The Power of Philanthropy: My Week of Celebrating Women Changing the World
Issue 93 — May 14, 2019
True, I’m writing this at the end of Mother’s Day after long talks with my children and lots of social media posts lauding moms and those who have “mothered” in nonbiological ways.
So despite some not so great news about the status of women in America, I’m on a bit of an estrogen fest high. So much that I want to devote my column this week to a photographic essay of positive highlights of the past week.
The annual gala raised funds for Women’s eNews to tell women’s stories, often overlooked by legacy media. The nonprofit organization’s president and CEO Lori Sokol and gala host, OIC 11 News in New York anchor Tamsen Fadal presented awards to “21 Leaders for the 21st Century,” mostly women but including several men, selected for their work to advance women. Additional special awards were given, such as the Loreen Arbus Champion for Disabilities Award to jd Michaels, partner in the creative firm adams.michaels.
I am proud to have been an honoree in 2005. Each year I wonder how they can find another 21+ incredible people to recognize and each year they don’t disappoint.
On May 8, I attended the Ms Foundation for Women’s over the top fabulous 45th anniversary gala held at Capitale in New York.
But before I could party, I had to host Take The Lead’s monthly Virtual Happy Hour. How to do that and get to the gala in time for dinner? Well, the show must go on. So I took my computer and stood (appropriately enough) in the upstairs bar at the venue as I interviewed two super guests on the topic of “Shift Storm: How Moms Can Succeed in Careers and Life.”
Despite a steady parade of people who had to wander through the bar to find the bathroom, we had a rousing good discussion with Brigid Schulte, director of the Better Life Lab at New America and Shadiah Sagala, cofounder of the childcare benefits firm Kinside.
I slipped into the party late and didn’t get to say hello to many of my pals in the jam-packed room, like feminist founding mother Gloria Steinem. But I did have the pleasure of meeting honoree filmmaker dream hampton, producer of the acclaimed documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.” She moved me with her observation that if only someone had shown him love and healing when he was sexually abused as a child, his story might have unfolded differently. Oh my, what a heart.
Though usually when someone says “dance,” I’m there, I couldn’t stay for the afterparty. I had to get my sleep to be in fine form the next two days for our 50 Women Can Change the World in Journalism program training and graduation May 9 and 10.
#50WomenCan is a Take The Lead signature program we do by sector. It includes comprehensive training and coaching over a three month period followed by ongoing communication to encourage women in the cohort to achieve the goals they set in their Strategic Leadership Action Plans. The cohort also makes a plan for work they can do as a group to advance women in their profession.
GLORIA FELDT is the Cofounder and President of Take The Lead, a motivational speaker and expert women’s leadership developer for companies that want to build gender balance, and a bestselling author of four books, most recently No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. Former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, she teaches “Women, Power, and Leadership” at Arizona State University and is a frequent media commentator. Learn more at www.gloriafeldt.com and www.taketheleadwomen.com. Tweet @GloriaFeldt.