Announcing 14 of our ’21 Leaders for the 21st Century’ 2019 …and a new Keynote Speaker!!

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SAVE THE DATE:

Monday, May 6th in NYC @6:30pm


Keynote Speaker & Honoree

Wendy Davis, Founding Director of Deeds not Words

As the founding director of Deeds Not Words, a non-profit that seeks to empower and activate the voices of young women in public and political discourse, Wendy Davis is also a former Texas State Senator, 2014 Texas Democratic Gubernatorial nominee, frequent public speaker and author. Wendy gained national prominence in 2013 when she strapped on a pair of pink sneakers and held a 13-hour filibuster to protect women’s reproductive freedoms in Texas.  In 2016, Wendy founded Deeds Not Words to give women the tools needed to turn their passion into effective action – teaching civic engagement skills to young women who use what they learn to organize, advocate for policy change and increase voter participation.

Gisselle Acevedo, President and CEO, Ackerman Institute for the Family


As President and CEO, Gisselle Acevedo leads the Ackerman Institute for the Family to further its mission to improve the mental health of families in the New York area through the dynamic interaction of innovative treatment, state of the art training and cutting edge research. In her role, she uses her vision and voice to help Ackerman in moving families forward with the purpose to serve mental health care professionals and bring innovative perspectives to a broad array of community service agencies and other health care facilities. Appointed in 2018, she is the Institute’s fifth president and the first Hispanic woman to lead the organization.

Danielle Belton, Editor-in-Chief, The Root
Recipient, Rita Henley Jensen Excellence in Journalism Award 


Born and raised St. Louis, Mo. on a healthy diet of news programming, pop culture, black history and “snark,” Danielle Belton is currently Editor-in-Chief of the leading black news site, The Root. She was previously best known as the editor and writer of the award-winning pop culture-meets-politics blog The Black Snob. As a journalist, Belton has written for: The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Essence Magazine, The Guardian, The American Prospect, Jezebel, NPR, The Huffington Post and many others. Belton currently lives in New York City.

Carolyn A. Butts, Founder, Executive Director of African Voices  

Trailblazer and proud Brooklyn resident, Carolyn A. Butts has nearly three decades of experience organizing programs in the areas of arts, education, business and film.  She has worked on numerous projects to increase the visibility of African-American artists in literature, film, and art. In 1992 she founded African Voices Communications, Inc., a non-profit arts organization devoted to promoting the art, literature and history of people of color. At 25, she was one of the first New Yorkers to publish a literary magazine, African Voices, a quarterly.

Robyn Hatcher. Owner and CEO of SpeakEtc.


Robyn Hatcher is a keynote speaker, communication expert, author and “recovering” actor. Robyn inspires women to stand out, move up, lean in and take charge through corporate programs, private coaching, and interactive presentations. Pretty astounding since her literal nickname growing up was SHY She has written, stage film and two daytime dramas and last year appeared on Good Morning America speaking about the “Me Too” movement.

Katja Iversen,  President/CEO of Women Deliver   

Katja Iversen is a leading global advocate for investment in gender equality and the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women, with a specific focus on maternal, sexual and reproductive health and rights. Iversen, an internationally recognized expert on development, advocacy and communications, has more than 25 years of experience working in NGOs, corporates and United Nation agencies. Previously, she held the position as Chief of Strategic Communication and Public Advocacy with UNICEF, a position she came to after almost six years of leading the team responsible for advocacy and communication on reproductive health with UNFPA.

Cynthia López, Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television

Cynthia Lopez leads the preeminent professional association for women in film, television and digital media in New York City, NYWFT. She is an award-winning media strategist, and former Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, where she implemented strategies to support film and TV production throughout the five boroughs. Prior to working as Commissioner, López was Executive Vice President and co-Executive Producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series American Documentary | POV, and is the recipient of many coveted industry awards including: 11 News and Documentary Emmy Awards, a Special Emmy Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, three Peabody Awards, two duPont-Columbia Awards, and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Award for Commitment to Corporate Diversity.

Rosalind McLymont, Executive Editor of The Network Journal

As the Executive Editor of The Network Journal, a New York-based business magazine that targets an audience of black professionals and entrepreneurs, Rosalind McLymont is also chief executive officer of an online publication, africastrictlybusiness.com. Rosalind has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer, speaker, and adviser to small and medium-sized companies in global business. She was an international trade reporter and the first female and first Black managing editor at The Journal of Commerce, at the time The Economist Group-owned shipping and global trade newspaper.

Brette McSweeney, President of Eleanor’s Legacy


Brette McSweeney leads Eleanor’s Legacy, the only statewide organization in New York focused on recruiting, training, and funding pro-choice Democratic women candidates at the state and local level. She was a member of the New York Leadership Council for Hillary for America in 2016 and the deputy New York State director for women’s outreach in 2008. Brette is a graduate of Georgetown and Columbia universities.

© Donna F. Aceto

Ana L. Oliveira, President and CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation 

Under Ana’s leadership, The New York Women’s Foundation has increased The Foundation’s grantmaking from $1.7M in 2006 to $9M today. Ana previously held key roles as a CEO of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, VP of Programs at Osborne Association, and Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center Substance Abuse Clinic. Ana attained her M.A. in Medical Anthropology and a PhD. (hon) from the New School for Social Research.  She was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and resides in Manhattan.

Stephanie Sandberg, Executive Director of LPAC


As the Executive Director of LPAC, Stephanie Sandberg leads the only political organization for LGBTQ women; and Project LPAC, a charitable organization that conducts original research on LGBTQ women and civic engagement. Prior to her appointment in 2018, Stephanie was Director of OutWOMEN and Managing Director at Out Leadership, a B Corp that seeks to provide businesses ‘return on equality’ through LGBTQ inclusion. She spent her earlier professional career in media, where she had business roles at The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The New Yorker and The New Republic, where she served as president and publisher. Stephanie lives in Princeton, NJ, with her wife and two daughters.

Sean Strub, Recipient, 2019 Gordon Gray Award (named after Women’s eNews founding board member)

Sean Strub is a long-time activist and writer who has been HIV positive for more than 33 years. He is the founder of POZ Magazine, the leading independent global source of information about HIV, and served as its publisher and executive editor from 1994 to 2004. He presently serves as the executive director of the Sero Project, a network of people with HIV fighting for freedom from stigma and injustice and as treasurer of the U.S. Caucus of PWHA Organizations. He served on the board of directors of the Global Network of People living with HIV/AIDS from 2009 to 2012 and as co-chair of its North American affiliate from 2011 to 2012.

Leading National Organization: MARCH ON is a political organization composed of women-led, grassroots political and activist groups that seeks to engage women and their allies in the democratic process, advocate for policies that impact women and other marginalized communities, and make our government more representative of its people. They achieve this by supporting and resourcing hundreds of local affiliates and organizers nationwide, mobilizing our network for national collaborative campaigns, and partnering with other progressive organizations. Born out of the 2017 women’s marches, they strive to be radically inclusive and take a “bottom-up” approach to activism.

Leading International Organization: The Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) is an international non-profit organization tackling poverty and inequality by supporting girls to go to school and succeed, and empowering young women to step up as leaders of change.  CAMFED invests in girls and women in the poorest rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa, where girls face acute disadvantage, and where their education has transformative potential. Since 1993, the organization’s innovative community-led education programs have supported more than 2.6 million children to go to school in Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe at more than 5,745 partner schools.W

Honorees to be joined by: 

Gala Host:  Tamsen Fadal

Honorary Gala Chair:  Loreen Arbus       

Honorary Gala Co-Chairs:

Abigail Disney, Lauren Embrey, Suzanne Lerner  

 Stay Tuned: On Friday, March 1st, the Complete List of ’21 Leaders for the 21st Century’ will be Announced,  with a link to RSVP!!

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