Keynote speakers sponsored by Target

DALLAS, May 26, 2021 – Texas Women’s Foundation (TXWF) announces two remarkable bestselling authors, Angie Thomas and Cleo Wade, who will discuss the power of women’s storytelling at its 36th Annual Luncheon on Thursday, September 30 at 12 noon (CDT). Themed “My Voice. My Story. Every Woman’s Power to Build Compassion and Community,” the event tickets start at $36 each. For more information or to purchase a ticket to this virtual event, visit

Author, speaker and former teen rapper, Thomas released her debut novel, The Hate U Give in 2017; it spent three years on The New York Times bestseller list and was made into a movie. An accomplished poet, artist and activist who has been called the “Millennial Oprah” by New York Magazine, Wade just released a children’s novel, What the Road Said, which has already become a New York Times chart-topper.

Business and community leaders Lindsay Billingsley and Debra Hunter Johnson are co-chairs of the luncheon. Billingsley is Founder of LAB Strategies, where she works with non-profit organizations to develop strategic initiatives designed to enhance financial and philanthropic outcomes. Johnson is a speaker, investor and founder of Reciprocity Consulting Group, LLC where she provides strategic advice that helps individuals, teams and organizations accelerate their wisdom curve.

Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Texas Women’s Foundation president and chief executive officer, said, “We look forward to hearing from two of the most significant storytellers in our nation – Angie Thomas and Cleo Wade. They remind us that every woman’s voice and story are important, valuable and powerful. We are also grateful to our amazing co-chairs, Lindsay and Debra, for helping Texas Women’s Foundation take our signature fundraiser to new heights.”

Others participating in the virtual event include Hilda Galvan, Texas Women’s Foundation board chair elect (assumes chair July 1, 2021) and partner-in-charge at Jones Day Dallas, and Laysha Ward, Target executive vice president and chief external engagement officer. Target is the keynote speaker sponsor, along with the Suzanne Ahn, M.D. Speaker Endowment Fund at Texas Women’s Foundation.

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. For those interested in supporting the event through sponsorship, contact Ashley K. Lindsay at or 214.525.5311.

About Angie Thomas:

Angie Thomas was born, raised and lives in Jackson, Mississippi. A former teen rapper, she holds a BFA in creative writing from Belhaven University. Her award-winning, acclaimed debut novel, The Hate U Give, is a New York Times bestseller and major motion picture from Fox 2000, starring Amandla Stenberg and directed by George Tillman, Jr. Her second novel, On the Come Up, is also a New York Times bestseller and a film is in development with Paramount Players with Thomas acting as a producer. In 2020, she released Find Your Voice: A Guided Journal to Writing Your Truth as a tool to help aspiring writers tell their stories. In 2021, Thomas returns to the world of Garden Heights with Concrete Rose, a prequel to The Hate U Give that focuses on seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter.

About Cleo Wade:

Cleo Wade is a friend, community builder and author of the bestselling books, Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life, Where to Begin: A small book your power to create big change, and Heart Talk: The Journal, 52 weeks of self-love, self-care, and self-discovery. She has been called the poet of her generation by Time Magazine and one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company. She sits on the board of The Lower East Side Girls Club, the National Black Theatre in Harlem and the Women’s Prison Association. When Wade is not at home in California with her partner, Simon Kinberg, and their daughter, Memphis, she can be found traveling around the country on her sold-out book tours, which have become a safe space to laugh, cry, hug and offer support to fellow readers. Her 2021 children’s book, What the Road Said, features illustrations by Lucie de Moyencourt, and encourages people to lead with kindness and curiosity and keep traveling the road of life.

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, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram or donate now

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