Last week, Equality Now hosted its Make Equality Reality Gala virtually for the first time – and raised over $380,000 and counting to continue their fight for justice for women and girls worldwide.
Supporters across the globe tuned in from their homes to see some of their favorite artists and activists highlight the people who inspire and help Equality Now in their pursuit of a more just and equal world.
Karamo introduced us to the activists (Drew Dixon, Shanita Hubbard, Kierna Mayo, Dr. Joan Morgan, and Sheri Sher) and filmmakers (Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering) of the acclaimed documentary On the Record, who were honored for their brilliant work at the intersection of the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements. “For Equality Now to recognize this film, the filmmakers and the participants, it is bound to be encouraging to other women who want to tell really difficult stories,” said activist and author Dr. Joan Morgan.
Nadeen Ashraf, the young woman who is boldly leading Egypt’s #MeToo movement through her Instagram account “Assault Police,” accepted the third annual Changemaker Award presented by Gucci and Chime for Change. As she spoke with last year’s recipient, Scarlett Curtis, she discussed the power that young people have to make change online: “Don’t let anyone discourage you from using these platforms for good. At the end of the day, I’m just a 22-year-old woman who felt frustrated with being silenced. I always tell myself that if I don’t do something, who is going to?”
The evening also featured a special tribute written by Gloria Steinem and read by Meryl Streep for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose work for legal equality in the US has inspired Equality Now’s work around the world.
An incredible lineup of artists and activists took time to showcase everything Equality Now has been fighting for in this tumultuous year, including Jane Fonda, Aubrey Plaza, Jameela Jamil, Karamo, Margaret Atwood, Marisa Tomei, Alicia Vikander, AnnaSophia Robb, Rob Reiner, Bob Balaban, Carmen Ejogo, Aasif Mandvi, Karen Robinson, Heather McMahan, Linda Perry, Christine Lahti, Daphne Willis, Angélica, Amalia Yoo, Brittany Adebumola, Eva Biaudet, Julie Taymor, Kimberly Guerrero, Lola Blackman, Monica Sanchez, Omar Samra, Sheetal Sheth, and V (formerly Eve Ensler). Jess Glynne gave a moving performance of her hit “I’ll Be There.”
“This has been one of the most difficult years in living memory and the fallout has been especially acute for women and girls, but tonight was a beautiful reminder that there is so much to be hopeful for in 2021,” Said Yasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director of Equality Now. “I am incredibly thankful for all of the artists and activists who participated in our gala as well as those around the world who tuned in to support and celebrate women and girls’ rights.”
The evening’s Host Committee included Bonnie Abaunza, Rosanna Arquette, Patricia & Alex Farman-Farmaian, Nancy and Jeffrey Goldstein, Chandra Jessee, Annette Wheeler & Dan Kelly, Simone Lahorgue, Christine Lahti, Karen Lehner, Melony Lewis, Ann MacDougall, Nancy J. Miller, Lisa Henson & Dave Pressler, Paula Ravets, Lynda Resnick, Rosenthal Family Foundation, Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami, Sheetal Sheth, Sue Smalley, Jennifer Allan Soros, and Gloria Steinem.
The event was produced by Do Great Projects, Happily.io, and PostScript Creative, LLC.
The entire event is available to view on Equality Now’s YouTube channel.
To learn more about Equality Now’s crucial work and to support the organization, please visit equalitynow.org.