February 22, 2018
As we continue to see the rise of the #metoo movement that’s taken place over the course of this past year, I am moved by the thought that this will be a great year for women, as we are no longer being silenced but are able to voice the truth and be heard and respected. The theme of empowering women and girls around the country brings forth thoughts on my first CREW Network National Convention experience from 2017, which was held in Houston at the beautiful, newly-built Marriott Marquis Hotel.
I had a wonderful time meeting CREW chapter members from all over the country, listening to speakers, attending break-out sessions of my choice, and participating in a learning excursion to see the revitalization of downtown Houston. One of the highlights of the convention was hearing the keynote speaker, actress Geena Davis. She spoke about her non-profit foundation, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters and reduce gender stereotyping in media made for children 11 and under. She said she has spent much of her adult life trying to empower women and girls and selected acting roles that were encouraging, inspiring and served as role models. She gave examples of strong, fearless and confident characters as positive girls’ role models such as Elsa, from the movie “Frozen” and Katniss, from the movie, “Hunger Games.” In regards to gender balance in the media, she talked about how women are seriously underrepresented not only in the media, but in leadership roles in other sectors of society (business, politics and academia). Davis was down-to-earth, engaging, witty and totally charming. She was an inspiration to all the women in that room. I look forward to attending this year’s conference in San Diego!