“The biggest difference between us and the other funds,” Ana Oliveira said The New York Women’s Foundation grantees tell her, “is the concept of respect.” Oliveira was addressing the room at the New York Women’s Foundation’s Fall Gala at The Plaza, honoring Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D., Dr. Angela Diaz, Verna Eggleston, and Hon. Jonathan Lippman. The Foundation distributed $7.6 million last year to organizations that promote women’s leadership, gender equity, and asset-based community approaches, making it the top US women’s foundation and the second in the world.
With their unique brand of business guidance from professional women, NYWF helped launch Hot Bread Kitchen and Tanya Tracy Chutneys, lifting its principals, their families and their employees out of poverty. Grantee partner LaDeamMa McMoore, a member of the Coalition for Women Prisoners at the Correctional Association of New York, spoke movingly about the abusive relationship that landed her in prison and the education and leadership training that she received from the Correctional Association, supported by The New York Women’s Foundation that helped her reimagine her life.
How does respect make a difference, Ana asked the women to whom they reach out. “They said when I feel respected, when I remember that you believe in us, and you speak with us about a place of equality, asking us what we need and recommending your perspective on things,” Oliveira told the room, “it allows me to endure the hard times … to think of the alternative that I may have to create to face situations that are not favorable.”
CNN’s Poppy Harlow was Master of Ceremonies. The Opera Collective, who bring opera to the masses singing in subway stations, performed.
Dr. Carson, CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, was recognized for his exemplary leadership in philanthropy and his commitment to bettering the lives of those in need. Abigail Disney, documentary filmmaker, philanthropist, activist, and Honorary Chair of The New York Women’s Foundation presented his award.
Dr. Diaz, Professor and Director of the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, was honored for her crucial work helping vulnerable young people learn to care for themselves, make healthy informed choices, and reach their full potential. Jessica Gonzales-Rojas, Executive Director of National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health presented her award.
Ms. Eggleston, head of the Women’s Economic Development initiatives at Bloomberg Philanthropies, was recognized for her dedication to human and social development, both in her storied career in government, serving under three mayors, and in the private sector. Former Mayor of New York City and Founder of Bloomberg L.P., Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented the award to her by video.
Judge Lippman, Chairman of the Independent Commission on NYC Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform and former Chief Judge of the State of New York and Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, was honored for a lifetime of championing equal access to justice. He is currently Of Counsel in the Litigation & Trial Department of Latham & Watkins’ New York office. Mary McCormick, President of the Fund for the City of New York, presented his award.
The event was co-chaired by Kwanza R. Butler, Anne E. Delaney, Cathy and Walter Isaacson, Michéle and Jason Penzer and Jean and Martin Shafiroff.
Lilliam Barrios Paoli, Senior Advisor to the President at Hunter College; Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU; Mary Lu Bilek, Dean of CUNY School of Law; Marsha Cooke, Vice President of CBS News; Elsie McCabe Thompson, President of the New York City Mission Society; and New York State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright were among the notable guests at the 2017 gala.
For more information, visit www.nywf.org.