On Oct. 13, the Gwendolyn J. Elliott Institute and University of Pittsburgh presented The 2016 Equity Summit. This two-day event began with an awards dinner and silent auction at the University of Pittsburgh William Pitt Union. The theme of the two day event was “See The Best in Me: Equity Through The Lens of Resilience.” Kathi Elliot, PhD, executive director of Gwen’s Girls, said the goal of the two-day signature event isn’t just to raise funds to support our program, but to raise awareness around equity issues that impact the girls that we serve. This is a call to action to address the local and national systemic inequities that marginalize girls. Elliott also congratulated the 2016 awardees. She said their contributions to girls, families and communities have been a tremendous blessing, and Gwen’s Girls is proud to honor them.
This year’s awardees were Carmen Anderson–Heinz Endowments; Mike Doyle–U.S. Congressman; Sandra Bobick, PhD–STEM Program Volunteer and St. Mary of the Mount Parish.
Kimberlyn Leary, PhD, served as dinner keynote speaker. Leary is a fellow with New America’s International Security Program, an associate professor of psychology at the Harvard Medical School and also a faculty affiliate at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Leary told the 200-plus crowd that women and girls need the same opportunity as young boys.
Each honoree took the opportunity to praise the work of Gwen’s Girls and Kathi Elliot. They said the late Gwen Elliot would be very proud of her daughter, Kathi Elliott. The younger Elliot reminded the audience that she is grateful for the hard work and commitment of the Gwen’s Girls staff and could not do the work without them. A resident of Gwen’s Girls, Ayanna Brown, spoke about her experience at Gwen’s Girl’s versus other group homes where she has lived and said she truly feels at home at Gwen’s Girls.
Kathy Humphrey, PhD, and Toni Y. Silva served as event co-chairs. Humphrey serves as the University of Pittsburgh’s senior vice chancellor for Engagement, secretary of the board of trustees and Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s chief of staff. Silva is the director of Supplier Relations for The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Lynne Hayes-Freeland, of KDKA-TV, served as Emcee.
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