A Message From The Creator

The true test of character is not how we are on our best days, it is how we are on our worst days. The days when things are not going well.

Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Eve Ensler

Katharine Viner

The Guardian, March 7, 2011

Article History

Eve Ensler

Playwright and activist, most famed for her taboo-busting play, The Vagina Monologues

Eve Ensler, 57, believes women and girls can change the world – and she’s helping them to do it, one country at a time. Best known for her taboo-busting play The Vagina Monologues, which has been performed in more than 140 countries, she is also the founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, which has campaigned and helped women in countries as diverse as Afghanistan and Sudan, Mexico and India.

Her latest initiative is the newly opened and rather extraordinary City of Joy in Bukavu, eastern Congo, a revolutionary community where women survivors of rape can recover from their experiences – and then learn how to be leaders. A dynamic, creative activist who has brought Jane Fonda, Oprah Winfrey, Charlize Theron and many others to her cause, and whose own integrity and commitment is plain to see, Ensler is a uniquely inspirational woman. No one can resist her when they hear her speak.

Local Inspiration

Fay Beydoun - Arab American Chamber of Commerce

March 21, 2012 By 

Article History

Fay Beydoun 

DEARBORN, Michigan – American Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) Executive Director Fay Beydoun has been selected one of 25 special “Women Making a Difference” by the Michigan Women’s Foundation.

In a press release issued by the Arab Chamber yesterday, AACC executive Director Fay Beydoun said: “I am honored and humbled by the recognition.  The foundation has excelled at building the next generations of leaders by providing education, leadership and philanthropic opportunities for young women.”

The nonprofit organization champions the cause of social justice for women and girls in Michigan. The women were selected for making a positive impact and improving the lives of young women throughout the state every day. The foundation plans to recognize the women at its 25th anniversary celebration on March 26, 2012 at the Motor City Convention Center.

Since leading the American Arab Chamber of Commerce in 2008, Fay Beydoun has used her talent and expertise to benefit the Chamber and the community with great enthusiasm, dedication and humility. For most, her leadership has had positive rippling effects at the local, national and international level.

“Fay Beydoun is a visionary leader setting a good example and mentoring Arab American women. She has devoted her time to serving the business community and the community at large. She is a firm believer in empowering entrepreneurs, specifically women. Growing up in Dearborn, as an immigrant and a daughter of an immigrant family, she has mobilized and directed thousands of volunteers for various causes, social, political and economic, as part of her strong believe in giving back to her community.” ~ AACC press release.

The American Arab Chamber of Commerce is the largest Arab-American business organization in the United States, delivering services and counsel to more than 1,500 companies, ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations and executive professionals. The Chamber is also the main business and trade link between the United States and the Middle East, with a major current goal of making Michigan a hub for trade for the MENA region.

In 2002, Ms. Beydoun expanded her circle of activities to enhance the relationships between the United States and the Middle East. She became vice president of the U.S.-Arabic Economic Forum, an organization that facilitates economic collaboration, cultural dialogue, and innovation between the United States and the Middle East. The Forum attracts more than 1,000 participants from 35 countries including top Fortune 500 executives and more than 150 global leaders, in the fields of government, business, technology, academics and policy.


Inspiration Of Motherhood

 Melody Betts as Tasha, Jennifer Chada as Barb, Madeline Duffy-Feins as Amy  and Kimberly Vanbiesbrouck as  Brooke  in "Motherhood the Musical."

‘Motherhood’: The musical that wants to be ‘Moms ‘R Us

Chris JonesTheater critic

2:42 p.m. CDT, April 13, 2012
“Is it going to hurt?” the very pregnant young woman at the center of “Motherhood the Musical” asks the trio of older, wiser friends who’ve popped round for a baby shower and, like you do, to sing a few original musical numbers in the mother-to-be’s living room. “The delivery?” comes the dry response, “or the next 18 years?”
That genuinely funny line scored a knowing, collective laugh from an audience that only had to read the marquee to know what this show was going to about and for whom it was intended. Produced by the same, savvy folks who helped bring us “Menopause the Musical,” “Motherhood the Musical,” now at the Royal George Theatre, is one of those shows that aims to profit by giving people in a certain demographic the feeling of a safe place and a shared communal experience. It wants to be the premiere destination for spring baby showers.
Such accessible entertainment, to my mind, has value in the wider theatrical ecosystem. Not everyone wants to see “The Iceman Cometh.” Some people would rather listen to songs about Costco, or, perchance, enjoy a stage property made entirely of Kirkland bathroom tissue. And the things to like about “Motherhood the Musical” include a willingness to discuss such atypical theatrical matters as, oh, pantyliners and bladder control. “I leak, leak, leak like a Senator in Congress,” goes one of my favorite lyrics, closely matched by “I can’t do the hustle, because I can’t control my muscle.” Try finding stuff like that in “Pacific Overtures.”
Much as we pretend otherwise and declare ourselves unique individuals, our experiences at these big, messy moments in life — and the arrival of a child is one big messy moment — closely mirror those of our fellow humans. And thus many of the lines and lyrics in this show hit home. There’s a sequence involving the selection of baby names that anyone who has gone through such a chore, er, delight, will recognize: someone comes up with a name, and you find yourself unable to separate the moniker from the person who has born it.
So although the show sometimes has to twist like a pretzel to explain the constant absence of men, even when a kid is on the way, the conceit should be workable for an escapist night out. You just stick a few different kinds of mothers in a room and have them crack jokes and sing to a new mom for 90 minutes about what it’s all going to be like for an audience that mostly knows full well what it’s like.
But a lovable night at the theater requires far more deviation from a formula than this particular show, written by Sue Fabisch, manages to deliver.
The central problem is that nothing is at stake. Granted, there’s a kid coming, but the show still feels like it resulted from a group of songwriters sitting around and coming up with individual ideas for songs themed around the different issues that potential mothers approach with ambivalence: epidurals, sex after kids, minivans, the inevitable failings of men. Some of the songs are genuinely fun, but the thin connective tissue seems in service of the numbers, when it needs to be the other way around. And when nothing builds to anything in the broader sense, you find yourself counting how many songs are left.
The show, which is directed by Lisa Shriver and performed by Melody Betts (the divorcedmom), Jen Chada (the stay-at-home mom), Kimberly Vanbiesbrouck (the stressed-out career mom) and Madeline Duffy-Feins (the mom to be), veers between truthful, appealing sequences and overwrought cliches. The honest Chada sings a sweet ballad about the sheer satisfaction of taking care of a kid and Betts, a formidable actress, takes a predictable number about watching your kids leave with your ex and turns it into something that feels intensely personal. When”Motherhood”hovers there, the show works quite well. But many other moments are cliched and overblown — most egregiously a trite and reductive song called “Grannyland” that not only breaks the show’s own rules but is singularly unfunny and poorly performed.
Live musicians would certainly have helped (the show is sung to tape, which feels cheap). So would more sophistication, nuance and, well, truth. For proof that we’re still arguing over what motherhood should mean, you need only note the flap that ignited this week when a clumsy Democratic strategist suggested that Ann Romney, a stay-at-home mom, had “never done a day’s work in her life.” Had Hilary Rosen shown up at “Motherhood the Musical,” I suspect she’d have been shouted down by an entire theater of mothers. Surely there’s a musical in that.

Women In The News

Julie Blunden, renewable energy

April 10, 2012 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time 

ClimateWorks Foundation Appoints New CEO

Julie Blunden, renewable energy industry veteran, to lead global climate and energy policy grantmaker


SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The ClimateWorks Foundation board of directors announced today that it has appointed Julie Blunden, a 25-year veteran of the energy industry, as the Foundation’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective May 21, 2012. Ms. Blunden is a widely recognized energy policy expert with extensive applied experience in both the industrial and non-profit sectors.

“We are pleased to support ClimateWorks’ efforts during this important leadership transition.”

“Julie has spent her entire career focused on the nexus of energy technology, policy, and markets,” said Foundation Chairman and former EPA administrator William Reilly. “As ClimateWorks enters the next phase of its continuing evolution, we’re excited to have Julie’s strong leadership and deep expertise to help drive us toward a low-carbon future.”

Ms. Blunden will join ClimateWorks after completing her service as executive vice president of the SunPower Corp., which she helped grow into one of the world’s leadingsolar power companies. Previously, she co-founded Green Mountain Energy Company, an early provider of direct-to-consumer renewable energy products and programs. As a development manager for AES Corp., Ms. Blunden oversaw the development of power generation projects around the world. She currently sits on the boards of several non-profits that are active in clean energy policy advocacy.

Ms. Blunden’s appointment came after an extensive, international search led by a subcommittee of the ClimateWorks Foundation board of directors, chaired by Chad Holliday, chairman of Bank of America, and including board chairman Mr. Reilly and Bertrand Collomb, Honorary Chairman of Lafarge. She succeeds Hal Harvey, who left ClimateWorks in December 2011.

“My career has provided me with great insight into the potential pace of technological change in the energy industry,” said Ms. Blunden. “However, technology is not the limitation to lowering global carbon emissions, rather it is market design, public policy and business engagement. I am honored to join ClimateWorks and its network of partners, which have already made major contributions to reducing carbon emissions around the world. I look forward to extending ClimateWorks’ success, both with our current partners and new allies who can help expand our reach.”

The ClimateWorks Foundation’s major donors expressed their strong support for Ms. Blunden and the Foundation as she makes the transition to the role of CEO.

“ClimateWorks has always taken a rigorous, metrics-based approach to solving the problem of climate change, and Julie’s private sector experience and discipline will be a great complement to a very focused institution,” said Paul Brest, President of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. “We look forward to working with Julie for many years to come.”

“Julie truly believes in the mission and values that guide ClimateWorks’ philanthropic efforts,” said Carol Larson, President of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. “Her passion for this cause, and deep subject matter expertise, make her a great choice to lead ClimateWorks.”

“The ClimateWorks Foundation’s unique approach to reducing carbon emissions through policy and advocacy is invaluable to the field,” said Kate Wolford, president of theMcKnight Foundation. “We are pleased to support ClimateWorks’ efforts during this important leadership transition.”

About the ClimateWorks Foundation

The ClimateWorks Foundation supports public policies that can prevent dangerous climate change and promote global prosperity. ClimateWorks’ founding donors—the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation — based the structure of ClimateWorks on a 2007 study, “Design to Win: Philanthropy’s Role in the Fight Against Global Warming.”

The ClimateWorks Foundation funds an international Network of institutions focused on the regions and sectors responsible for most greenhouse gas emissions. The regions include China, India, Europe, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Indonesia; and the power, transportation, buildings, appliances, land use, and industry sectors. Each year, in collaboration with its Network partners, ClimateWorks invests over U.S. $150 million in initiatives that support the policies that can reduce carbon emissions.


ClimateWorks Foundation
Matthew Lewis, Director of Communications

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