I am here in New York City kicking off DAY 2 our 2nd Annual Women Moving Millions Summit! The next 24+ hours will be packed with amazing panels, incredible speakers, and engaging events, all of which are organized around this year’s theme: The Story of Impact & The Impact of Story.
Yesterday, at our opening tea we heard from the amazing Mariane Pearl. Mariane is an accomplished journalist and was catapulted into the limelight when her husband Daniel Pearl, a journalist for The Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped and brutally murdered by a militant Islamic fundamentalist group in Pakistan in 2002. Mariane wrote a memoir, A Might Heart, celebrating the values of humanism and dignity while offering a detailed account of the investigation led in Pakistan to rescue her husband. The book won international attention and was released as a major motion picture starring Angelina Jolie. Ms. Pearl is also the author of In Search of Hope, a chronicle of her journey around the world profiling extraordinary women who are working, sometimes under threat to their lives, to bring justice and balance to our world. Ms. Pearl is the new Managing Editor of Chime For Change, a compelling new platform that curates diverse and original content and stories about women and girls, and we couldn’t be more honored to have her kick off the Women Moving Million’s Summit.
Her remarks were extraordinary. Rather than trying to make a narrative out of it all I am going to hit you with quotes, just quotes that are now foreverfied (a new word, you like it?) in my bright red WMM journal. “Gloria Steinem is perhaps one of the greatest example of a woman who helped to change the narrative. When she stepped in, it seemed like American women would forever be happy baking cupcakes. Who owns the story? Which perspective is it being told from? It makes all the difference. I never thought of myself as a feminist but as a humanist that hated injustice. Women have gone through so much that they have not been able to share. These stories need to be captured. There is so much untapped wisdom in women. Question of truth is so complicated. Cynicism is a weapon of the weak. Women can bring us a new sense of purpose. Women have passed away in silence. There stories never told. It is always about power.”
First thing this morning we will be diving into our theme of IMPACT with a welcome by none other than Gloria Steinem. It is so fitting to have Gloria kick off our Summit as she has had immeasurable impact as an activist for women’s rights, equality and social justice. During this intimate session attendees will have the opportunity to hear Gloria’s current thinking on a variety of issues, as well as answer questions.
The second session of the day is with Kate Hyde, Senior Analyst and Cecily Stokes-Prindle, Social Impact Fellow from The Center for High Impact Philanthropy. We collaborated to create a white paper titled What Are We Talking About When We Talk About Impact? We thought it was important to have this as a starting point for our conversation because although the word gets tossed around a lot, there really is no clear definition when it comes to philanthropy. After sharing their findings, we will ask our attendees to share their insights, which we will also be sharing with you! Follow the emerging conversation on TWITTER at #WMMImpact.
Because we are an organization that is not issue based but more movement and strategy based (think lateral and not vertical), we structured our summit that way as well. I am honored to be moderating a panel that is very close to my heart: “Film as a Tool for Social Change.” Over the past several years I have become very involved as funder of documentary films, a Board Member for The Sundance Institute and more and it is some of the most meaningful work I have ever done. This panel will be looking at both documentary and feature films, and how they not only tell a story, but how they can illuminate complex issues, spark worldwide discussions, and inspire action. Our featured speakers include Simon Goff, Executive Director of FilmAid International, and Cara Mertes, Director of JustFilms Initiative at Ford Foundation.
The rest of todays agenda features sessions with a wide range of speakers, including many current Women Moving Millions community members who are experts in their interest areas. In addition, we have invited outstanding leaders in their fields to join us including Elizabeth Gore from the United Nations Foundation, Penny Abeywardena, Head of Girls & Women and Associate Director of Commitments at the Clinton Global Initiative, Sarah Colamarino, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Johnson & Johnson. To wrap up the day we will be kicking off our conversation about Women’s Philanthropy as we invite a team from Dalberg Global Development Advisors to share our collaborative work on the untold story of women’s philanthropy.
As I hit PUBLISH a panel on women’s capacity building is building. My head, and my heart, might truly explode!
Pictured above our team at Women Moving Millions. The most amazing young women on the planet.
Our summit will then conclude on Saturday with sessions featuring Molly Melching, founder of the human rights organization, Tostan and Susan Bales, the founder and President of The Frameworks Institute as they start the conversation on how to amplify your impact through personal story. We will wrap up the summit with a few skills building sessions with industry leaders Katie Orenstein of The OpEd Project and Kathy LeMay of Rising Change. During these skills building session we will take a closer look at fundraising and thought leadership with the goal to send our summit attendees home with the tools and resources they need to take action and create impact.
My next month of entries will be filled with lessons learned but what I know will be a magical time together. Stay tuned! If you are a social media person follow us on twitter @WomMovMillions #WMMsummit #WMMimpact