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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. ...


First Six Speakers Confirmed

Submitted by admin on Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:37

Six distinguished individuals have eagerly signed on to participate in the AUDACIA forum 2011 as speakers. The following will all present in New York in the fall:

  • Meera Gandhi, Founder, The Giving Back Foundation
  • Trudy Hall, Head of School, Emma Willard School
  • Pat Mitchell, President and CEO, The Paley Center for Media
  • Gayle Peterson, Co-founder, Headwaters Group
  • Gina Reiss-Wilchins, Director, Girl Up 
  • Dr. Nahid Toubia, Founder and President, RAINBO

Read more about this dynamic group here.


Holly Gordon Joins Advisory Council

Submitted by admin on Mon, 05/09/2011 - 10:50

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.

Meera Gandhi Joins Advisory Council

Submitted by admin on Tue, 04/26/2011 - 14:40

Meera T. Gandhi is a well-known humanitarian and social activist who divides her time between New York City, London and Hong Kong. She is the founder of The Giving Back Foundation. Mrs. Gandhi is noted for her Life Motto, "We are to the universe only as much as we give back to it." She grew up in India, England and Ireland and was educated in India, Canada and the United States, where she received her MBA. In 2007 Meera Gandhi completed the Executive Education Program from the Harvard Business School. Through her Giving Back Foundation Meera Gandhi is devoting her life to charity and to helping those in need: abused and hungry children, widows, the sick, the deaf and blind. She is particularly interested in education as the stepping stone to success. Mrs. Gandhi recently produced and directed an inspiring documentary, musical CD and coffee table book, all entitled Giving Back. The “Giving Back” film and book include touching vignettes of Meera's prominent and not-so-prominent friends and illustrates how their philanthropic endeavors are indeed changing the world. 100 percent of the proceeds from Meera Gandhi's brilliant Giving Back project will go to charity. Donna Karan International recently honored Meera Gandhi by naming her as one of its small group of prestigious leaders in the Donna Karan International “Women Who Inspire” initiative.

Dr. Gay McDougall joins advisory council

Submitted by admin on Tue, 04/12/2011 - 18:23

Since 2005 Dr. Gay McDougall has served as Independent Expert on Minority Issues at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. Prior to that she was Executive Director of Global Rights during which time she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for her innovative and highly effective work on behalf of international human rights. From 1997-2001 she served as an independent expert on various United Nations human rights bodies, including the UN treaty body that oversees the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Dr. McDougall also served as one of five international members of South Africa's 16-member Independent Electoral Commission which successfully organized and administered the country's first non-racial elections in 1994. From 1980 to 1994 she was Director of the South Africa Project of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights under Law in Washington and in 1984 a Consultant on the United Nations Council for Namibia. She earned her JD at Yale University Law School and LLM in public international law at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Marcia Gillespie and Dr. Nahid Toubia join advisory council

Submitted by admin on Wed, 03/02/2011 - 10:33

Marcia Ann Gillespie is a trailblazer in the magazine industry and a leader in the women’s movement. She is a former editor-in-chief of two groundbreaking magazines, Essence (1971-1980) and Ms. (1993-2001) and was also the President of Liberty Media for Women, the company she co-founded that took ownership of Ms. in 1998. Marcia Gillespie has written extensively about issues relating to the African American community and about women, particularly Black women; several of her articles and essays are required reading in women’s studies classes and can be found in anthologies and collections. She is the co-author of Maya Angelou: A Glorious Celebration (Doubleday 2008). Currently the Director of Special Projects at Essence Ms. Gillespie is also a professor at SUNY Old Westbury College where she teaches writing for media.

Dr. Nahid Toubia became the first female surgeon in Sudan in 1981. Recently, she worked as an Associate for Women’s Reproductive Health at the Population Council in New York City, and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University School of Public Health. She is the founder and President of RAINBO, the Research Action and Information Network for the Bodily Integrity of Women. She is also a member of several scientific and advisory committees of the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and UNDP, and Vice-Chair of the advisory committee of the Women’s Rights Watch Project of Human Rights Watch, where she previously served on the Board of Directors. 

Elizabeth Colton joins advisory council

Submitted by admin on Tue, 02/08/2011 - 00:00

Ms. Elizabeth Colton is the Founding President of the International Museum of Women. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum and formerly served on the Women's Leadership Board at the Kennedy School at Harvard University. Ms. Colton is a graduate of Emma Willard School (Class of 1966). 

Kavita Ramdas and Jane Wales join advisory council

Submitted by admin on Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:38

Kavita Ramdas is a Senior Advisor to the Global Fund for Women, and was its President and CEO from 1996 to September 2010. She is currently a Visiting Scholar and Fellow at Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, CDDRL, at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and a Visiting Scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, PACS. In Spring 2011, she will also serve as Practitioner-in-Residence at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. From 1996 to 2010, Kavita served as President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, which grew under her leadership to become the world’s largest public foundation for women’s rights. Prior to the Global Fund for Women, Kavita was at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, leading programs in Economic Development, Reproductive Health, and Population.

Jane Wales is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the World Affairs Council and the Global Philanthropy Forum and Vice President of the Aspen Institute. She is host of the nationally syndicated weekly National Public Radio interview show It’s Your World. From 2007 to 2008, she served as Acting Chief Executive Officer of The Elders, chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In 2008, Ms. Wales also chaired the Poverty Alleviation Track for the Clinton Global Initiative. Previously, she served in the Clinton Administration as Special Assistant to the President, Senior Director of the National Security Council and Associate Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. During her tenure as National Executive Director of the Physicians for Social Responsibility, the organization’s international arm was recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. Ms. Wales is a graduate of the Emma Willard School (Class of 1966). 

Archbishop Tutu and Mrs. Tutu strongly endorse providing educational opportunities to girls and young women all over the world. “Leah and I are happy to support this endeavor. Education is the key to eradicating poverty, reducing disease, improving local economies and facilitating peace.  We see this Forum as a wonderful means of establishing strong partnerships to grant girls this fundamental human right and, by doing so, improving life for all members of society,” said Archbishop Emeritus Tutu

Dr. Donna Blackwell to Lead Global Forum for Girls’ Education

Submitted by admin on Mon, 10/18/2010 - 13:45

Dr. Donna Blackwell has been selected to be executive director of the Global Forum for Girls’ Education, a new initiative of Emma Willard School designed to help millions of girls around the world go to school.  She is the former CEO of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation and Vice President for Marketing Communications at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.  

“Dr. Blackwell’s extensive professional experience and her understanding of the barriers to education girls face around the world and in the United States assure that the Forum will succeed,” said Trudy E. Hall, Emma Willard’s head of school. “She is a visionary who is dedicated to improving the lives of children worldwide.”

According to Dr. Blackwell, “The Forum grew out of a desire to find solutions to the violence, poverty, and cultural beliefs that prevent over 90 million girls from going to school. The overarching goal of the Forum is to ensure every girl everywhere has the opportunity to obtain a good elementary and secondary education.”

The Global Forum for Girls’ Education is designed to facilitate collaborations between people who have effective solutions and people who have resources and make public policy—ultimately opening the doors to education for millions of girls and catapulting the movement to a new level.

The Global Forum for Girls’ Education will take place in the latter half of 2011; sites in New York and other parts of the country are being considered. It will be an invitational gathering of educators, philanthropists, visionaries, technologists, businesspersons, humanitarian aid providers, social entrepreneurs, government officials and policy makers, and other concerned people from around the world who are committed to equality for girls.

“Educated girls have the power to improve their lives and that of their families and participate fully as citizens of their countries. The Forum will foster new alliances and prospects that will give millions of girls these opportunities,” states Dr. Blackwell. The catalyst and founding sponsor for the Global Forum for Girls’ Education is Emma Willard School. As the oldest non-denominational girls school in the United States, it has established the Global Forum in honor of its extraordinary founder, Emma Willard, and its nearly 200-years of educating girls and advocating for girls’ education worldwide.