Highlights From The United States of Women Summit

This two-day summit empowers and educates women on gender equality, social change, and innovation

united states of women summit
Image: Valerie Jarrett Twitter account

On June 14, over 5,000 women from across the country gathered in Washington D.C. for the inaugural United States of Women Summit.

With the help of a few influencers, change-makers, innovators, and women of power; like Carla Harris, Wall Street banker, author of Expect to Win, and managing director and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley; Luvvie Ajayi, award-winning writer, digital strategist, and co-founder of the Red Pump Project; Mariska Hargitay, actress, activist and founder of JoyFul Heart; and Shonda Rhimes, the award-winning television producer. The two-day event was more than a summit; it was a movement to celebrate women and promote gender equality around the world.

The summit focused on six topics: economic empowerment, health and wellness, educational opportunity, violence against women, entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as leadership and civic engagement.

Here are a few highlights:

  1. Mikaila Ulmer, the 11 year-old CEO of Bee Sweet Lemonade, encouraged us all to “dream like a kid.” She also introduced President Obama, after which, he commented, “Can you please give it up again for Mikaila?  What an amazing young lady. I will be back on the job market in seven months, so I hope she is hiring.”
  2. On behalf of the Purple Purse campaign, Kerry Washington spoke about ending domestic violence.
  3. Gender neutral bathrooms were available at The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
  4. Jaha Dukureh, founder and CEO of Safe Hands for Girls, shared her fight to end female genital mutilation (FGM).
  5. Seina Lee of Johnson & Johnson shared her story of how 17-weeks paid leave helped her when she became a new mom.
  6. Sophia Bush interviewed Marley Dias, the 11 year-old founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, a movement that encourages putting the spotlight on and collecting books with black girls as the main characters. “If we want equity, we need diversity,” said Marley Dias.
  7. First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah had a candid conversation on self-value and self-worth for women.

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