On 30 October 2017, more than 400 guests joined Equality Now to celebrate 25 years of activism for women’s rights at our Make Equality Reality fundraising gala in New York City. Co-chaired by Gloria Steinem, Tara Lynda Guber, Susan Hassan, Chandra Jessee (InMaat Foundation), Karen Lehner and Sue Smalley, PhD, the gala was our most successful ever–raising more than $825,000 to support our mission! In recognition of our 25th anniversary and powerful women, we honored two partners who are committed to making the world a better place for women and girls – Gucci America President and CEO Susan Chokachi, and A Breeze of Hope Foundation Founder Brisa De Angulo. The event was generously underwritten by Vanguard of Change sponsor, InMaat Foundation.
WATCH the powerful remarks:
Gloria Steinem, Gala Co-Chair and Equality Now Board Member
Brisa De Angulo, Honoree/A Breeze of Hope Foundation founder
Susan Chokachi, Honoree/Gucci America President and CEO
Yasmeen Hassan, Equality Now Global Executive Director
Under the Creative Direction of Advisory Board member Joss Whedon, the evening began with a role reversing twist on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Further performances addressed the current mass exposure of sexual harassment and violence, gender equality, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sex trafficking in word and song. The audience was especially moved by a powerful performance featuring portrayals of 15-year old survivor activists reading letters from their present-day selves. We were grateful to also have the directing and writing talents of Advisory Board Member, Laura Barnett, Katie Cappiello and Stacy Kramer.
Co-chair Karen Lehner surprised us all with a fundraising challenge directed at the men in the room. She called on them to come forward and give up their “patriarchal” ties, pledging $1,000 for each one received – three dozen of our guests delivered on the spot!
Our diverse and talented cast included: Amir Arison, Sarah Armoogam, Margot Bingham, Jaspal Binning, Vinie Burrows, Amy Carlson, Ana Gasteyer, Seth Herzog, Odley Jean, Nick Kocher, Lauren Mayberry, Jennifer Morrison, Shoba Narayan, Michael Nathanson, Adepero Oduye, Dascha Polanco, Alysia Reiner, Rebecca Renner, AnnaSophia Robb, Sheetal Sheth and the Vicious Psi Steppers. The evening ended with a passionate performance by the sister pop-rock band, HAIM.
WATCH the performances:
Equality Now is deeply appreciative of everyone who contributed to making our 25th anniversary celebration a success. We extend a special thank you to:
Tara Lynda Guber
Chandra Jessee, InMaat Foundation
Sue Smalley, PhD
Mo Ogrodnik & Matt Bardin
Annette Wheeler & Dan Kelly
Vanguard of Change
Catalyst of Change
Tara Lynda Guber
Saks Fifth Avenue
Molly Gochman and Michael Armilio
Sue Smalley & Kevin Wall
Lily Sobhani and Wendy Conley Gill, The Gucci team, Harvin Rogas and 5B events, Kristin Whalley, SLATE PR, JC Coccoli, AnnaSophia Robb and Scarlett Curtis.