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Jan 15

Moments of Voice for Malala
Malala Yousufzai, a fifteen year old Pakistani blogger, has been using her voice ...

Nov 27

Information and Communication Technology
A new article in The Guardian explores how information and communication technology can be used to empower girls worldwide. ...

Oct 2

Half the Sky
AUDACIA participants will be interested to see this new piece of work from Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn ...

Aug 17

10.11.12 International Day of the Girl
Thanks to the tireless efforts of AUDACIA participant Plan International, and its partners, the United Nations has declared October 11, 2012 to be the first-ever International Day of the Girl. ...

August 3

DFID Girls’ Education Challenge
DFID, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, is sponsoring a Girls’ Education Challenge. ...

admin's blog

Jensine Larsen Will Speak

Submitted by admin on Wed, 08/03/2011 - 18:11

We are thrilled to announce that Jensine Larsen, Founder and CEO of World Pulse, will speak at AUDACIA. As a young freelance journalist covering indigenous movements and ethnic cleansing in South America and Southeast Asia, Jensine (Yen-See Nah) Larsen had a vision—to use the power of media to unleash the creative human potential of women across the globe. “Through new media we have the power to connect and build a bold global community, to support each other’s dreams, restore our earth, heal society, and care for our children,” Larsen explains.

A few years later, at age 28, Larsen began publishing her flagship project - World Pulse Magazine. Today, with her eye on the future of communications technology in the developing world, Larsen is now building an interactive global media company designed to connect women worldwide. As a passionate social entrepreneur and leader, Larsen has organized a dedicated staff and team of professional advisors and volunteers, supporting networks of international women’s organizations, leading journalists from around the world as well as endorsements from international luminaries and visionaries.  She has her finger on the global pulse of women’s and youth voices and is increasingly sought after for inspirational keynotes, current affairs lectures, and radio programs. She is featured on and has appeared on NPR and Air America and presented keynotes at Hewlett Packard, Bioneers, Bennett College, and the Boulder Conference on World Affairs. She is considered one of Portland, Oregon’s up and coming “Young Creatives” according to The Oregonian (2/2/06). Both a visionary and pioneer, Jensine is the first voice of World Pulse—the first of many.

Elizabeth Dewberry Joins Advisory Council

Submitted by admin on Mon, 08/01/2011 - 16:50
We are happy to announce that Elizabeth Dewberry has joined the AUDACIA Advisory Council. Elizabeth Dewberry is the author of four novels--His Lovely Wife (Harcourt), Sacrament of Lies (Putnam), Break the Heart of Me (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday), and Many Things Have Happened Since he Died (Doubleday).  She has written essays and articles for publications as varied as Southern Accents, Southern Living, Image, Zoetrope, Modern Fiction Studies, and The Cambridge Companion to Hemingway.  She holds a Ph.D. in Twentieth-Century American Fiction from Emory University and a B.S. From Vanderbilt and has taught at Ohio State University, Florida State University, and the University of the South.  Her first full-length play, Flesh and Blood, premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays and went on to publication and production in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and elsewhere in the United States. She has also written and had professional productions of several one-acts and a second full-length play, Four Joans and a Fire-Eater.  She has traveled Africa extensively and feels passionate about bringing best practices in education to developing countries and using the arts to empower girls and women.  She serves as an Ambassador for Same Sky, a trade-not-aid initiative that helps HIV-positive genocide survivors in Rwanda get quality medical care and earn a living wage.  She lives in Atlanta.

Holly Gordon to Share Expertise

Submitted by admin on Fri, 07/29/2011 - 13:00
We are excited to announce that Holly Gordon will be a key speaker at AUDACIA, joining a panel that will discuss Communication for the Movement: How organizations use film, internet and photography to galvanize support and break down barriers. Holly Gordon is the Executive Director of 10x10: The Girls Education Project. 10×10 harnesses the power of media to bring together forward-thinking nonprofits, action-oriented corporations and committed individuals dedicated to the empowerment of girls around the world through education. At the heart of 10×10 is a feature film that tells the stories of 10 extraordinary girls, from 10 developing countries around the world. These stories, written by an acclaimed female writer from the girl’s country and narrated by a celebrated actress, describe a unique personal journey of triumph and achievement against incredible odds. Presenting these stories together, the 10×10 film traces the journey of navigating adolescence as girl in the developing world today.

Prior to joining The Documentary Group, Holly Gordon was Director of Content for the Tribeca Film Festival, where she managed video collection and production for the 2007 Festival. She was the executive producer of Tribeca Presents: The Best of the Festival, a broadcast highlighting the award-winning films in the 2008 Festival. Before her tenure at the Tribeca Film Festival, Holly spent 12 years at ABC News, where she worked as a producer and booker for the major news broadcasts: World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, Good Morning America, 20/20 and Primetime. She was an integral part of ABC’s breaking-news coverage during the weeks following the September 11th attacks. For three years, as Editorial Producer for the ABC News magazine unit, Holly managed the team responsible for identifying and booking national and international stories. Holly graduated from Brown University with a BA in International Relations.

Dana Dakin Will Speak at AUDACIA

Submitted by admin on Mon, 07/25/2011 - 15:16

We are pleased to announce that Dana Dakin will be a showcase presenter at AUDACIA 2011. Dakin is the Founder and President of WomensTrust.

In 2003, to officially celebrate her sixtieth birthday and the beginning of the “return” phase of her life, Dana Dakin headed to Ghana with a list of bootstrapped names to “adopt” a village.  On the initial trip she was taken to Pokuase, within the outside northern perimeter of the capital Accra, where she pitched the concept of microlending to small groups of women.  She engendered enough interest to return in six months, with funding that came from the sale of her second car.

Today, WomensTrust in the village of Pokuase is thriving, with more than 1000 women in the loan program and repayment rates consistently above 90 percent.  Additional funding is directed toward such pressing needs as scholarships for girls and healthcare.  The 501c(3) organization (with NGO status in Ghana) has become a viable community-based partnership in the village and is a model that can be replicated.

Dana’s career is in the investment business, where she has been a pioneer in  marketing consulting to institutional investment firms, both on the trading side as well as for leading money management organizations.  Her experience began on Wall Street with a research project at the NYSE that led to negotiated commissions.  In 1971, she joined what became Callan Associates, a top pension consulting firm.  With a five-year inside perspective on evaluating money managers, she formed Dakin Partners in 1976, the first firm to creatively package institutional investment organizations.  She has worked on some of the great launches in the business, and has authored a summary of the essentials of investment marketing in Five for the Road. She also co-produced the eight-part PBS series “Beyond Wall Street: The Art of Investing” with a companion book published by John Wiley.

She was educated at Scripps College, where she graduated with a B.A. in 1964.  Her concentration was in international relations, with an honor’s thesis on Pan-Africanism.  She was a member of the college’s Board of Trustees for nine years.  Other board commitments over the year include Alumnae Resources in San Francisco, NH Writers’ Project and the Women’s Fund of New Hampshire.

Emily Leys Confirmed to Speak

Submitted by admin on Fri, 07/15/2011 - 10:28
We are delighted to announce that Emily Leys has joined the list of distinguished speakers for AUDACIA 2011. Emily Leys is the Global Director of Girls’ Education at Room to Read.  She joined Room to Read eight years ago as the third member of its growing Global Office team and has been leading the Girls’ Education program since 2005.  This holistic program supports disadvantaged girls to complete secondary school and develop the skills required to negotiate key life decisions.  The Girls’ Education program includes life skills education, engages parents and communities, and provides local mentors for the over 10,000 girls that currently participate in the program in Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zambia.  Emily has spent the past 15 years working on global political and social issues, and her greatest passion is promoting gender equality. She lived in South Africa for three years working on youth empowerment and successfully led a local youth program in Cape Town, for which she was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Cape Town Rotary Club.  Emily earned a master’s degree in South African and African Politics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and holds a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Carol Jenkins to Speak

Submitted by admin on Thu, 06/23/2011 - 10:09
We are happy to announce that Carol Jenkins will speak at AUDACIA 2011.  Carol Jenkins is an award-winning writer, producer and media analyst. She is a sought-after speaker and writer on issues relating to the media, specifically the participation of women and people of color; women’s participation in the political and economic structures in the US; and the health of women in developing countries, particularly on the African continent.

An Emmy-winning former television journalist, she was founding president and board member of The Women’s Media Center, the groundbreaking non-profit aimed at increasing coverage and participation of women in the media. In that WMC role she conceived the acclaimed Progressive Women’s Voices media leadership program, and acquired and expanded the largest portfolio of women experts in the country, SheSource.

Carol Jenkins is Chair of the Board of Directors of AMREF USA. The African Medical & Research Foundation, a 53 year old organization based in Nairobi and founded as The Flying Doctors, is the largest African health NGO on the continent. AMREF operates in more than 30 countries in the delivery of services, training of a local health workforce, and providing safe water and sanitation. AMREF is winner of both The Bill and Melinda Gates Award for Global Health and The Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

In addition to continuing to serve on The Women’s Media Center board, she is Chair of the Black Maternal Health Advisory Board of Women’s eNews, the online international women’s newspaper; member of the President’s Council of Advisors at The National Council for Research on Women; a member of the Advisory Board of The Alliance of Women Film Journalists; and an Advisory board member of the Caring Economics Campaign, a project of The Center for Partnership Studies. Ms Jenkins formerly served on the boards of The Ms Foundation for Women and The Feminist Press.

Carol Jenkins is the co-author, with her daughter Elizabeth Gardner Hines, of Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire. A biography of her uncle, it was winner of Best Non-Fiction award from the Black Caucus of The American Library Association. She was an Executive Producer of Eve Ensler’s Sundance award-winning documentary, What I Want My Words to Do to You and is a contributor to the recently published book, Secrets of Powerful Women, Leading Change for a New Generation.

A recipient of both the Lifetime Achievement and International Reporting awards from the National Association of Black Journalists/NY, she holds honorary degrees from Marymount Manhattan College and The College of New Rochelle. Recent honors include The 2009 North Star News Prize, and the 2008 Women’s Equality Award from The National Council of Women’s Organizations.

Abigail Disney Will Speak at AUDACIA

Submitted by admin on Thu, 06/16/2011 - 10:32

We are thrilled to announce that Abigail Disney will speak at the AUDACIA forum 2011.

Abigail E. Disney (President & Producer, Fork Films) is a filmmaker, philanthropist, and scholar. Her longtime passion for women’s issues and peace-building culminated in her first film, the powerful feature documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell (Fork Films, 2008), about the women of Liberia who brought peace to their broken nation after decades of destructive civil war.

Her current project, the groundbreaking mini-series Women, War & Peace, documents the unreported role of women in the peace process in Colombia, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Liberia.

The granddaughter of Roy Disney and grandniece of Walt Disney, the co-founders of the Walt Disney Company, Abigail stayed away from the entertainment industry for many years, focusing instead on her studies at Yale and Stanford, and wrote her Ph.D. thesis on American war novels at Columbia University. She then volunteered for various charities, becoming well known for her thoughtful, bold and strategic grant-making and inspiring women across all socio-economic strata to embrace their own philanthropic power.

After playing key roles in a number of social and political organizations for more than 20 years, she unexpectedly began her film career in 2006 after a trip to Liberia to support Africa’s first female head of state, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She heard the remarkable stories of a small band of Liberian women who fought through nonviolent means to end a century of civil war in their country. “It was horrifying to me that I had never heard of these women and knew that it was going to be forgotten. Knowing something creates a debt in you—an obligation. I was in a position to make sure their story was honored.” Abigail says.

Teaming with the leader of the Liberian women’s Mass Action Campaign for Peace, powerhouse social worker Leymah Gbowee and Academy Award nominated, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Gini Reticker, the resulting film became Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Abigail founded her NY-based production company Fork Films in 2007 to produce the film.

After garnering Best Documentary at its premiere at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, Pray the Devil Back to Hell has won nearly 20 awards and honors, has screened in all seven continents, and holds the distinction as the first film to be shown at The World Economic Forum at Davos.

In 2008, following the groundswell of interest in Pray the Devil Back to Hell, Abigail launched Peace is Loud, an organization that supports female voices and international peace-building through nonviolent means. After a successful festival and theatrical run, the film’s universal message of the power of ordinary people to change their communities was brought to even wider audiences during Pray the Devil Back to Hell’s grassroots distribution campaign, the 2009 Global Peace Tour. The film screened in hundreds of venues worldwide, ranging from living room screenings to remote areas in conflict zones to the United Nations headquarters in NY and Geneva.

In producing films such as Family Affair, Playground, Sun Come Up, and Return, Abigail continues to draw on her advocacy work by investing in films that make an important social contribution, with particular emphasis on material that has been overlooked, people who tend to be underestimated, and stories that have been left out of the mainstream historical record.

Fork Films currently has a development deal with writer/director Deborah Kampmeier’s (Hounddog, Virgin) company Full Moon Films, and will be co-producing the feature film Lonely Hunter, based on the true life story of Southern gothic writer Carson McCullers.

The thread of Abigail’s dedication towards conflict resolution and women’s rights continues with Women, War & Peace, a five-part television series co-produced by WNET and Fork Films for broadcast on PBS in Fall 2011.

Her decision to produce Women, War & Peace stems from Abigail’s belief that, "War has never been a tidy, closed activity, taking place on a clearly demarcated battlefield between two uniformed entities, or when it has, that has been the exception. Rather, war marches right through the center of everything—through house, hearth and field—ripping a hole into the center of things that can never be entirely repaired. To bring a woman’s eyes to the telling of the story of war—to turn the camera around and place it in her hands—is to fundamentally alter the way war looks and sounds and smells."

The five-part series, which Abigail is producing with Pray the Devil filmmaking partner Gini Reticker in collaboration with WNET, challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are solely the domains of men. Through unreported and deeply moving stories of women in Bosnia, Colombia, and Afghanistan, Women, War & Peace will focus on women’s strategic role in the post-Cold War era, where globalization, arms trafficking, and illicit trade have intersected to create a whole new type of war.

Abigail is also a sought-after public speaker, frequently traveling around the country and across the globe to deliver keynote addresses, commencement speeches, lectures, and participate in panels as an expert in philanthropy, women’s engagement and leadership and conflict resolution. She has spoken at locations as varied as The Hague, The Clinton Global Initiative 2010 Conference and at dozens of universities and community centers.

She has been honored numerous times for her myriad contributions towards social issues. Abigail has received awards such as the Epic Award from the White House Project and Changing the Landscape for Women Award from the Center for the Advancement of Women. In 2011, Abigail will be bestowed with the prestigious International Advocate for Peace (IAP) Award from the Cardozo Law School’s Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution (CJCR). Past recipients of the IAP Award include luminaries such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Bill Clinton.

Abigail received her Bachelors degree from Yale University, her Masters degree from Stanford University, and her Doctorate from Columbia University. She lives in New York City with her husband and their four children.

Kavita Ramdas Confirmed to Speak

Submitted by admin on Mon, 06/06/2011 - 08:15

We are excited to announce that AUDACIA Advisory Council member Kavita Ramdas will speak and share her expertise at the AUDACIA forum 2011 in New York.

Kavita N. Ramdas is the Executive Director of Ripples to Waves at the Social Entrepreneurship and Development Program Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law (CDDRL) Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, as well as a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS). From 1996 to September 2010 she served as President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women. Ramdas provided leadership and direction for the largest grantmaking foundation in the world focused exclusively on supporting international women’s human rights. During Ramdas’ tenure, Global Fund assets increased from $6 million to more than $20 million. Grantmaking has risen annually at a rate of 12 percent, and the number of countries in which the Global Fund has made grants has nearly tripled.

Ramdas extends her expertise in women’s human rights, social justice philanthropy, and international development to her diverse array of professional affiliations. She serves as a member of Princeton University's Board of Trustees and the Board of Trustees of Mount Holyoke College. She is a member of the Advisory Panel to the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and serves as an advisor to a number of organizations, including: Realizing Rights: the Ethical Globalization Initiative Human Rights Policy Group, the Council of Advisors on Gender Equity to the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, the America India Foundation, and the Global Philanthropy Forum.

Ramdas received her academic training at Hindu College, Delhi University, Mount Holyoke College (B.A. 1985) and Princeton University where she earned a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the department of International Development Studies of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (1988). Ramdas is fluent in Hindi/Urdu, English and German and can converse in Tamil, Spanish and French.

Irina Bokova Confirmed to Speak

Submitted by admin on Mon, 05/30/2011 - 20:31

We are delighted to announce that Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, will speak at the AUDACIA forum 2011.

The Director-General, elected for four years, was Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to France and Monaco, Personal Representative of the Bulgarian President to the "Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie" and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO from 2005 to 2009.

Born in 1952, she obtained an MBA from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and studied at the universities of Maryland and Harvard in the USA. During her long and distinguished career, she also served as Bulgaria's representative to the United Nations and as her country's Secretary of State for European integration and Foreign Minister. Ms Bokova has long promoted the transition to European integration. As Founder and Chairperson of the European Policy Forum, she worked to overcome divisions in Europe and promote the values of dialogue, diversity, human dignity and rights.

We are excited to add her voice to AUDACIA.

New Logo and Video

Submitted by admin on Tue, 05/17/2011 - 14:34

AUDACIA has a new look!  Learn about how twenty-two Emma Willard School students designed the logo, and see the video they made chronicling the process here.

readMedia Press Release