Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem, whose name will be forever linked to the feminist movement, spoke today at a benefit luncheon for the Women's Resource of Greater Houston. And, more than 1,000 women showed up at the J.W. Marriott Hotel to enjoy the wit and wisdom of the 79-year-old activist and author. 

The crowd was full of enthusiastic fans, so the energy of the room for high. But, even more so when Steinem approached the podium and loudspeakers blared out the empowering tune, "I Am Woman."

During her remarks, Steinem referenced an earlier visit to Houston, back in 1977, when she participated in the first (and only) National Conference for Women and applauded our city for electing a female mayor, saying "you have had the good taste to elect a woman mayor." 

Steinem also mentioned her hope that a commemorative plaque will eventually be placed where the conference was held. 

Among those things, Steinem spoke at length about the pay gap between women and men and suggested equal pay would be "the single best stimulus package," putting $200 billion more into the economy each year. 

Gloria and Me 
After the luncheon, a handful of reporters were granted interviews, and I was thrilled to be among them. We all asked a number of questions, and she answered quickly and with the same passion for women's rights she first exhibited over 40 years ago. 

I asked Steinem about the possibility of another National Conference for Women. She smiled but reminded me that funds for the first one were appropriated by Congress. Then, with a sigh, she expressed her belief that our current legislators weren't likely to do the same. 

I couldn't help but think, "That really is too bad."

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Night at the Cabaret

Hundreds of supporters of the Houston Area Women's Center donned their trendiest cocktail attire and filled the ballroom of the Omni Houston Hotel tonight to enjoy a Night at the Cabaret. The evening included a cocktails, a seated dinner and a stage performance by the ever-captivating Christine Ebersole.

Ebersole, a two-time Tony Award-winning actress, has charmed audiences throughout her performing career - from the Broadway stage to a television series, films, concert appearances and recordings.

Ebersole recently finished filming the new Martin Scorsese crime drama, The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. She also appears in The Big Wedding with Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton. On television, she currently stars in the hit TBS sitcom Sullivan and Son.

The gala benefit honored Andrea White for her long-time support of HAWC and Memorial Hermann Health System for its long-time enduring care for the Center's clients.

Event Chairs were Betty and Stephen Newton and Karen and John Orton. All deserve a huge round of applause for putting together a fabulous evening of fun and raising an unprecedented amount of money for the Houston Area Women's Center.

For 35 years now, HAWC has been helping individuals affected by domestic and sexual violence. HAWC provides shelter, counseling and advocacy to support them in their efforts to build new lives free of violence. The services of HAWC are confidential and available to everyone.