The foundation was born out of the enthusiasm that poured forth from our annual Women in the World summits, those three day events in March 2010 and 2011 where we convened—and will again in March 2012—global firebrands and brave activists to tell their inspiring stories about successes and travails that rarely get coverage in the news noise. Some of our storytellers had never left their villages before attending; others—like Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Christine Lagarde—are globally renowned but brought their spotlight to the causes of women who needed so badly to be seen.
The summits stirred a tremendous response from the audience in the theater and online. At The Daily Beast we were besieged by requests for more information about how attendees could stay engaged with the issues we brought to the stage by giving time, money or expertise. There are so many NGOs working with women, so many causes that need help. How to sort through it? How to decide where the greatest impact can be made? And how to foster collaboration between them to become a force multiplier? It was clear to us that what was needed was an umbrella organization that would promote and propagate all the innovative work by organizations working with women and combine it with stories that brought them vividly to life.
So we took the leap.
In April of this year, we invited Kim Azzarelli who had worked so ably at Goldman Sachs and Avon Products—with whom she founded the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell University—to come aboard and launch the Women in the World Foundation. She quickly attracted three generous founding partners to set us on our way: Africa Global, Ford Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation. She also lined up contributors ANN INC., Marvell Technologies and McGuire Woods to sponsor the tracks on technology, leadership and law and justice.
Tonight, at a kick-off gala co-hosted by Meryl Streep, Wei Sun Christianson, Jane Harman, Maya Harris, Donna Karan, Liya Kebede, Dr. Judith Rodin and Diane von Furstenberg, we hear more about our mission with powerful discussions on honor violence, Michelle Bachelet’s impressions of the fallout of the Arab Spring and Liberian revolutionary Leymah Gbowee’s memories of the movement she led against the savage dictator Charles Taylor. But as the foundation grows, we will be able to do more than tell the vibrant stories of women in the journalism of Newsweek, and The Daily Beast and the live conversations at our summits. We will also be able to support the solutions.
Join us and help the new Women in the World Foundation grow!
Women in The World Foundation Mission Statement
The Women in the World Foundation is a powerful, new initiative dedicated to highlighting and driving solutions for advancing women and girls.Building on the success of the Women in the World Summits and harnessing the journalistic power of Newsweek & The Daily Beast, the Foundation will serve as a resource to all who seek to learn about and engage on the issues facing women and girls. The Foundation will, in addition, convene courageous women of impact, provide strategic grants to select non-profit organizations, and foster much-needed collaboration between organizations.