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Celebration of American Women

October 21, 2010

Women from all 50 states and the District of Columbia gathered on Oct. 21 at the National Constitution Center to celebrate the common goal in the room – female equality.

The Celebration of American Women event, hosted by the Drexel University College of Medicine’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership, was a refreshing pause to the Vision 2020: An American Conversation about Women and Leadership, a two-day discussion about women’s leadership roles in the areas of Business, Law & Finance, Health, Education, Communications & Media, Engineering, Science & Technology, Philanthropy, Faith & Volunteerism, Arts & Culture and Politics & Government.

“There’s a perception that women are equal, but in reality, [there are still] major disparities,” said Catherine Ormerod, project director for Vision 2020. “The women here are really in a position for change.”

The celebration served as an opportunity for the 116 women delegates from all over the country, who were selected from more than 400 applicants, to mingle and appreciate each others’ accomplishments, as well as listen to speakers and Vision 2020 honorees actress and artist Jane Seymour, the first African-American woman in space Mae Jemison, and Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis.

“There are so many amazing women here tonight,” said Kesha Ram, a Vision 2020 National Delegate and state representative from Vermont. “Everywhere you turn, there’s someone who’s doing amazing work.”
After a cocktail hour, attendees congregated for the official ceremony, which was kicked-off with a rendition of Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Lauren Hart, a member of the Vision 2020 team and cancer survivor.

Vision 2020 Co-Chairs Lynn Yeakel and Rosemarie Greco then introduced the event and its purpose.
“[The delegates will soon] go back to their states with energy, responsibility for change,” Yeakel said. “Equality is the essence of humanity.”

Pat Ciarrocchi, CBS 3 anchor, and Rosalyn McPherson, president of the ROZ Group, then introduced the delegates, followed by words from Seymour, who is well known for her lead role in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

Greco then introduced Jemison, an advocate for women in science, and presented her with the Vision 2020 Pioneer Award.

Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute of Gender in Media, then spoke on the importance of positive female portrayal in children’s media and was honored with the Vision 2020 Visionary Award.

Yeakel and Greco concluded the event, followed by performance of “America the Beautiful” by Hart and the Pennsylvania Girlchoir.

“A vision is a goal, or ideal, or a purpose, and our goal here is quite simple,” Yeakel said. “Equality for women.”

 Meet the early sponsors of the Celebration.