Women and men from across the country will be gathering in Baltimore on May 1-3 for Its Time 2015: The Partnership Summit to Elevate Women’s Leadership.

Summit host, It’s Time Network, is excited to announce that Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, Broadcast Journalist Soledad O'Brien, and Actress Rosario Dawson will be among the featured speakers.

Rosalynn Carter, the Former First Lady of the United States, has maintained a life-long dedication to issues affecting women and children. In 2001 she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She is one of America’s leading advocates for mental health, caregiving, early childhood immunization, human rights and conflict resolution. In 1988, Carter convened the “Women and the Constitution” conference to assess that document’s impact on women. Now, more than 20 years later, the former First Lady again leads the way for women seeking answers on how to be more effective leaders.

Rosario Dawson has risen to fame for her work in hit films including Rent, Sin City and Men in Black II. In addition to starring in numerous leading roles, Dawson also lends her time to a range of influential organizations, including The Lower Eastside Girls Club, the Environmental Media Association and Voto Latino, a non-partisan organization, which she co-founded in 2004, that empowers Latino millennials to build a better future for themselves and their community. Dawson was recently awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her valuable contributions to the community and encouragement in getting others involved.

Soledad O’Brien will be giving the address ‘Investing in girls is the solution to global poverty’ at the summit, as well as facilitating the panel discussion, “Empowering Girls and Women: Backing Research with Resources.” O’Brien has been an example of excellence in women’s leadership both on camera and off. She has been a tireless advocate of creating opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds, especially girls. This has infused her work as a multiple Emmy and Peabody award-winning broadcast journalist, as an executive producer, and as CEO of Starfish Foundation where she works to help disadvantaged young women have access to educational opportunities. Soledad O’Brien has been recognized by the NAACP, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the National Association of Black Journalists, among others. In 2009, she received the Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service Award.

Carter, Dawson, and O’Brien will be joined by 53 other speakers and panelists at the summit to explore issues relevant to women leaders of all levels, including sessions on “partnership between men and women,” “building a fair economy,” why it makes both business and social sense to “invest in girls,” the complexities of “fair pay,” environmental issues, how to use political influence, and the increasing global presence of women leaders.

Some of the most influential organizations advocating on behalf of women and girls are Convening Partners of the summit, including The Carter Center, Women Donors Network, Global Fund for Women, Women Moving Millions, Women’s Funding Network, Let Girls Lead and Girls Inc.

“At the summit, women and men will discuss collective action to ensure women’s voices and leadership are included in the most pressing issues of our time,” says Betsy Hall McKinney, founder of It’s Time Network, the summit’s organizer.

The summit will begin an inclusive dialogue about women’s leadership across social, economic, gender and racial lines. Says former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, “Times of upheaval require not just more leadership but more leaders. People at all organizational levels, whether anointed or self-appointed, must be empowered to share leadership responsibilities.”

The summit organizers are taking the former First Lady’s advice and striving to make the summit accessible for leaders at any stage. Students can attend the full conference $59 dollars, a subsidized community ticket price of $99 for all three days or $39 for one day, and even scholarships are available. To register for the summit or for more information, go to www.ItsTime2015.com.

It’s Time Network is a growing community of people, organizations and visionary leaders working to advance the full empowerment of women and girls to achieve gender equity, evolve democracy, build fair economies and regenerate the earth. Register for It’s Time 2015 or sign up to join the network in your city at www.ItsTime2015.com.

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