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April 27, 2022

Ms. Foundation for Women Announces Honorees for 2022 Women of Vision Awards: The Future is Feminist

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Bozoma Saint John, Pamala Buzick Kim, Deja Foxx,  and Grantee Partners Ruby Bright of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis and Cassandra Overton Welchin of the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable to be recognized by the nation’s first women’s foundation at annual gala on May 17th

NEW YORK – Today, the Ms. Foundation for Women announced the honorees for the 2022 Women of Vision Awards: The Future is Feminist. The annual gala will take place at Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City on May 17, 2022 to connect invested feminists and celebrate forward-looking honorees, while raising funds and awareness to advance collective power and create safe, just, and equitable futures for all. 

Each year, the Ms. Foundation honors grassroots leaders, influencers and philanthropists who have made an indelible impact on the gender justice movement at the local, state, and national levels. This year, the Ms. Foundation will honor:

Culture-changing Southern leaders and grantee partners: Ruby Bright, President  and CEO of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis and Cassandra Overton Welchlin, Executive Director and Co-Convenor of the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable with Woman of Vision Awards. 

Congresswoman Maxine Waters with the Woman of Vision Award for her advocacy as a member of Congress and fearless commitment to democracy and equality, especially when it comes to the lives of women and girls of color. 

Hall of Fame marketing executive Bozoma Saint John with the Woman of Vision Award for her leadership at Fortune 500 companies such as Uber, Apple, and Netflix, and her work championing women and girls of color to be their truest selves. 

Executive Director of FREE THE WORK Pamala Buzick Kim with the Marie C. Wilson Emerging Leader Award, which honors trailblazing feminist leaders who amplify their voices and enact positive change by paving the way for generations to come. At FREE THE WORK, Kim has shepherded the organization to support  underrepresented creators and help kick-start their careers. 

Activist and founder of GenZ Girl Gang Deja Foxx with the Free to Be You and Me Award, which honors young activists enacting change. Her advocacy work has brought attention to issues like reproductive justice and sex education, building a more inclusive and equitable future for all.

“We are thrilled to announce this year’s honorees for the Women of Vision Awards,” said Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation. “Congresswoman Waters, Bozoma, Deja, Pamala, Ruby and Cassandra are visionary leaders who have boldly led the way for gender and racial equity. This group of honorees is proof that the future is feminist, and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments and supporting grassroots leaders as we continue to build collective power in our communities.” 

Helen Hayes Award winning actress and vocalist Nova Payton will perform in-person during the evening. The Women of Vision Awards: The Future is Feminist will also feature a virtual component that will include a special presentation of the awards on May 24, 2022.

The Women of Vision Awards is the Ms. Foundation for Women’s largest annual fundraising event, honoring feminist advocates, activists, and thought-leaders who ignite policy and culture change. Since 1973, the Ms. Foundation has invested over $82 million to build grassroots movements fighting for gender equity for women, particularly women of color around the country. The foundation supports more than 100 organizations throughout the country that are working for change on a grassroots level in order to build power and advance democracy. 

Previous Women of Vision honorees include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Academy Award-nominated director Ava DuVernay, former Editor-In-Chief of Teen Vogue Elaine Welteroth, filmmaker and activist dream hampton, the co-chairs of the Women’s March on Washington, fashion icon Diane von FurstenbergSheila Nevins of HBO Documentary Films, Suzanne Lerner of Michael Stars, and Jennifer and Peter Buffett on behalf of the NoVo Foundation.

For more information about the event, please visit www.wov2022.org

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The Ms. Foundation is following current CDC guidelines and will require proof of vaccination in order to be present at the gala on May 17.  Please know that it is our priority to keep guests and attendees safe, and we reserve the right to update these requirements. 

For nearly 50 years, the Ms. Foundation for Women has worked to build women’s collective power in the U.S. to advance equity and justice for all. The Ms. Foundation invests in, and strengthens the capacity of women led movements to advance meaningful social, cultural, and economic change in the lives of women. With equity and inclusion as the cornerstones of true democracy, the Ms. Foundation works to create a world in which the worth and dignity of every person are valued, and power and possibility are not limited by gender, race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or age.

ABOUT THE HONOREES

Ruby Bright is the President and CEO of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis. Under her more than 20 years of leadership, WFGM has served as a backbone organization in the city promoting philanthropy, fostering leadership and supporting program services for women and families. WFGM’s impact and programs are nationally recognized, proving the power of place-based, strategic fundraising and grant development for intergenerational impact. Since 1996, WFGM has awarded over $33 million to over 560 programs involving more than 182 local non-profits, including investments in advocacy and research. Bright also services on the Memphis Challenge Board of Directors.

Cassandra Welchlin is the Executive Director and Co-Convener of the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable (MS-BWR) is an inter-generational statewide organization for black women and girls, dedicated to increasing voter participation through civic engagement, advancing women’s economic security through policy advocacy, and developing transformational leaders for long-term movement building. MS-BWR is an affiliate of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation/Black Women’s Roundtable.

Cassandra is a daughter of the South, raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a loving wife and mother to three amazing children. With a heart for women, children and communities she hails a Bachelor’s degree in social work from “Thee I Love” Jackson State University and a Master’s from Brandies University at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

Serving as a youth leader at New Horizon Church and Commissioner for the City of Jackson – Planning Board is one of the many ways she impacts her own community. Not only does Cassandra leave an impact on a local level, she is also a member of the MS State Conference NAACP, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and 100 Black Women of Central MS.

As a licensed social worker, an advocate, organizer, and agent of change, her work spans over twenty years, reforming public policy and organizing for power. This has led to legislative and administrative policy wins in childcare, juvenile justice reform, health care, safety net programs, and domestic violence for women. For the past six years, Cassandra has created and led an effective statewide campaign to enact a good equal pay law to close the wage gap.
Prior to joining MS-BWR, she was the Policy and Advocacy Director for the Mississippi Low-Income Child-Care Initiative organizing childcare providers and single moms state-wide. While at MLICCI, she co-founded and launched MS Women’s Economic Security Initiative (MWESI), an ambitious policy agenda rooted at the intersections of race, gender, and economic justice.

As an experienced policy advocate, organizer, and coalition builder, she has led and been a partner in several local, statewide, and national initiatives & campaigns to advance racially & gender-equitable policies for low-income women, their families, and communities of color.
The work of Cassandra & MS-BWR has been featured in national, statewide, and local media outlets such as PBS News Hours, Forbes, Bloomberg Law, Mississippi Today, Clarion-ledger, and Jackson Free Press.

Leadership is an integral part of community organizing for movement building, and as a result Cassandra has been selected for various fellowships which include, NOVO Foundation Move To End Violence, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Ms. Foundation Public Voices Fellow a project of the OpEd Project.

Over the years, Cassandra has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and honors, some of which include the 2021 Whose Who Mississippi Women- Fannie Lou Hamer Award, the 2022 Social Work Group Change Agent Award, and the Fannie Lou Hamer Servant Leadership Award for the Dynamic Southern Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc in 2020.

One of her favorite quotes– “If you don’t love the people, sooner or later you will betray the people.” By late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters is considered by many to be one of the most powerful women in American politics today. She has gained a reputation as a fearless and outspoken advocate for women, children, people of color and the poor.

Elected in November 2020 to her sixteenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives with more than 70 percent of the vote in the 43rd Congressional District of California, Congresswoman Waters represents a large part of South Los Angeles including the communities of Westchester, Playa Del Rey, and Watts and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County comprised of Lennox, West Athens, West Carson, Harbor Gateway and El Camino Village. The 43rd District also includes the diverse cities of Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lomita and Torrance.

Congresswoman Waters made history as the first woman and first African American Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. An integral member of Congressional Democratic Leadership, Congresswoman Waters serves as a member of the Steering & Policy Committee and is the Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease. She is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and member and past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Bozoma Saint John is a Hall of Fame inducted Marketing Executive, author, entrepreneur and general badass. 

Boz got her start in her marketing career at Spike Lee’s ad agency, SpikeDDB. She then went on to manage brands in the PepsiCo beverages portfolio, before becoming Head of Music and Entertainment Marketing at the CPG giant. After that, she led Global Consumer Marketing at Apple Music & iTunes; before serving as Chief Brand Officer at Uber; she then took on the Chief Marketing Officer role for Endeavor (including WME, IMG, UFC, Miss Universe, 160over90 etc). Mostly recently, she served as the Global Chief Marketing Officer at the entertainment behemoth, Netflix. 

Boz’s work has been lauded and awarded by the industries she’s operated in; including induction into the American Marketing Association Hall of Fame (2022), following induction into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Achievement (2014). Boz is currently named as the #1 Most Influential CMO in the world by Forbes (2021). She’s also been inducted into Billboard’s Women in Music Hall of Fame after making their list of the Most Powerful Women in Music for 10 consecutive years (2013-2022), and crowned as the Executive of the Year (2016). She’s been featured on the cover of Adweek as “one of the most exciting personalities in advertising;” and is on lists ranging from The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 (2018) to Fast Company’s and Ad Age’s Most Creative People to Ebony’s 100 Powerful Executives, Black Enterprise’s Most Powerful Women in Business and Fortune’s Most Influential CMOs. 

In 2021, Harvard Business School published a multi-media case study on her career, titled “Leading with Authenticity and Urgency”; through which she developed and taught a program at the University aptly named “The Anatomy of a Badass.” Boz has also created a public online class, “The Badass Workshop” to teach the nuances of achieving success when one feels like an outsider. 

Boz has expanded her service outside of the US, and been named as an Ambassador for the African Diaspora and Special Envoy to the President of Ghana. Boz is also a philanthropic Ambassador to Pencils of Promise in Ghana and serves on the boards of Girls Who Code, Vital Voices, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Soho House and the CFDA. She’s also currently on the Board of Trustees at her alma mater, Wesleyan University. 

In the Spring of 2023, Penguin Books will publish her memoir, “The Urgent Life.” The book is a roadmap to navigating struggle, and a touchstone for those enduring their own battles, letting them know that they are not alone, that they can make it through, and that there is light and peace, and even inspiration, waiting for them when they do. 

All of that said, she counts her highest achievement as being mother to her 12-year-old daughter, Lael.

Pamala Buzick Kim (she/her) is the Executive Director of FREE THE WORK, a nonprofit organization leading global companies to actively engage in equitable actions that bring opportunities to underrepresented talent behind the camera. Supported by a network of over 15,000 creators in 181 countries, FTW designs and implements winning strategies to help the world’s largest brands strategize their DEI (gender, ethnicity, orientation, military-veterans, and creators living with disabilities) milestones. Under Pamala’s leadership, we have supported partners such as P&G, Verizon, and Amazon Studios in their diversity goals.  Prior to this, Pamala consulted for several successful creative tech marketplaces and owned her own commercial production talent agency. Pamala is also a partner at the producer network, poolhouse. 

Deja Foxx is 21 years old and leading thought at the intersection of social justice and social media. She is the founder of GenZ Girl Gang, a student at Columbia University, and a Digital Creator with Ford Models who got her start advocating for reproductive justice after experiencing homelessness in her teenage years. At just 19, she worked for Kamala Harris as the Influencer and Surrogate Strategist and became one of the youngest presidential campaign staffers in modern history.

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