The Women and Girls Foundation was founded by a group of local women in 2002 to further the female cause primarily through legislation. In its first 12 years, 12 new laws were passed that increased the rights of women and girls throughout Pennsylvania. But the foundation’s commitment doesn’t end at the state border. On Saturday, “Celebrating Women! Having a Global Impact” honored 18 local women whose work “makes the world smaller, smarter and better.”
The 2013 honorees were Yinka Aganga-Williams, Robin Alexander, Esther Barazzone, Tacy Byham, Miriam Cremer, Simin Yazdgerdi Curtis, Anne Nemer Dhanda, M. Bernadine Dias, Stephany Hartstirn, Tavia La Follette, Ali McMutrie, Prabha Sankaranarayan, Alberta Sbragia, Gail Shrott and Kathy Keim Surman. The emerging leader award was given to Laila Al-Soulaiman, a Pitt student who is bringing awareness to the violence in Syria. Honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards were E. Maxine Bruhns, who has been director of the Nationality Rooms at Pitt since 1965, and Theresa Whiteside Nimick, a renowned cancer researcher from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Muge Finkel and Susan Yohe chaired the evening at the August Wilson Center, and Dr. Freddie and Hilda Fu and Bill and Vivian Benter were honorary chairs.
Enjoying the reception catered by BIG before the presentation were WGF executive director Heather Arnet, board chair Heidi Bartholomew, Candi Castleberry-Singleton, Murry and Cindy Gerber, Clyde Jones, Deb Acklin, Eleanor Schano, Barbara Granito and Dawn and Chris Fleischner. Veronica Marques, co-director of the Elas Fund in Brazil, joined Ms. Arnet for a sneak peek at the film they co-produced, ”Madame Presidenta: Why Not US?”