April 1, 2015 under Posts

Personally Speaking: Women’s History Month

Women leaders in government, media and philanthropy come together to discuss the importance of diversity, empowerment and being an agent of change.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) reconvened its Personally Speaking series on Wednesday, March 25 featuring prominent women in philanthropy whose work has helped serve some of New York’s most vulnerable.

Sponsored by American Express, the evening’s distinguished panelists included Susan Burden, M.S.W; Lisa Garcia Quiroz, Senior Vice President, Time Warner Inc. & President, Time Warner Foundation; Ana Oliveira, President & CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation; and Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office To Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV). The event was moderated by Christine Murphy, Co-Founder and COO of New York States of Mind, also known as NYSOM.  Guests filled the screening room at the Bryant Park Hotel to hear from a panelist of women leaders, many of whom were the “first” in various aspects of their professional lives, to learn about the value of diversity, the importance of female empowerment, and being an agent of change.

“These women were ‘the first’ in many ways,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director at FPWA. “Now, they are leading the world of philanthropy and passing the torch to other young women: inspiring them to make changes they want to see, and proving the value of diversity.”

This is a sentiment that was echoed by Commissioner Rosemonde Pierre-Louis who said “it’s about passing the baton when you’re the first.”

A common theme throughout the night was diversity and inclusion. Lisa Garcia Quiroz of Time Warner Foundation reiterated, “We all have our heroes…It’s hard for a child to imagine what they could be if they don’t see themselves represented. We’ve gotten to the acceptance of diversity, but we need to move to the VALUE of diversity.”

Ana Oliveira talked about the importance of women and all lives mattering in social justice and philanthropic work. “If we live in a world where black lives matter, all lives will matter,” Oliveira said. She shared how important social justice work is for women from all walks of life. This was backed up by Susan Burden, M.S.W. who honed in on the issue of elder abuse which surpasses many other forms of abuse.

Catch up on the conversation below.