5gZgc   

Lastly, Diana White, Executive Director of the Moonshot at NACET Flagstaff, will be honored as the Women of Distinction: Innovator. In 2017, Diana began working with a technology incubator in Northern Arizona. Diana joined Moonshot at NACET, a STEM incubator hub in Flagstaff, Arizona. Along with developing curriculum content and facilitating small business workshops through Moonshot at NACET, in 2019, Diana was appointed as CEO of Chandler Innovations, a technology incubator funded by the City of Chandler, Arizona. She is committed to helping businesses and non-profits as well as the community at large. White has served on several boards, including the Boys and Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity.  Learn more about Diana White and her work here: https://youtu.be/tyuVINSYIzQ