Soledad O'Brien To Host The Women's Media Center 2018 Women's Media Awards

By: Oct. 15, 2018

Soledad O'Brien To Host The Women's Media Center 2018 Women's Media Awards The WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER announces our host and honorees for the 2018 WOMEN'S MEDIA AWARDS, to be held on November 1st, at Capitale in New York City.

WMC AWARDS will be presented to outstanding leaders and CHAMPIONS for women in media, including Lisa Borders, Abigail Disney, Fatima Goss Graves, Cindy Holland, Maria Teresa Kumar, and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.

Soledad O'Brien, three-time Emmy-winning anchor and producer of "Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien," founder and CEO of Starfish Media Group, and a past WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER honoree, will host the WOMEN'S MEDIA AWARDS.

WMC YOUNG JOURNALIST AWARDS will be presented to Neha Madhira and Haley Stack.

The 2018 WOMEN'S MEDIA AWARDS Honorees are:

* Lisa Borders, first President and CEO of Time's Up and Retiring President of the National Women's Basketball Association (WNBA), will receive the WMC Carol Jenkins Award. At the WNBA, Borders brought physical and financial opportunities to women that were once available only to men, and proved that women's bodies are instruments, not ornaments. The WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER is recognizing Borders for the ways she has helped bring women into the media picture - from her days at the city council and work in Atlanta-area politics, her CORPORATE leadership at the Coca-Cola Company, and most recently her incredibly successful turn as president of the WNBA. As a leader in sports, she represented the change we so desperately seek, both for the athletes for whom she advocates, and the scores of young girls and women for whom she is an inspiring example of who women are and can be. The WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER is especially happy to be celebrating Lisa Borders on the first day of her new job as the first President and CEO of Time's Up.

"I am so thrilled the WMC is honoring Lisa Borders. She is a true example of inspiring and empowering women," says Carol Jenkins, former and founding President of the WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER. "As Lisa says, 'I'm a girl, a woman of color. That means that nine times out of ten I've been underestimated.' Her work with the WNBA, bringing women into the main 'arena' to be visible - and well paid -means that underestimation is turning into respect. For that, and a lifetime of good works in government, philanthropy, and the CORPORATE world, we are so happy to thank her."

* Abigail Disney, Emmy-winning director and producer, philanthropist, CEO and president of Fork Films, will receive the WMC Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award. Disney's documentaries and films have advanced women's roles in the public sphere focusing on social issues and spotlighting extraordinary people who speak truth to power. She recently founded Level Forward, a female-led media studio that will share profits with on-the-ground programs for women and girls.

"Abby Disney is a force - a disrupter, an activist, a filmmaker, a philanthropist - a woman who understands the power of stories well told to change minds, influence opinion, put new ideas into the culture, shift culture, and compel change," says Pat Mitchell, Co-Chair of the WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER. "She is a powerful woman who knows how to use her power for good - including the ultimate power of ownership, which she and her new company, Level Forward, will LEVERAGE to change the representation of women in every aspect of media. For her commitment to being an advocate for other women and for putting forward the issues others fear to tackle, for her track record as an award-winning filmmaker and storyteller, and her accomplishments, as well as her audacious and important ideas for the future, I am excited to recognize Abby Disney with this year's WMC Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award."

* Cindy Holland, head of programming and original series at Netflix, will receive the WMC Visible and Powerful in Media Award. Holland listens to viewers and has brought us new voices ranging from the great stand-up comic/tragic, Hannah Gadsby, to the worlds of Shonda Rhimes.

"Cindy Holland deserves this recognition for her advocacy for women in film and television, for her leadership and support of the We Rule Campaign, LGBTQ issues, and for helping Hollywood understand that by providing a slate of programming by and for women, she is giving audiences more characters and stories to which they can relate. Cindy has put women - of all ages and colors - in front of and behind the camera," says Jane Fonda, Co-Founder of the WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER. "She is a highly innovative and visionary head of programming and shining example of strength and integrity as a longtime advocate for women in the entertainment industry."

This year, the WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER has created a new award: the WMC Progressive Women's Voices IMPACT Award, to celebrate the exceptional achievements and impact of the women leaders and alumnae in our WMC Progressive Women's Voices program.

* The first ever WMC Progressive Women's Voices IMPACT Award Honorees will be: Fatima Goss Graves, CEO of the National Women's Law Center and director of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund; Maria Teresa Kumar, President of Voto Latino and MSNBC contributor; and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.

"We are so proud of the WMC Progressive Women's Voices program for its work on building an inclusive democracy and media by training diverse women leaders to use the media to augment the power of their voices and causes," says Maya Harris, Co-Chair of the WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER. "Our inaugural WMC Progressive Women's Voices IMPACT Award highlights three of our stand-out alumnae successes."

"Under the inspired leadership of Maria Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino is amplifying the Latino voice," says Harris. "Using both cutting edge technology and civic engagement they have registered over a quarter of a million voters, and are not only training a pipeline of Latino leaders, but investing in Latino entrepreneurs as well. Maria Teresa is a leader who speaks from the heart and CHAMPIONS the stories of the Latino community. She is helping to shape America's future."

"Pramila Jayapal, the first Indian-American woman in the House of Representatives, has been working internationally and domestically for women's, immigrant, civil, and human rights for decades," adds Harris. "After September 11, Pramila founded Hate Free Zone (now OneAmerica) in the wake of discrimination and civil liberties abuses against Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians. A former state senator, where she fought for gender equity, to increase the state minimum wage, and for expanded access to contraception for all women, Pramila is one of the most powerful and influential voices fighting for the rights of refugees arriving at our borders."

"Fatima Goss GRAVES is a talented lawyer, an impactful advocate, and a visionary leader," says Harris. "She has fought to advance opportunities for women and girls on issues ranging from income security and education access, to reproductive health and workplace fairness. She regularly testifies before Congress and federal agencies, and works to ensure we understand, amplify, and address the experiences and interconnected threats facing LGBTQ people, women of color, immigrant women, and low-income families."

* The first ever WMC Young Journalists Award honorees will be: Neha Madhira and Haley Stack - respectively Editor-in-Chief and Assistant Editor of the Prosper High School Student News Website, Eagle Nation Online. After the Texas school's principal censored the publication, Madhira and Stack fought back on behalf of journalistic freedom for young journalists.

"High School journalists Neha Madhira and Haley Stack faced the challenge of censorship personally and at a young age, and they met it head on," says Robin Morgan, Co-Founder of the WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER. "Their courage, dedication, and integrity exemplify the best of a new generation: tomorrow's journalists and free press defenders. They give us hope."

The WOMEN'S MEDIA AWARDS recognize and honor game-changers for women in media. By deciding who gets to talk, what creates debate, who is the writer, and what is made visible, media shapes our understanding of who we are and what we can become.

"The WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER has spent over a decade training women leaders to be heard, seen, and read in online, on-air, and print journalism, and also researching and exposing sexism and racism in media," says Gloria Steinem, Co-Founder of the WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER. "Our awards will celebrate Lisa Borders on her first day on her new job as the first president and CEO of Times's Up and Fatima Goss Graves, CEO of the National Women's Law Center and director of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund. They are a testament to the power of #MeToo, as is WMC's 15-month investigation on how the movement has affected press coverage of sexual assault. This report, and others we produce, help shine a light on the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of women in media and the important work WMC does on behalf of all women."

"Over the past year, a historic shift in media has happened. Propelled by the #MeToo revelations, many survivors - previously invisible - have been heard for the first time, and media has been consumed by the downfall of powerful men," says Julie Burton, President of the WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER. "The WOMEN'S MEDIA AWARDS celebrate women who, despite systemic cultural and institutional bias, have broken barriers in politics, sports, and media. Their voices, their impact, and their power are profound."

WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER Co-Founders, Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem, will all be attending the gala and speaking.

The 2018 WOMEN'S MEDIA AWARDS Co-Chairs are:

Loreen Arbus, Lauren Embrey, Jane Fonda, Maya L. Harris, Mellody Hobson, Pat Mitchell, Robin Morgan, Sheryl Sandberg, Regina K. Scully, Gloria Steinem, Mary and Steven Swig, and Gail B. Tifford. Proceeds from these awards support the work of the WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER to make women visible and powerful in media.

Past WMC honorees include Hillary Clinton, April Ryan, Maria Hinojosa, Ashley Judd, Luvvie Ajayi, Christiane Amanpour, Amma Asante, Laura Bates, Samantha Bee, Ursula Burns, Katie Couric, Sady Doyle, Mona Eltahawy, Sarah Hoye, Gwen Ifill & Judy Woodruff, Sheila C. Johnson, Laura Ling & Lisa Ling, Lara Logan, Pat Mitchell, Martha Nelson, Soledad O'Brien, Salma Hayek Pinault, Elianne Ramos, Joy Reid, Yanique Richards, Anita Sarkeesian, Regina K. Scully, Mary Thom (posthumously), Marlo Thomas, Barbara Walters, Padmasree Warrior, Lindy West, and Maggie Wilderotter.

To buy tickets or for more information about the 2018 WOMEN'S MEDIA AWARDS and the ongoing work of the WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER, go to:

For access to the WMC 2018 WOMEN'S MEDIA AWARDS downloadable press kit featuring full bios and headshots for all the honorees and the host, please visit here. A downloadable press kit for the WMC Co-Founders, Co-Chairs, and President can be found here.


Founded in 2005 by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem, the WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER is an inclusive and feminist organization that works to ensure that women's realities are covered and women's voices are heard. Our media programs encompass interconnected strategies that include researching and monitoring media; creating and modeling original online, print, podcast, and radio content; training women to be effective in media; and promoting media-experienced women experts in all fields to bookers, producers, and journalists. We are directly engaged with the media at every level to work toward a diverse group of women being present in newsrooms, on air, in print, and online, in film, entertainment, and theater - as sources and subjects, in bylines and credits, in the field and in the front office. WMC Reports investigate, document, and create visualization of data and are picked up widely through digital media platforms, legacy media outlets, universities, research platforms, and students in high school and college. These reports raise awareness of the challenges within the media and technology industries and the culture that creates and perpetuates unequal opportunities, images, and representations of women and women of color. Notable recent research includes: "The Status of Women of Color in the U.S. News Media 2018,""The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2017," a gender analysis of non-acting nominations of the Oscars, and an investigation of the 2018 Primetime Emmy nominations for non-acting categories.


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