Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem — the Co-Founders of The Women’s Media Center — announce the honorees for the 2019 Women’s Media Awards, to be held on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City.
The Women’s Media Center will celebrate Julie K. Brown, Joy Buolamwini, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Lauren Embrey, Laura Flanders, Gayle King, Zerlina Maxwell, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Maysoon Zayid, and the “You Are Not Alone” Querida Familia campaign organizers: America Ferrera, Diane Guerrero, Eva Longoria, Alex Martinez Kondracke, Mónica Ramírez, and Olga Segura.
The Women’s Media Awards were created to honor champions for women in media. The Women’s Media Center honorees set the standard for what media should look like when it gives voice to the female half of the country.
Julie K. Brown, a Miami Herald journalist, will receive the WMC Investigative Journalism Award for reporting the decades of sexual abuse and assault perpetrated by Jeffrey Epstein in Florida, New York, New Mexico, Paris, and on Epstein’s island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She focused for years on a story everyone else dropped: a powerful man who preyed on young girls. She continued to report, even though a corrupt legal system in Florida failed to punish him. Her facts followed him to New York where he was finally prosecuted. She is a champion for our time.
Joy Buolamwini, an inspiring computer scientist, poet (of code), and digital activist, will receive the WMC Carol Jenkins Award. She exposed race and gender bias in commercial artificial intelligence (AI) systems through her founding of the Algorithmic Justice League and her exposure of “The Coded Gaze,” the phrase she coined to describe bias in AI.
Maria Grazia Chiuri, a feminist force and history maker as a designer and as the first woman creative director of Dior women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear, and accessories collections, will receive the WMC Sisterhood is Powerful Award to celebrate her creation of such “wearable media” as the Dior Sisterhood is Powerful, Global, and Forever T-shirt Collection, and for advancing women’s visibility and power.
Lauren Embrey, an artist, activist, and philanthropist, will receive the WMC Catalyst Award for being a source of inspiration and partnership to the Women’s Media Center, from serving as board chair, to launching “Name It, Change It,” galvanizing an Obama White House Summit on Women and Media, and championing the creation of the WMC Speech Project and the WMC Media Lab. As the President of the Embrey Family Foundation, her passion for film, theater, and human rights has led her to everything from theatrical productions to a documentary on the sexual exploitation of children in America. Laura Flanders, a lifelong broadcast journalist and storyteller, will receive the WMC Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award for her extraordinary work and contributions in advancing progressive and inclusive media, and her consistent exposure of diverse voices, accurate news, and new ideas on “The Laura Flanders Show.”
Gayle King, Co-host, CBS This Morning, Editor-at-Large, Oprah Magazine, and one of the most trusted voices in media today, will be recognized with the WMC Visible and Powerful Award, for her consistent voice on television, her skill as a reporter and interviewer, and her role as a champion in advancing women’s and girls’ visibility, power, and diversity in media.
Zerlina Maxwell, Senior Director of Progressive Programming at SiriusXM and MSNBC Political Analyst; Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Executive Editor of Teen Vogue; and Maysoon Zayid, comedian, actress, and disability advocate, will all receive the WMC Progressive Women’s Voices IMPACT Award for their unique contributions, from accurate and inclusive reporting to expanding the arts and the public idea of who artists are. This award celebrates the exceptional achievements and impact of the women leaders and alumnae in WMC’s Progressive Women’s Voices leadership media training program.
WMC is also giving a special WMC Solidarity Award to the organizers of the “You Are Not Alone” letter of the Querida Familia campaign, signed by nearly 250 leaders in entertainment and other industries to express solidarity with “community members following ICE raids, the El Paso shooting, and reports of migrant detention conditions.” Five of the organizers, including Diane Guerrero, Eva Longoria, Alex Martinez Kondracke, Mónica Ramírez, and Olga Segura will attend the gala.
Women’s Media Awards Co-Chairs are: Loreen Arbus, Abigail Disney, Jane Fonda, Maya Harris, Mellody Hobson, Cindy Holland, Victoria Jackson, Pat Mitchell, Robin Morgan, Susan Pritzker, Sheryl Sandberg, Bonnie Schaefer, Gloria Steinem, and Mary and Steven Swig. Proceeds from these awards support the work of the Women’s Media Center.
Past WMC honorees include Luvvie Ajayi, Christiane Amanpour, Amma Asante, Laura Bates, Samantha Bee, Lisa Borders, Ursula Burns, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Katie Couric, Abigail Disney, Sady Doyle, Mona Eltahawy, Fatima Goss Graves, Maria Hinojosa, Cindy Holland, Sarah Hoye, Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff, Sheila C. Johnson, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Ashley Judd, Maria Teresa Kumar, Laura Ling and Lisa Ling, Lara Logan, Pat Mitchell, Martha Nelson, Soledad O’Brien, Salma Hayek Pinault, Elianne Ramos, Joy Reid, Yanique Richards, April Ryan, Anita Sarkeesian, Regina K. Scully, Mary Thom (posthumously), Marlo Thomas, Barbara Walters, Padmasree Warrior, Lindy West, and Maggie Wilderotter.
To buy tickets or for more information about the 2019 WOMEN’S MEDIA AWARDS and the ongoing work of the WOMEN’S MEDIA CENTER, go to: www.womensmediacenter.com.