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May 25, 2022

Top 10 Moments from the 2022 Women of Vision Awards

by the Ms. Foundation

We hosted this year’s Women of Vision Awards at the Ziegfeld Ballroom on Tuesday, May 17 and a special virtual presentation the following week. What an event it was – the room was full of energy, passion and joy! This year’s event paid tribute to the remarkable achievements of those whose courage and leadership move our society toward a more inclusive world, and raised funds to advance our collective power and create safe, just, and equitable futures for all.

The evening honored visionary leadership and changemakers in their fields and communities, two of whom are grantee partners. After a night of reflection and hope, guests headed to the after party, where DJ Kharisma closed out the event. It was a truly memorable evening.

See below for our favorite moments from honorees and speakers!

 Gloria Steinem, Ms. Foundation Founding Mother:

“Two weeks ago, we saw a draft of what the Supreme Court is planning for two landmark cases that established a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have a child. It was devastating for so many of us to read those words, even though we have been expecting them. But from the perspective of my 88 years, I am hopeful. Remember that hope is a form of planning. First, we know progress is cyclical. Second, we have way more folks who believe in equity than don’t, whether or not our government represents us. Most of all, the future will be what we want it to be, if we vote, speak, and act.” 

President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation, Teresa C. Younger:

[The Ms. Foundation staff] oftentimes say to me, you know Teresa, we don’t do this just because, this is our heart work. And I know for many of us in this room and the work that we do, the idea of coming out tonight isn’t just because we need to come to a party, although that would have been nice too, but it’s because this is our heart work. To make the world a better place is our heart work. To make sure we are pushing back against the systems that have not been designed for us or by us is our heart work. To lift up and call out and say we can do better, we need to do better, and we will do better–that is our heart work. To say who is missing from this table and how do we bring them in – that is our heart work. Our heart work is about saying you don’t get to make laws that will infringe on me. That is our heart work.” 

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Woman of Vision Award Recipient:

“We have a vision for the future, and it looks like this: the ERA has been ratified, and we have passed the Equality Act. There’s no gender pay gap, and no racial wage gap. Kamala Harris and Ketanji Brown Jackson are not firsts, but firsts of many. It’s a future where every woman’s voice is valued, and every little Black and brown girl has the same opportunities that any little white boy has. That is the mission, and we’re going to make it a reality. ”

Bozoma Saint John, Woman of Vision Award Recipient:

“Women have been told that if we stay quiet, and dress the “right” way and do the “right” things and check all the boxes that we’re going to be secure somehow. That if you just sit down and do the work and ignore the microaggressions and inequity, that it’s all going to work out just fine. You’ll get your promotion when it’s your time. You’ll get that raise when it’s your time. You’ll get that recognition when it’s your time. NO! WE WILL NOT WAIT. We will rest and take a break if we must for sanity, wellness, and gathering badass gumption… then strive forward.”

Cassandra Overton Welchlin, Executive Director and Co-Convenor of the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable, Woman of Vision Award Recipient:

“What Ruby and I both know is that if you are doing social justice work in the South, there’s no way you can do it without using a racial lens. Because ultimately it is Black women who are most deeply affected by issues of justice and economic equality…Ms. is letting the world know that if you want to see long-term movement building that really bends the arc of justice, then you must invest in the South. In Black and brown women and children and families in states like mine.”

Ruby Bright, President and CEO of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis; Woman of Vision Award Recipient:

“I also want to commend Ms. Foundation for the work you are doing across the country to elevate the voices of women and to make a difference in their lives.”

Deja Foxx, Free to Be You and Me Award Recipient:

“Our world is at a crisis moment. And it would be easier if we could find some squeaky clean exceptional hero type with all the answers who would come in and save the day, but that’s not what we need. What we need is a lot of imperfect people armed with the power of their unique perspective, who are experts in their lived experiences, who show up everyday right where they are. What we need is you.”

Pamala Buzick KimMarie C. Wilson Emerging Leader Award Recipient:

“Studies note that humans are not generally a heroic species, but an individual will often become heroic when placed in certain situations. Those heroic individuals, such as those in this room – Ruby, Cassandra, Bozoma, Deja, and Congresswoman Waters – are standing on the frontlines”

Danielle Moodie, Ms. Foundation Board Member; Host:

“We also know that the opposition counts on us to feel defeated. They want us to believe that the future is bleak, that the best days are behind us. So we can Tweet or cry or rip our hair out. But I see this moment of time as an opportunity. Because it’s when things break down that we are able to break through.”

Logan Green, The Georgetown Initiative on Gender Justice & Opportunity’s Inaugural Youth Storyteller:

“You asked me to describe my version of a feminist future.
I immediately think of the future that my ancestors deserved.
One they moved mountains for.”

You can see photos from the event on our Facebook page now!

Photo Credit: Getty for Ms. Foundation for Women