Recently, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the nation’s first and oldest women’s foundation, hosted The 33rd Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision, which paid tribute to the remarkable achievements of those whose courage and leadership move our society toward a more just and inclusive world, and raised funds that will help support women-led nonprofits and community organizations in the nation’s most impacted communities.
The evening honored Rise CEO and founder Amanda Nguyen, Immunologist at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Moderna Vaccine co-developer Dr. Kizzmekiah Corbett, 2021 Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman, along with two leaders from grantee partner organizations–Laura Jiménez, Director of The Garment Worker Center, and Marissa Nuncio, Executive Director for California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. Photo: Marlo Thomas, Gloria Steinem, Patricia Carbine and Letty Cottin-Pogrebin speak during the 33rd Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision – VIRTUAL EVENT on May 19, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images Ms. Foundation for Women)
The Gloria Awards, named for Gloria Steinem, one of the organization’s founding mothers, is a yearly celebration to benefit Ms. Foundation grantee partners around the country and to recognize leaders who have made an indelible impact on the movement for gender equity at the local, state, and national level. Ms. Nguyen, Ms. Jiménez, and Ms. Nuncio, received the Women of Vision Award, honoring feminist leaders who create positive change. Dr. Corbett received the Marie C. Wilson Emerging Leader Award, named after the former CEO and President of the Foundation to recognize young, trailblazing feminists. Ms. Gorman received the Free to Be You and Me Award.
Championing the theme “JOY UNMUTED,”more than 1,000 registrants celebrated a much-needed release after this very intense year, demonstrating that no matter what, they will rise in collective joy as they speak truth to power.
HIGHLIGHT: Gloria Steinem opened the The 33rd Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision ceremony with a reflection of the past year.
TOP QUOTE: Gloria Steinem, Founding Mother of Ms. Foundation stated, ”The past year has had a life-altering effect on everyone, and especially on especially women, particularly women of color. But even in the face of the most daunting challenges and great pain, women found the passion and determination to continue to fight for equality and justice. Tonight, we’re here to honor that collective power and draw inspiration from each other, knowing that we can all take action.”
HIGHLIGHT: Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett received the Marie C. Wilson Emerging Leader Award Recipient:
This award honors trailblazing feminist leaders who amplify their voice and enact positive change by paving the way for generations to come. Dr Corbett is an immunologist who developed the Moderna Vaccine and spends her weekends educating marginalized communities about vaccine safety and efficacy in an effort to ease health disparities.
TOP QUOTE: Dr. Corbett said, “What I want women and girls of color, in particular, to know is that you have a purpose. You have meaning. And you belong. Oftentimes we are made to feel like we are outside of all the great things that are happening, when actually the opposite is true. We are at the heart of it. Women of color have been and continue to be the backbone of this country. We create, we lead, and with that comes amazing movements like for example the COVID-19 vaccine. Part of the reason why we are able to do that is because of our strength. Because we understand what the strength is in our purpose. Finding that strength, understanding that purpose is how you as a woman or girl can fuel what you are destined to be.”
HIGHLIGHT: Amanda Gorman, Free to Be You and Me Award Honoree:
This award honors young activists enacting change and leading the way for future generations. Her unbridled passion for poetry and the written word has cemented much-needed messages of power, agency, and hope across generations. Ms. Foundation’s Founding Mother, Marlo Thomas presented her with this award.
TOP QUOTE: Poet and Changemaker Amanda Gorman said, “To ‘unmute joy,’ you also have to unmute your hope, your faith, your belief, your fire. And one of the ways in which continue to unmute my joy is by unmuting my voice. Growing up with a speech impediment, being a spoken word poet wasn’t always easy. And every single time I get onstage, whether it be at the Inauguration or in a third grade classroom, I am still terrified. But unmuting joy doesn’t mean that you are unafraid, it just means that there’s something more important than your fear. So I hope that you continue to unmute your joy, and furthermore to put it on full volume.”
HIGHLIGHT: Amanda Nguyen, Woman of Vision Award Recipient:
Amanda was honored not only for her work not only as CEO and founder of Rise, a civil rights accelerator that empowers everyday citizens to pen their own rights into existence, but also for her outspoken candor regarding Anti-Asian Racism and attacks against the AAPI communities. Actor Kelly Marie Tran presented her with this award.
TOP QUOTE: When introducing Amanda, Kelly Marie Tran said, “Amanda is not only my friend, my sister, and my role model, she is also a civil rights activist…I am so proud of you. I am truly, constantly inspired by your persistence, tenacity, and your grace. You’ve taught me so much.”
TOP QUOTE: Amanda Nguyen, CEO and Founder of Rise, upon receiving the award, said, “We can absolutely speak our issues into the consciousness of the nation, of the world. There’s a long history of people taking their painful living truths and channeling that into justice, and I have joined that tradition by penning my own rights into existence…We are certainly stronger when we come together.”
HIGHLIGHT: President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation, Teresa C. Younger, shared remarks about the theme of the event.
TOP QUOTE: “We decided we would embrace joy as a stance towards resistance. And so tonight, we are joy unmuted,” and continued on with the importance of the Ms. Foundation’s work, “By letting our grantees lead, we’re able to amplify the voices of the next generation. And with your help, we are going to continue the fight for true equity and justice for all.”
HIGHLIGHT: Annually, 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, and this year, Marissa Nuncio, Director of The Garment Worker Center and Laura Jiménez, Executive Director for California Latinas for Reproductive Justice were the recipients of this Women of Vision Award.
TOP QUOTE: Marissa Nuncio said, “Organizing for worker rights is also about organizing for women’s rights because it is women who bear the brunt of labor abuses at their impacts. At GWC [The Garment Worker Center], when women are organizing, they’re organizing for the agency that fair compensation gives them in their personal lives and household, for the right to have their bodies respected and free from danger and violence in the workplace, for freedom from mental abuse by their bosses, and for the empowered voice that they enjoy when they take collective action side-by-side their sisters and brothers in struggle. We’re grateful the Ms. Foundation champions this collective power within our membership.”
TOP QUOTE: Laura Jiménez said, “We have seen how over the last four years especially the situation for reproductive rights, health, and justice has become more and more dire – but I also want to remind you that even so, we have made significant wins: passing legislation to support young parents, defeating restrictive abortion laws at the Supreme Court, and turning out voters. This is the power of women, girls and femmes who will not be silenced into submission. So, make sure you use your voice to speak about issues that matter to you because your voice matters for you and so many others.”
HIGHLIGHT: Founding Mothers Gloria Steinem, Marlo Thomas, Patricia Carbine and Letty Cottin-Pogrebin made special appearances for the event, discussing the history of the founding of the Ms. Foundation for Women in 1973. Key quotes include:
TOP QUOTE: Gloria Steinem, Founding Mother of Ms. Foundation stated, ”There was no other foundation devoted to the female half of the population in all of its diversity.”
TOP QUOTE: Patricia Carbine, Founding Mother of Ms. Foundation stated, ”We had the luxury of deciding how we were going to arrange ourselves as a group at the Magazine. We really started from scratch.”
TOP QUOTE: Letty Cottin-Pogrebin, Founding Mother of Ms. Foundation stated, ”We had that, what is now called intersectionality, in our minds. There was a consciousness that maybe didn’t have a name.”
TOP QUOTE: Marlo Thomas, Founding Mother of Ms. Foundation stated, ”That’s why this Foundation started, we were four women who reached out to these other women Dolores Huerta, Maxine Waters, and all the ones that we’ve been discussing today. We knew that we wanted their voices, and we knew what we wanted to do with the money. We were very purposeful. We were ambitious, audacious, and purposeful. You have to be that way to change the world.”
The 33rd Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision is still available for viewing at: wov2021.forwomen.org and paid ticket purchasers can gain access to the full exclusive Founding Mothers conversation.
For over 45 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.