On The Avenue

Honoring Women Who Work for Women

by Michael Gross Photographed by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
Monday, May 15, 2017

The New York Women’s Foundation held its its 30th anniversary Celebrating Women Breakfast at the Marriott Marquis Hotel last week and more than 2,000 women gathered to support and promote long-term economic security, sexual health, and safety for women and their families in New York.

This year’s event, co-chaired by Elba Montalvo and Janet Riccio, raised approximately $2 million. The honorees included advocates for civil liberties, women’s health and reproductive rights, religious freedom, LGBTQ communities, immigrants’ rights and education. President and CEO of The Foundation Ana L. Oliveira said, “Each of the women recognized is committed to advancing her cause, but shares a common goal of ensuring women and girls lead safe, healthy, economically secure lives. It was an honor to celebrate them at this year’s breakfast.”

Ana María Archila, Co-Executive Director at The Center for Popular Democracy, was honored for her commitment in fighting for the civil rights of all New Yorkers, particularly immigrants and LGBTQ individuals. Marley Dias, at age 12, the youngest recipient in the event’s history, was honored for her activism and founding of #1000BlackGirlBooks. Donna Lieberman, Executive Director at the New York Civil Liberties Union, was honored for her voice for freedom, justice and equality for those more marginalized by society. The Reverend Vivian Denise Nixon, Executive Director for the College and Community Fellowship, was honored for dedicating her life to removing barriers to higher education for women with criminal records. Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, was honored for her courageous leadership in promoting and protecting the health and safety of women. Linda Sarsour, Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York and the Co-Chair of the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, was honored for standing up for the rights of the Muslim community.

Philanthropist, artist and former Board Chair of The New York Women’s Foundation Anne E. Delaney was honored for her lifelong dedication to social justice philanthropy. Board Alumnae were recognized for their visionary leadership to create an equitable and just future for women and families in New York City and for growing the organization into a recognized leader promoting justice for women. When it began in 1987, The Foundation invested $50,000 in four organizations. Having distributed $7.6 million in 2016, its current grantmaking places it at the top women’s foundations in the U.S., and second in the world. “By following an inclusive model of philanthropy and by investing in grassroots women leaders who have the best solutions for problems in their communities, The Foundation has been honored to partner to transform the lives of millions of women, their families and their communities,” said Ms. Oliveira.

Current grantee partners were also honored at the breakfast. Notable attendees and presenters included Honorary Chair of the Board of Directors Abigail Disney, former Obama Administration officials Tina Tchen and Valerie Jarrett, Chair of The Foundation’s Advisory Committee and former Board Chair Diana Taylor, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and NYC Public Advocate Letitia James.


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