Variety’s Power of Women luncheon will make its New York City debut by honoring Claire Danes, Nancy Dubuc, Idina Menzel, Iman, Sarah Jessica Parker and Susan Sarandon on April 25 at Cipriani Midtown.
The event is also presented by A&E’s new television network, FYI.
These women are being recognized for their humanitarian efforts with their chosen causes.
Claire Danes on Afghan Hands: “Widows are basically beholden to their in-laws, and after the death of their husbands they’re seen as a burden. They have these wonderful embroidery skills, and in exchange for that work they can learn how to read and do math, and hopefully in the process have a greater means to exist in the world.”
“My parents are artists, and one of our friends spent the 1980s going to Afghanistan and taking photographs of the women there,” she says. “I’ve been affected by these images my whole life.”
Sarah Jessica Parker on the New York City Ballet: “I wanted to think about that next generation, how we were going to reach out to new audience members.”
“It’s important to us as people, as Americans, to allow ourselves to appreciate the art form. We know that to be true.”
Nancy Dubuc on Rubicon and the Mission Continues: “These organizations are not just honoring the past, but continuing in the future — really celebrating the service of these men and women. I wanted to do something that was more than just a call to action, or putting our name on a plaque in a museum.”
“These men and women have served our country, and this is a way to honor their legacy and hopefully inspire others to do so as well.”
Idina Menzel on summer camp of A Broader Way: “It’s about using the arts to help girls find their own voice,” says Menzel. “There’s a lot of young women who don’t know how to use their voice literally and figuratively. These girls get to be the authors of their own life.”
“I loved being able to reinvent myself during the summer, and not be judged by the same group of kids I saw in school.”
Iman, on Somalia’s Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation: “It’s a small foundation, on the ground, with people who are making lasting changes rather than big foundations that make a lot of noise.”
“It was a clan-based country, not tribal. Everyone was related to each other, one language, one religion, you could not think of a more unified country,” she says. “As a Somali it’s mind-boggling to me what is happening.”
Susan Sarandon on Hope North: “We’re working to keep (Okello Sam’s) school afloat. The organizations I spend time with, or have worked with for a long period of time, are organizations I can vouch for — and that’s important. I can get spread pretty thin.”
“I’m in a business that leads to empathy, which leads to action. Having the ability to constantly reframe perspective for people, and give them an opportunity to identify with someone they never thought they could deal with — that’s when things get interesting, because it leads to dialogue.”