Actress and scientist Mayim Bialik, communications strategist Renee Fraser and former U.S. Attorney Debra Wong Yang all were selected as honorees for the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) 18th annual Deborah Awards on April 26, which recognize women who are “unspoken heroes in a lot of ways,” said Amanda Susskind, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.
“The main criteria is that they meet the characteristics of the biblical Deborah — courageous, wise and having leadership qualities,” Susskind said. A committee of ADL lay leaders and donors chose Bialik, Fraser and Yang, all of whom, on top of their busy work lives, devote time to philanthropic endeavors.
Bialik stars on the CBS sitcom “Big Bang Theory” and made a name for herself as the title character on ’90s TV show “Blossom.” She also earned a doctorate in neuroscience and is the author of the recent book “Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way.”
Fraser, president and CEO of the advertising and public relations company Fraser Communications, works with United Way of Greater Los Angeles toward ending homelessness.
Yang is a partner at the legal firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She’s also a member of the Los Angeles Police Commission.
Bialik was an unusual choice for a Deborah Award, given that the recognition of entertainment figures by the ADL usually takes place during the agency’s other annual awards ceremony, the Entertainment Industry Awards Dinner.
But Bialik is “not a typical television star,” Susskind said. “She’s really a brilliant woman.”