Lunch Keynote - Doing the Right Thing

Today's lunch keynote conversations will feature those who are walking their walk towards making the world a better place, and sharing with us how those actions have changed them personally.

Actor, author, producer, and activist Maria Bello has focused her energies on global women’s rights for thirty years. She was voted one of Variety magazine’s most powerful women in Hollywood for her activism with women in Darfur. Maria also traveled to Kosovo during the war to interview women about the genocide and sexual violence against them and lobbied congress to organize the first ever hearing on rape as a weapon of war. She started a women’s clinic in Haiti and holds the title of Ambassador at Large for the women in Haiti. She has spoken at the State Department on women and social business and at the UN on women in media. She is also a ReFrame Ambassador for Women in Film to work towards gender parity in the entertainment industry. Her films in production center on women and diverse voices. For example, Maria is currently producing a VR piece and 2D documentary about an all female militia fighting ISIS.

Yasmeen Hassan is the Global Executive Director of Equality Now, an organization that has been is using the law for 25 years to protect and promote human rights for women and girls around the world. Their motto is that “legal change means social change…and it works”. Prior to joining Equality Now, she was with the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women where she worked on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Secretary-General’s study on violence against women. She has served on the Council on Foreign Relations’ Advisory Board on Child Marriage, provided expert guidance to the U.N. Trust to End Violence Against Women, and advocates for women’s rights through appearances in numerous media outlets, including CNN, Al Jazeera, the Huffington Post, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Yasmeen holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School where, among other subjects, she studied Islamic law and women’s rights. For Yasmeen, the law makes a critical difference; it is a statement of your worth as a citizen and influences the direction your life will take. Growing up in Pakistan, her defining moment came at age 10 when her country’s laws were ‘Islamacized’ treating women as second class citizens. Advocating for women’s rights became a major part of Yasmeen’s education and career, ultimately leading her to author the first study of domestic violence in Pakistan which became the nation’s submission to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.

Maria and Yasmeen, two warriors for women will talk about the real change they’ve seen, the tactics that have been most effectively…and how they prioritize the work that remains to be done.

Then we will talk to Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s “The Chew”, restaurateur, cookbook author, and beloved “Top Chef” competitor, who joined us last Fall in Austin for #BlogHerFood16.  She moderated a wonderful keynote discussion about how long it takes to achieve “overnight” success (a theme we will be re-visiting this year with another keynote speaker Luvvie Ajayi, by the way). We were hungry for more from Carla, and this is the perfect time to sit down and dig deeper with her.

Carla will be featured in an intimate talk with BlogHer Co-Founder Elisa Camahort Page about the highs, lows and unpredictable moments in her journey from accountant (did you know that?) to caterer to food world domination. How did she plan such a trajectory? How does she make her most fateful decisions?   Carla is like so many of us…balancing running a business and living her values by approaching it differently than most people do or would.  You’ll be surprised at her approach.

We are looking forward to hearing from this amazing group of strong women who are not only living their values every day, but are working to make change both at home and abroad.

Menu