The 35th anniversary of Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI) was celebrated at a gala event in New York City on Tuesday night, Dec. 10. Founded in 1984 Robin Morgan, the late Simone de Beauvoir and women’s groups in 80 countries, SIGI has been hailed as the first international feminist think tank and counts on its host committee such entertainment veterans as Lily Tomlin Jeremy Irons, Catherine Keener, Ashley Judd, Robin Wright, Taylor Schilling, music executive Barry Weiss and former head of Sony Music corporate communications Liz Young. Its board of directors includes Gloria Steinem, Donna Deitch and Jane Fonda, among others.

The event, held at Apella in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan and hosted by Sarah Jones (pictured above at center flanked by Steinem and Fonda), honored Morgan, who also authored of “Sisterhood is Global” in addition to co-founding the Institute, Nepal Supreme Court Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla and activist and philanthropist Bonnie Schaefer.

Much emphasis was given to SIGI’s signature project, the Donor Direct Action initiative, which links front-line women’s rights organizations worldwide to funding, visibility and political power.  Said Jessica Neuwirth, its founder and CEO: “We know how to get funds where they are most needed and where they will make the greatest difference.”

It was a sentiment repeated by Jane Fonda who took the podium to recount her work with the organization. “I was at the launch of Donor Direct Action five years ago, and I am pleased to report that to date almost $3 million has been re-granted by this fund to front line women’s groups doing life-saving work,” said Fonda. “I am proud to serve on the board of the Sisterhood is Global Institute, which was the first international feminist think-tank “pledged to visionary yet pragmatic action in support of women’s rights, freedoms and power.”

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Larry Busacca