DALLAS, Texas, October 6, 2021 – Held online for the second year on September 30th, Texas Women’s Foundation’s 36th Annual Luncheon, presented by the Dallas Mavericks, raised more than $1 million and netted $825,000. About 4,000 people watched the program themed “My Voice. My Story. Every Woman’s Power to Build Compassion and Community.”
Across Texas, groups convened to watch the livestream in person, including 96 Early College High School Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD students and teachers who watched from Brookhaven College.
The Annual Luncheon is the Foundation’s principal fundraiser in support of its work to advance women’s economic security, leadership, education, health and safety in Texas through research, advocacy, programs and grantmaking.
Hilda Galvan, Texas Women’s Foundation board chair, welcomed and thanked luncheon co-chairs, Debra Hunter Johnson and Lindsay Billingsley. “Texas Women’s Foundation is the only foundation in Texas focused on the wellbeing of women and girls, their economic security and opportunities to become leaders. We work for women and families across Texas to build strong, equitable communities for all. And it takes all of us to do this work. We hope you’ll join us.”
Galvan, Hunter Johnson and Billingsley thanked the major sponsors for their tremendous support:
Presenting Sponsor: The Dallas Mavericks
Speaker Sponsors: Target with ongoing support from the Suzanne Ahn, M.D. Speaker Endowment Fund at Texas Women’s Foundation
Book Club: Perkins Coie
Ripple: Southwest Airlines
Investor: Lindsay Billingsley & Debra Hunter Johnson, Lucy C. Billingsley, CBRE, Hunt Consolidated, Inc., Thomson Reuters
Leader: Galleria Dallas, Jones Day, Pepsico, Kimberly-Clark, Reciprocity Consulting Group, Toyota
Advocate: Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Dr. Arlene Ford, Katherine Glaze Lyle, NexBank, Gwendolyn A. Parker, Vizient
Media: D CEO, Local Profile, MySweetCharity
Billingsley introduced the speakers, Angie Thomas and Cleo Wade, who discussed the power of women’s storytelling. Author, producer and activist, Angie Thomas is the author of The New York Times bestseller and major motion picture, The Hate U Give. Her other books include On the Come Up and Concrete Rose. An accomplished artist, poet, author and activist who has been called the “Millennial Oprah” by New York Magazine, Cleo Wade has written Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life, Where to Begin and a new children’s novel, What the Road Said. Laysha Ward, Target executive vice president and chief external engagement officer, moderated the impactful discussion.
Thomas and Wade shared inspirational stories about how they grew up, how they became writers and who and what inspired them. Wade looked to the great writers – Alice Walker, Toni Morrison and Gloria Steinem – for inspiration. “Because I had those templates, I knew where to start (writing)…Eventually, your voice does start to become louder and louder within you, and becomes louder than the voices you’re almost imitating or being influenced by. As you step into that, you realize that you are naturally or hopefully creating a template for the next generation to do the same.”
Thomas remarked, “It all begins with realizing that your voice matters; your story matters. If you can get to that point, you’ve made true progress towards hopefully bringing on real change and making real impact. It begins with validating your story, validating yourself within. And recognizing that what I think has value, what I have to say has value. My story has value.”
Ward concluded and thanked the speakers. “You are inspiring us to use our voice and our stories to nurture and build community.”
Next came the appeal to support Texas Women’s Foundation from two luncheon sponsors. Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall and Southwest Airlines’ Laura Nieto spoke in front of the Dallas Galleria community wall that was displayed throughout the month of September. The wall featured TXWF information and a chance to win fun items, including a jersey signed by Mavs star Luka Dončić. Marshall and Nieto announced a surprise: people who donated at least $500 would receive two tickets to a Mavs game and a Southwest roundtrip airline ticket.
Roslyn Dawson Thompson, TXWF president and CEO, concluded the event: “I can’t tell you how powerful and inspirational today has been for me, and I hope it was for you too! We are deeply grateful for the amazing talent and profound insights of our keynote speakers, Angie Thomas and Cleo Wade.” She added her thanks to the co-chairs and key sponsors and asked people to text VOICE4ALL to donate to the Foundation.
For more information on the event, visit https://www.txwfluncheon.org/.
About Texas Women’s Foundation:
Texas Women’s Foundation is Transforming Texas for Women and Girls, empowering them to build stronger, more equitable communities. One of the world’s largest women’s foundations, the Foundation raises funding from a broad base of donors, including individuals, foundations and corporations. These resources support more than $7 million in investments that advance economic security and leadership for Texas women and girls through groundbreaking research, advocacy, grants and programs. Since inception in 1985, the Foundation has invested $57 million in women and girls, including $43 million since 2011. The Foundation’s statewide research on issues affecting women and girls provides decision-makers and lawmakers with critical data to inform policies, practices and programs in the state. Its advocacy, grantmaking and innovative programs support solutions that help Texas women and girls thrive. In addition, Texas Women’s Foundation is an acknowledged leader and advocate in the gender lens investing movement and has deployed 100 percent of its assets – endowments, operating investments and donor-advised funds – in a gendered impact portfolio that yields strong financial returns and social benefits to women and girls. For more information, visit www.txwf.org, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram or donate now