With stories of sexual harassment dominating headlines, the topic was top of mind at a Girls Inc. event on Wednesday. The nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to the development and empowerment of girls, held its 2017 Celebration Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles to recognize and celebrate women’s accomplishments.
The annual luncheon, hosted by actress Nicole Richie and attended by more than 600 people, was both a fundraising opportunity and a way for the organization to recognize the achievements of leading women in their fields, as well as girls who have received scholarships from the non-profit. This year’s five honorees were Barbara Bouza, architect and managing director at Gensler; Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment; Lisa Nishimura, vice president of original documentary and comedy programming at Netflix; Susan Rovner, co-president at Warner Horizon and executive vice president of development at Warner Bros. Television; and Chandra Wilson, an actress and director best known for her work on “Grey’s Anatomy.”
During her speech, Rovner noted that it has been one year and one week since Donald Trump was elected President. She recalled her excitement to vote for a female presidential candidate and her disappointment when Hillary Clinton lost the election.
“There has never been a more important time for this organization and to support these girls,” she said. “We need to demand the end of sexual harassment which is a reality we have had to live with for far too long, and enough is enough.”
“A big part of this starts with voting in 2018. No more officials that ‘grab them by the p—-‘ or who date 14-year-old girls,” Rovner added, referencing a statement that President Trump once made and allegations that Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore pursued sexual relations with teenage girls, including a 14-year-old.
“Events like this are important because they get the word out about empowerment of girls and women and help girls develop their voices,” said Judy Vredenburgh, president and CEO of Girls Inc. “The best way to empower girls is to build their confidence and to have role models they can identify with and that show them that there is a path to busting stereotypes and objectification.”
Girls Inc. was founded in 1864 to serve girls whose lives had been affected by the Civil War. This year’s banquet was the 23rd in the organization’s history.
|ABC Entertainment’s Channing Dungey, Gensler’s Barbara Bouza, Warner Horizon and Warner Bros. TV’s Susan Rovner, Girls Inc.’s Judy Vredenburgh, Nicole Richie, Chandra Wilson, and Netflix’s Lisa Nishimura pose for a photo at the event.
Alex J. Berliner/ABImages