Lillian Roberts of Merced was honored this week as the Woman of the Year from the 21st Assembly District by the California State Assembly during a ceremony at the State Capitol in Sacramento.
Assemblymember Adam Gray nominated Roberts, who has been a local leader in the area of education and civil rights for half a century or more.
She was instrumental in accomplishing the desegregation of schools in Merced County, serving as the first African-American teacher.
“Lillian’s leadership and commitment in the fight for desegregation was pivotal in our community,” said Gray. “She rose above the issues and changed Merced County for the better,” continued Gray. “She has continued to make her mark in the community with her advocacy and dedication. Lillian’s work as an advocate for change will be always be remembered.”
Lillian retired from education in 1992, but continued to serve children by becoming the first Executive Director of the Merced CASA Association. After establishing the program, she continued to serve for years on the Board of Directors. She has been recognized for her contributions to our community by numerous organizations, including the Merced County Historical Society and the NAACP of Merced County.
“Lillian has set an incredible example for the young women in our region,” continued Gray. “I am proud to honor her as this year’s Woman of the Year for Merced County.”