Pat Mitchell and “She Makes Media”

Pat Mitchell is one of my favorite women on the planet. I can think of few others that advocate for the advancement of women and girls more then Pat. She serves as President for The Paley Center for Media, which “with locations in New York and Los Angeles, leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms for the professional community and media-interested public.”

In a blog posted today she talks about a new initiative, called She’s Making Media. It is a “new series of programs that puts a slightly different lens on the subject of women’s role in media. We are going to celebrate, curate, and build a special collection (and a new television series) with women who are making media for a very specific purpose.” The program was launched earlier this month with playwright, performer, artist, and activist Eve Ensler. “She is making media that makes the world safer for women and girls.”

At our recent Women Moving Millions gathering in April we had the pleasure of participating in a conversation with both these amazing women. The topic of the discussion was how to leverage media to create social change. There is likely no better example of that then the work of Eve Ensler. “From her productions of the groundbreaking play, The Vagina Monologues (5000 performances a year in 140 countries raising 80 million dollars to end violence against women and girls) to her television documentaries, books and social media campaigns, Eve and V-DAY, the organization she built, are inspiring examples of making media that matters and, in fact, changes lives. My (Pat’s) hour interview with Eve, featuring excerpts from the plays and films, will be posted on Paley Center’s video section within the next couple of weeks and an edited version will be part of a new TV series, network to be announced later.” Check back to the Paley site to watch.

One thing that Eve said that has really stuck with me is this concept of “thingafying.” The idea that if we just do this thing, or that thing, then problems will be solved. In the world of economic development that thing might we provide a girl with an education, or access to health services, or a micro loan. The reality is that issues like violence and poverty are very complex and we need to acknowledge that complexity and structure it in to the solutions we are championing.

Thanks to Eve and Pat for the amazing role models you are to all of us. Love you.

Women and Ambition

Please click here for a co-authored piece I wrote with the most fabulous Courtney Martin on women and ambition, just published by Alternet. Coincidently, I was just interviewed by the Center for Work Life Policy for an article on this same topic. Bottom line is the need to our own success while “acknowledging the ways in which we continue to benefit from unearned privilege.” I hope you like the piece!

Courtney is a fabulous feminist writer and speaker. She is the author of five books, including Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists, and Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters. I love them all. Every single one of them is a must read and a PERFECT gift for a graduating girl.