Dr. Victoria Riskin, a tireless human rights advocate both globally and locally, was honored Monday as one of California’s Women of the Year.
Riskin was among women from throughout the state honored by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus during a special floor ceremony in which she was escorted by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara.
Annually, the California Legislative Women’s Caucus encourages each Assembly member to select one women who resides in his or her district or has made a significant impact on the district.
Williams selected Riskin, the founder of Human Rights Watch in Southern California, for her work, which has laid the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change to bring greater justice and security to people around the world.
Riskin is past president of the Writers Guild of America West, the union representing 8,500 screen and television writers. She was a writer and producer for television with credits that include The Last Best Year, The Member of the Wedding, My Antonia, A Town Torn Apart and World War II: When Lions Roared.
Prior to becoming a screenwriter and producer of movies-for-television, Riskin had a private practice as a psychologist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities from USC, a master’s degree in psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in counseling also from USC.
She is chair of the Board of Trustees for Antioch University Santa Barbara, where Williams worked as an associate professor before his election to the Assembly in 2010.
— James Joyce is a field representative of Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara.