COLUMBUS, OH, (The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio) – The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio is proud to announce our new guest speaker, America Ferrera. On Thursday, May 9th at the Ohio Theatre, Ferrera will be joined by Sheryl WuDunn, author of Half the Sky, to discuss their work together investing in the power and potential of women worldwide.

“The Women’s Fund has hosted this event over the years to inspire, empower, and motivate audiences,” said Nichole Dunn, President and CEO of The Women’s Fund. “America Ferrera is an authentic actress who sincerely sees the strength of women and girls. Her passion for social change makes her more than relatable, it’s a perfect fit.”

The Women’s Fund Keyholder event is a preeminent gathering in central Ohio, attracting thousands of people to honor the women who have made a significant impact in their lives. Attendees leave Keyholder committed to act on behalf of empowering women and girls.

Tickets for the 2013 Keyholder event are $50 and can be purchased on The Women’s Fund website at Doors open at 5 p.m. and the program begins at 6 p.m.

Speaker Background

America Ferrera

As an actress Ferrera is fondly remembered as her quirky, genuine character Betty Suarez or Ugly Betty, a role that won her the Golden Globe for Best Actress. Transitioning to film, she challenged body image expectations in Real Women Have Curves and exposed her vulnerability in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants; ultimately, bringing a new voice for girls to the big screen.

Beyond the original parts she has played, Ferrera is known for her kind and compassionate heart. Her deep commitment is to helping lead underprivileged families and youth to a better life and education. Serving as an artist ambassador for Save the Children, she recently raised money to build a new elementary school in Mali. Her work on Half the Sky furthered her passion for empowering women and girls. “Girls should be able to go to sleep every night and say to themselves, ‘I’m happy and proud of the way I am living my life,’” said Ferrera.

Sheryl WuDunn

Sheryl WuDunn is an author and a successful investment advisor, with a focus on philanthropy. She is co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a New York Times best-selling book about the challenges facing women around the globe. WuDunn has helped launch the Half the Sky multimedia effort to create a thoughtful, effective philanthropic strategy that includes an online social action campaign, a documentary series, and a television special.

“Women aren’t the problem but the solution. The plight of girls is no more a tragedy than an opportunity.” WuDunn said.

Why We Do It

All proceeds from this event are used to provide grants that promise social change for women and girls. For every woman or girl who participates in our grant partner programming, the effect ripples through our community touching six more lives. That’s social change. And that’s what we are all about. Meet some of our Grant Partners:

Amethyst, Inc: Supported Employment: A Path to Independence for Women

Supported Employment increases women’s economic self-sufficiency through work readiness activities, job placement, and job support for women in recovery from addiction. The program engages employers in stigma reduction efforts and advocates to reduce barriers to employment for women with criminal records.

CMAA Refugee Services: Capital Park Women’s Empowerment Project

With raised awareness of the issues facing the Capital Park community and ways to address them, Somali women in this community participate in block watch efforts, self-defense classes and leadership development classes. Women who have participated in this program in past years have reported they feel safer, more confident and empowered to make a difference in their community. These women meet with the apartment complex management to discuss improvements in safety policy and with police departments to find solutions to the lack of police coverage in this community.

HelpLine of Delaware & Morrow Counties and Youth to Youth: Thank Goodness I’m Female (TGIF) and GAL PAL’s

Thank Goodness I’m Female (TGIF), a teen-led and developed program, provides a unique and comprehensive approach to ending relational aggression. High school and middle school girls use open dialogue, skill building, youth mentoring, art exhibitions, a social-norm campaign, and social networking “Youtube-like” videos to be positive advocates for one another, as well as for themselves.

For a complete list of partners, go to ####

The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio is a public foundation that promotes social change by growing women’s philanthropy, raising awareness of the issues facing women and girls, and making grants to programs which have a ripple effect throughout our community. Our vision is to transform lives by mobilizing the power and passion of women working together. The Fund serves Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, and Union counties, giving voice and visibility to the more than 800,000 women and girls in central Ohio.


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