A Woman of Distinction: La Jollan Linda Tu honored for civic cultural work

Linda Tu of La Jolla receives a Woman of Distinction recognition from Assembly member Todd Gloria on March 20 at the Women’s Museum of California in Liberty Station.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

La Jolla resident Linda Tu was one of 17 “Women of Distinction” from across San Diego, who were honored March 20 by 78th Assembly member Todd Gloria at the Women’s Museum of California in Liberty Station.

The 78th Assembly includes San Diego County, Coronado, Del Mar, Imperial Beach and Solana Beach.

“We are celebrating Women’s History Month in March and this is an opportunity to honor the women who make San Diego a better place to live,” Gloria told those gathered.

Each year, the California Legislature holds a “Women of the Year” ceremony in Sacramento, where each of the state’s 80 assembly district members honors one woman. Locally, San Diego expands on that to recognize multiple women.

“We know the 78th Assembly District is home to a number of truly phenomenal women, so that’s why we wanted to honor them here,” Gloria said.

Supporters crowd the Women’s Museum of California for the Women of Distinction ceremony. Ashley Mackin-Solomon

Linda Tu was recognized in the Civics category for her decades of service to a unique community in San Diego.

Other honorees include: Roz Winstead, Stephanie Benvenuto, Cathie Jolley, Diane Peabody Straw, Tracie Jada O’Brien, Laurie Black, Rose Ann Sharp, Jen LaBarbera, Tessa Williams, Darcy Pavich, Steph Johnson, Cristina Marquez, Marlena Balderas, Nicole Capretz and Vernita Todd.

The 78th District Woman of the Year is Brigette Browning.

“Since 2005, Linda has been the president of the San Diego Alliance for Asian Pacific Islander Americans and has organized the San Diego Dragon Boat Race Festival on Mission Bay. Mark your calendars for the next one, it’s May 4. It’s amazing,” Gloria said, while reading her bio.

“If you are really nice to Linda, she will let you paint an eye on the dragons for good luck! She helped found the Alliance for Asian Pacific Islander Americans to celebrate Asian Pacific Islander cultures and advocate for Asian Pacific Islander rights and empowerment through service, education and philanthropy.

“Are you exhausted yet? That’s all in a day for her! Her civic engagement — particularly on behalf of our growing, thriving and vibrant Asian Pacific Islander community — has led to greater representation and cultural awareness of this key part of San Diego.”

Tu became a resident of La Jolla in 1988 and taught at the San Diego Chinese Academy at La Jolla Country Day School. She is also a board member of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, where, Gloria said: “She has co-curated an exhibited documenting San Diego in the 1930s and 1940s and interviewed people who, as children, lived in what was known as Chinatown.”

Tu is also an arts and culture columnist for Asia Reader, through which she “helps San Diego celebrate many Chinese traditions and showcase San Diego’s diverse Asian Pacific Islander performing and visual arts,” Gloria said.

— Nominations for next year’s awards can be submitted through Gloria’s website at

The application form comes up with a search for “Women of Distinction.”

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