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Date: May 20, 2022
 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
 InterContinental Hotel, 505 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611

The Women of Concern Awards Luncheon is a celebration of the accomplishments of women and girls around the world. Every year, Concern is proud to recognize the achievements of exceptional women who are using their platform to amplify the voices of mothers, women, and children throughout the world.

This year’s celebrations will evoke the powerful feeling of being in control of one’s finances. This feeling is life-changing, and it’s one that Concern Worldwide’s Financial Empowerment programming prioritizes when ending extreme poverty – whatever it takes – for women and girls in our 24 countries of operations surviving on less than the international poverty line of $1.90 a day. From small-scale credit and cash transfers to investing in business development, the 2022 Women of Concern Awards Luncheon will highlight the impact of building local, community-based economic opportunities as a sustainable means for breaking the cycle of poverty.

We hope you’ll join us for the Women of Concern Awards Luncheon highlighting the drive towards gender equality while paying tribute to those who embody justice, generosity and compassion in their work and daily lives.

Register

For over 20 years, the Women of Concern Awards Luncheon has been proud to recognize the achievements of exceptional women who are using their platform to amplify the voices of mothers, women, and children throughout the world. Our honorees have included former US Secretary of State – Madeleine K. Albright, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin, Editor-in-Chief of GLAMOUR, Samantha Barry, and Award-Winning Actress, Toni Collette.

Formerly known as the Brigid Awards, the Women of Concern Awards Luncheon commemorates the legacy of Saint Brigid’s values of justice, generosity, and compassion. To celebrate her life and legacy, every Women of Concern honoree receives the Bog Award – a handcrafted and carved 5,600-year-old wooden treasure found in Ireland’s bountiful landscape. This annual event attracts over 300 loyal supporters and colleagues in the fight against global poverty as well as new friends, who together represent a spectrum of C-suite executives and business leaders, philanthropists, donors, political leaders, and members of the diplomatic community.

This year's celebrations will evoke the powerful feeling of being in control of one's finances. This feeling is life-changing, and it's one that Concern Worldwide's Financial Empowerment programming prioritizes when ending extreme poverty - whatever it takes - for women and girls in our 24 countries of operations surviving on less than the international poverty line of $1.90 a day. From small-scale credit and cash transfers to investing in business development, the 2022 Women of Concern Awards Luncheon will highlight the impact of building local, community-based economic opportunities as a sustainable means for breaking the cycle of poverty.  

Get ready for an inspiring luncheon, lively discussion, and the opportunity to make a big impact on programs that serve millions of women and girls every year.


2022 Honoree Julie Smolyansky
President & Chief Executive Officer, Lifeway Foods

Julie Smolyansky became the youngest female CEO of a publicly held firm when she took over Lifeway Foods at the age of 27 in 2002. Since then, Julie has continued the company’s growth trajectory with creative product development and marketing to bring kefir, the company’s flagship product, into the U.S. mainstream. Under her leadership, the company has expanded distribution throughout the United States, Mexico, the UK, Ireland and France, as well as portions of Central and South America and the Caribbean. She has been named to Fortune Business ‘40 under 40,’ Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter, as one of the Best Instagrammers of the 40 Under 40 list, a 2020 Champion of Wellness by VeryWell and was recently named the winner of a Gold Stevie® Award in the Female Executive of the Year – Consumer category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

Julie is a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an emeritus member of the United Nations Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council and was part of the 2015 class of Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum. She has produced several documentaries, including “The Homestretch,” “Honor Diaries,” “The Hunting Ground” and most recently, “On the Record.” In 2013 Julie co-founded a non-profit, Test400k, an organization dedicated to advocating ending the backlog of 400,000 untested rape kits in the United States. She released her first book, The Kefir Cookbook: An Ancient Healing Superfood for Modern Life, Recipes from My Family Table and Around the World in March of 2018. She lives in Chicago and is the mother of two girls.

Distinguished Guest - Monica McWilliams
Northern Irish Academic, Peace Activist and Human Rights Defender

Monica McWilliams was a delegate to the multi-party peace negotiations for the1998 peace accord in Northern Ireland and was subsequently elected to the first Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly. As Chief Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission, she drafted the advice on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. Monica is Emeritus Professor in the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University and the author of numerous publications, including groundbreaking research on domestic violence. She chaired Interpeace, an international peace building NGO and currently serves on the Independent Reporting Commission for the disbandment of paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. Her memoir ‘Stand Up, Speak Out’, published by Blackstaff Press, charts her activism over the decades from the civil rights protests in the 1960’s to her involvement in the women’s movement and the founding of the Women’s Coalition. It includes her role in the signing and implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.


Sponsorship & Advertisement Opportunities

For more details, reach out to Marisa Maltese
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
646-974-8721

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