Thursday, May 8, 2014

#GLOBALMOMS MOMS + SOCIAL GOOD Highlights: Annual Conference 2014

Kathy Calvin-President+CEO United Nations Foundation, left-Pat Mitchell President and CEO, The Paley Center for Media
Ariana Huffington's video opened up the conference-with poignant words on how positively impact-ful her mother was in her life--her entire life too…including throughout her childhood, marriage, divorce-and launch of Huffington Post Media Group
Some thoughts….

West 52nd Street/NYC

MOMS+SOCIAL GOOD- ---was the theme of an all day conference -with accomplished women and a few guys-addressing topics that were all related to being a mother in modern times -or as CEO Anna Maria Chavez- of the Girls Scouts noted-that included child-free "motherly"individuals-in today's world.
A few universal themes stood out for us…that all mothers (or just about) want health, happiness and opportunities for their children…that self-care is critical for the aforementioned to happen…and the impact of social media and information technology -on how we live and raise children…let alone practically everything else…that connects women worldwide…with each other ---and medical professionals via mobile phones---can be a win-win-win.

 In fact this conference was live streamed on the internet with viewers world wide tweeting thoughts and questions.

The morning sessions had several discussions on women in conflict areas-focusing on areas of the world where access to fresh drinking water is a major obstacle.

The majority of women, in fact- do not have access to life saving medicines and overall safe conditions to live in… resulting in distressingly awful statistics on mortality-for women and their babies...

Johnson+Johnson-a sponsor----and donor-remarks  on how access to healthcare changes lives and saves lives...

KATHRYN BOLLES -Director, Health and Nutrition Global eloquently spoke about her travels to war zones and poor areas in the world and the work done to well, Save the Children-in 120 countries….including the non-profit's efforts in weather ravaged areas in the USA.

The annual Mother's Index---reports on gains and losses…notice the USA is missing from the top ten-as are other Western countries -UK and France…moving up off the bottom ten list-Afghanistan with the improved access to healthcare and education for moms, kids and girls…though we wonder what happens after NATO forces wide down their presence. Generally speaking-value women-value children.

Well done-the Models for Mom ad campaign:

pictured below-Hilengiwe Lwandle told an incredible story about her life in South Africa-this was her first time ever out of that country.
The AIDS epidemic in sub-Sahara Africa impacts women and their children-though remarkably there is a 1x a day  medicine that prevents HIV transmission in pregnant women to their unborn child. A big obstacle-is the shame, blame and rejection heaped upon HIV positive women-as well as access to care. This courageous woman took a stand for her son and other women of her country after many rejected her (HIV+ status)---and turned their backs on a woman in need.
A video by Melinda Gates also commented on efforts to ensure women get the medical help they need.


This panel on investing in medical facilities and efforts to improve global health-included the 2015 Health Millennial Development Goals. Leith Greenslade remarked on efforts to eradicate malaria and child mortality rates, for example- that did and did not not meet their mark-and also included words about women's access to contraception-a topic not really brought up by others.

A moving story recounted by Dr. Hassink --- about her parents immigration, as children- into the USA…highlighted the importance of how just one person and make a MASSIVE difference in children's lives. She also remarked on how adult diseases are now showing up in kids-like Diabetes 2 and chronic stress-and not just in the USA.

Princess Sarah Zeid engaged the live audience-with a visual on how just a handful of the moms' present -would have survived with healthy babies through pregnancy ---and giving birth prematurely or on time via a c-section-given conditions around the world and lack of pre/post natal care. She movingly shared her life-changing aha moment- surviving amniotic embolism while giving birth to her 3rd child----that launched her activities dedicated to helping other women in less fortunate circumstances gain access to life-saving medical care that saved her.

motivational speaker SAULPAUL-usually performs before a male heavy audience-but was so motivated to share his story about his mother-and grandmother…actually hung around for later panels too!
From a four count felony indictment to a 4.00 GPA from University of Texas, Austin-SaulPaul's life story really got the audience inspired and involved.

 His on the spot abilities to share his experiences, good and bad- and skillfully weave crowd suggested words-into a tune…emphasized the point-tunefully ---- on how the unconditional love from his grandmother-who raised him…provided a solid foundation for his life…and was the reason how even with making bad choices as a teenager…led to making good choices as an adult.

Different topics were addressed here-including what constitutes a family-with Sarah Kate Ellis and her wife-both giving birth a few weeks apart…(prompting comments on how even male/female partners need a wife)…
Vogue magazine's Hildy Kuryk gave the audience a reason to shop-on SHOPBOP's Born Free Africa-where 22 top designers (and mom's) used a Kenyan artist's print as inspiration for apparel and accessories-all benefiting..."Born Free’s goal to end mother-to-child HIV transmission at birth."

We agreed with her take on the generosity of the fashion world in general-including AIDS support/research organizations -a disease that has impacted that industry, greatly. We also loved hearing how all the designers enthusiastically signed on to help- an international list of who's who- top tier price-y types, fyi.

Colleen Hancock spoke about connecting women worldwide on BabyCenter---a web portal and a  wealth of info on pregnancy and motherhood…and apparently well known by like every gal in the audience too.

Amazingly, Olivia Wilde looked well amazingly awake-as she has given birth to a baby son two weeks ago. All aglow, she recounted her volunteer work in rural impoverished areas…where she saw women trying to to stay healthy while pregnant-determined in spite of incredible odds of not surviving/thriving amidst horrid conditions- and also their determination to raise a child in a country without much of a safety net ---like we have here.

Now as a mother, Wilde can almost not imagine what it would be like to not have access to the high level of medical care she had.  Hence the 'there but the grace of luck...'

Spoken Word artist Sarah Kay-charmingly described her crying bouts intermixed with memories of her clearly task oriented no-nonsense mom. The artist then seamlessly 'slipped' into a wonderful poem about herself as a mother-and her daughter…and some of the hopes and dreams for this next generation. Bravo...

Mother of six-Gabrielle Blair magically interviewed the nowadays much interviewed United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power-managing to ask a never asked before question about the need to live up to the last name of "Power" (really derivative of medieval Irish/English words for "poor")...

Ambassador Power really hit home with her advice on how to acknowledge the world in crisis (citing Syria, DRC)…. and even in a tiny small way- act ---but how important it is not to be overwhelmed (paralyzed) by it. A discussion we are always having with our gal pals-on how we can barely read the headlines anymore… still needing to be productive adults-not de-activated by frustration/stress.
Ambassador Powers talked about her work/life balance or lack of-including sharing a cold with her kids-something moms can relate to, the importance of nanny help-in her life, a hands-on partner (we read about, actually)…and professionally-how a then Senator Obama reached out to her after reading the Pulitzer prize winning book:

A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.

Padma Lakshmi-is clearly used to be a very public figure…she was frank and open about her painful bouts with Endometriosis- and how, even with access to the best medical care, this condition was routinely incorrectly diagnosed-in her life---causing much suffering- and often was the case for others too. 

Her foundation (co-founded) ---educates medical professionals and serves as an outreach for sufferers of this  disease…including the 411 young women who often lack the means to correct info…and what can be done.
Major takeaways-help other women out -when you can-even if to shape up a teenager with an attitude in a dentist's office,  how young women in their 20's should consider freezing their eggs-to preserve their options for giving birth as they get older---and how important it is to BE sure the information shared is correct.

Abbie Schiller's The Mother Company

what Oprah would do-we bet inspires a lot of people including this former ABC employee-to start a video biz that helps her to raise her (and other's )kids--- and instill coping skills/life lessons in a fun way. Not a big fan of Barney the Dinosaur either.

Maggie Murphy Editor-Parade Magazine, Ron Lieber-NY Times Journalist and author "The Opposite of Spoiled", Anna Maria Chavez CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA, moderator Aaron Sherinian VP of United Nations Foundation-who reminded us of TV's Bravo station's- Andy Cohen in a good way.

The Person About To Change The World Needs Help With Their Homework focused on raising empathetic, happy healthy kids in the USA. Chavez brought up her organization's  wait list (yikes-not enough adult volunteers) and the #Ban Bossy campaign-with the panelists all agreeing that girls often do not want to be leaders-for fear of being labeled "Bossy"
Another discussion mentioned how Barnard College's President Deborah Spar's published remark-- on applicants' starting their own NGOs vs genuine passion…and how important it is to truly raise empathetic kids who meaningfully want to act---not just to check off a bucket list box to get into college. 
Facebook's COO Sherly Sanberg's "Lean In" book, organization/campaign was also mentioned---with two thumbs up approval---though we know that the seeds for this book were actually planted when this accomplished woman gave the keynote commencement speech at the aforementioned Barnard College back in 2011!

AMY ROBACH's live television-on air mammography-kinda like the Katy Couric colonoscopy demo-led to an off the air diagnosis for  this 40 years old (young) of breast cancer…wow.

This led to a very telling tale of the importance of self care-and how women in this country- with access to life saving screenings-should in fact, take the time to get them. Looking incredibly well, this dynamic media personality-had just finished her last chemo treatment.

Interesting comments---how the dynamic of her marriage changed…leading to thoughts on women needing to accept help-when they need it. 

SUMMIT sponsors also included 92nd Street Y…as well as Johnson+Johnson, Baby Center, United Nations Foundation and the Huffington Post.

More info: