Photo by @eileenss; event hashtag: #wgf
As I first blogged about here, the Women and Girls Foundation held a celebration on Saturday honoring Women in Media.
From the Post-Gazette:
Each year the foundation recognizes local women in a different sector of society who are making strides as innovators in their fields. The philanthropic group, founded in 2002 and dedicated to achieving gender equity in the region, in the past has honored women in science, sports, law and other areas.
I was very honored to be a member of the host committee.
The P-G article, naturally enough, focuses on honoree Post-Gazette columnist Sally Kalson. At the event, I went up to Ms. Kalson and shared a story with her. Back when the late Fred Honsberger had a TV show on PCNC, I was a frequent caller (as you might imagine, I took the opposing view on nearly everything). During one program, Fred was ranting about liberals and at one point he said, "It's liberals like Lynn and Sally and Maria..." (meaning Lynn Cullen, Sally Kalson and me). Along with feeling proud to be in such good company, I also thought that if Ms. Cullen or Ms. Kalson had heard that, they must be thinking, "Who the hell is Maria?"
The evening was lovely. Girls from the Women and Girls Foundation introduced each honoree by explaining how the person had inspired them (you can see the full list here).
The keynote address was given by Abigail Disney (award winning filmmaker and grandniece of Walt Disney). Disney's film Pray the Devil Back to Hell, which documents a peace movement called Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace who became a political force against violence and against their government, was screened that night. Disney will be producing a series about the effects of war on women and children for PBS.
It was also great that the Women and Girls Foundation made a real effort to include new media in both the honorees (Cynthia Closkey, president of Big Big Design, co-founder of PodCamp Pittsburgh and developer of iTwixie.com) and the host committee (I heart PGH, Ms. Mon's Salon, CivicsLab and The Pittsburgh Women's Blogging Society). They also ran a slide show on a loop of the history of women in blogging put together by The Pittsburgh Women's Blogging Society on flat screens and laptops scattered around the party site and in the main screening room.
And, most notably, they awarded a Special Award of Distinction to Virginia Montanez "for her innovative use of social media to raise awareness of the need for local political reform, and her critical role in rallying public support to save the orphans of the BRESMA orphanage earlier this year in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti."
It needs to be said that this event also serves as a fundraiser for the foundation, so if you didn't get a chance to attend, you can still donate to all the good work that they do here.