Harlem Women International and New Future Foundation, Inc. sponsored a panel discussion and tribute to women trailblazers at the United Nations Church Center, in conjunction with the United Nations 57th session on the status of women. This year's theme was "Violence Against Women and Girls." Maxine McCrey Montano, President of Harlem Women International, welcomed the national and international delegates, and other women and men to the afternoon session.
Ms. Montano introduced the moderator, Ozioma Egwuonwu, member of Burn Bright Lifeworks, Inc. She presented the panelists, Sis. Empress Phile Chionesu, founder of the Million Woman March; Mary Hastings, founder of Farmacy; and two domestic violence survivors, Stephanie McGraw, founder of W.A.R.M. and Linda Lopez, CEO of B-Boy Records World. The panelists' opening remarks were followed by a Q-and-A period. In addressing ways to eradicate the global epidemic of violence against women and girls, the panel and the audience discussed discrimination and inequality as its root causes.
Queen Mother Dr. Deloise Blakely, founder of New Future Foundation, Inc. and Ambassador of Goodwill to Africa and Mama Gail Counder, Co-Chair of Harlem Women International, presented certificates to the 20 honorees, including Hilary Clinton, the Honorable Maxine Waters, Margaret Chan, Susan Brownmiller, Joy Ogwu, Asha-Rose Migiro and Gloria Steinem. Patreinnah Acosta-Pelle, Executive Administrator of New Future Foundation, Inc., thanked the committee members, panelists and audience for their valuable contribution to the international community's solutions to end violence against women and girls.