Equality Now has announced that their annual Make Equality Reality Gala will be held in New York City on Monday, October 30, 2017, at Gotham Hall.

This year’s event, which will mark the organization’s 25th Anniversary, will honor Gucci America President and CEO Susan Chokachi and A Breeze of Hope Foundation Founder Brisa De Angulo. The 2017 Make Equality Reality Gala Co-Chairs are Gloria Steinem, Tara Lynda Guber, Susan Hassan, Chandra Jessee (Inmaat Foundation), Karen Lehner, and Sue Smalley, PhD.

“I am proud to be part of a company that is fully committed to protecting human rights and fighting for gender equality. In 2013 Gucci founded CHIME FOR CHANGE to campaign for education, health and justice for girls and women all over the world, supporting the work of organizations like Equality Now, which are proving – often against extreme odds – that change is possible. It is an honor to partner with Equality Now, whose legal victories and landmark legislation wins have helped to change the course of history for so many girls and women” said Susan Chokachi.

“As a survivor, it is my dream that people worldwide will join together – in solidarity with survivors – to end child sexual violence. Equality Now’s constant encouragement and dedication have strengthened my journey on the often difficult path to justice. I am thankful for this honor and the opportunity to bring to light the situation of too many Bolivian girls. It is important and healing for survivors to know that they are not alone,” said Brisa De Angulo.

Susan joined Gucci in 1998, and has spent nearly 20 years representing the company in various leadership roles in North America. Over the course of her career at Gucci, she has helped lead many of the company’s global philanthropic initiatives, including long-term partnerships with UNICEF, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and The Film Foundation. Susan also helped launch the company’s CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign, founded by Gucci in 2013 to convene, unite and strengthen the voices speaking out for girls and women around the world. The campaign uses innovative approaches to promote gender equality. Co-founded by Beyonce and Salma Hayek Pinault, the campaign works with a coalition of partner organizations, including Global Citizen, the Kering Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Facebook and Hearst Magazines. Since 2013, through CHIME FOR CHANGE, Susan has worked closely with Equality Now and Global Executive Director Yasmeen Hassan, who also serves on the CHIME FOR CHANGE Advisory Board.

Brisa is a leading campaigner against child and adolescent sexual abuse in Bolivia and was motivated to help others by her own experience of sexual assault when she was a teenager. Brisa grew up with her family in Cochabamba, Bolivia where as a teenager, she was raped repeatedly by an older cousin. When she finally reported the sexual assault, she faced intimidation and blame from the Bolivian authorities, as well as from her community and extended family. In 2004, Brisa started A Breeze of Hope (Fundacion Una Brisa De Esperanza), a charity that supports sexually abused children in Bolivia. Bolivia has one of the highest rates of sexual violence against women and children in South America, but one of the lowest reporting rates. It was the first organization in the country to provide social workers, therapists, and lawyers, all free of charge for children who are sexual abuse victims. In 2014, she partnered with Equality Now to address the alarming rates of child sexual abuse and incest in Bolivia and gaps in the law that allow it to continue – and to finally bring her own abuser to justice.

“Equality Now is thrilled to honor Susan Chokachi and Brisa de Angulo at our 25th anniversary event. We support and work with activists from all walks of life; they change the course of history. At a time when most corporations were unwilling to associate themselves with issues of gender equality and violence against women, Susan helped launched Gucci’s global campaign CHIME FOR CHANGE to support grassroots efforts for gender equality. Brisa who was sexually abused when she was growing up in Bolivia, used her experience to become one of the leading campaigners against sexual abuse in Latin America, establishing a center to empower girls and using her case to change the law. We are honored to work with such powerful and compassionate women!” Yasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director of Equality Now, said.

Equality Now is dedicated to using the law to create a more just world for women and girls. Their international network of lawyers, activists, and supporters hold governments responsible for ending legal inequality, sex trafficking, sexual violence and harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and “child marriage”.

Additional details about the 2017 Make Equality Reality New York Gala will be announced in the coming weeks. For sponsorship and ticket information, contact 5B Events at (310) 559-9334 ext. 102 or email harvin@5bevents.com.

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