Jan. 20: Inauguration Day online celebration and watch party
This month, the Women and Girls Foundation hosts several opportunities for the public to celebrate the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
The election and inauguration of Harris marks an important series of firsts for the U.S., including the country’s first woman, first Black person, first Asian-American and the first graduate from a Historically Black College & University (Howard University) to serve as vice president.
The Women and Girls Foundation will highlight the significance of these firsts and the potential impact a Biden/Harris administration could have on policies that impact the lives of women and girls through events in January:
INAUGURATION DAY ONLINE WATCH PARTY | 11:15 A.M. EST JAN. 20
Dress to impress and don your pearls, in the safety of your own home, and join the Women and Girls Foundation and Single Mom Defined for a family-friendly inauguration watch party. Enjoy D-I-Y mocktails, inauguration-themed games and a conversation with moms and kids about what they want to see Biden and Harris accomplish for women and girls in the first 100 days of their administration. Participants are encouraged to put on their pearls that day in honor of Harris, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha who regularly wears pearls as a symbol of her sorority, her integrity and her resilience.
During the event, viewers can enter for a chance to win a pair of Kate Spade faux pearl earrings, thanks to a donation from For Good Pittsburgh.
Women and girls also will be invited to share on social media their own #PearlsOfWisdom — a message about what they wish for Harris as she makes herstory and what they would like to see her achieve. To submit a “pearl of wisdom,” users just need to add the hashtag #PearlsofWisdom to their own social media post. Some messages will be shared on the Women and Girls Foundation’s social media platforms. The watch party will be recorded so people can view it at their convenience on the Women and Girls Foundation (@wgfpa) and Single Mom Defined’s (@singlemomdefined) social media platforms.
“My great-grandmother Mary fought, as a suffragette, for women to achieve the right to vote,” said Heather Arnet, CEO of the Women and Girls Foundation. “Her daughter, my grandmother Vivien, saw over 50 women run for president in her lifetime. It has been a long road to get us to this point. As I watch the inauguration, I will think of those who participated in the civil rights and women’s rights movements that led to this moment. Grateful for their work and confident we will see a woman in the White House in our lifetime, I am excited about the promise for change that Vice President Harris represents and the wisdom and courage she will bring to her office in championing the needs of women, people of color and marginalized communities across this nation.”
“At first I didn’t want to celebrate. Electing a Black woman as vice president won’t erase white supremacy, racism or sexism. But on the day of the announcement, my daughter and her friend danced, screamed and giggled in the living room. They thought it was pretty awesome. They also think I know Kamala Harris personally, since she’s my sorority sister,” said Heather Hopson, CEO Motor Mouth Mouth Multimedia/Single Mom Defined and Women and Girls Foundation Femisphere Consultant. “Although I know there’s a lot of hard work to be done, I also know a brilliant Black woman will center not only me but my daughter and all women who waited and fought for this glass ceiling to be broken. That’s the reason to get dressed up and mark this moment in history.”
The Women and Girls Foundation asked participants in its GirlGov civic engagement and social justice program to share what witnessing the election and inauguration of the first woman vice president means to them.
● “Growing up, all I had was men in politics to look up. Now, I know it is possible for me to be involved on a huge level. The future is now, and it’s amazing to be part of the change.” — Lucy, 16, Downingtown, Pa.
● “This will prove that women and women of color don’t need to be boxed into a specific area. Black women, especially dark-skinned women, for years have been depicted as unintelligent, angry and ghetto. To see a Black woman break that stereotype is very empowering.” — Dallas, 15, Pittsburgh, Pa.
● “With an intelligent, Asian-American becoming vice president, I see it as progress toward more Asian representation in America. Hopefully, with more representation, there will be less microaggressions against Asians.” — Saanika C. 16, Pittsburgh, Pa.
ABOUT THE WOMEN AND GIRLS FOUNDATION
The Women and Girls Foundation (WGF) is a nonprofit organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, engaged in statewide programming and policy work. The mission of WGF is to achieve equality for women and girls, now and for generations to come. In pursuit of this mission, WGF breaks down barriers so that every girl can rise and every woman can soar. Our vision is for women and girls in Pennsylvania to have equal access, opportunity and influence in all aspects of their public and private lives. (wgfpa.org)
GirlGov is WGF’s successful civic engagement program for those who identify as high school-aged young women interested in developing as our next generation of leaders, advocates and changemakers. This year-long program includes an innovative civics and social justice curriculum, hands-on experience in advocacy and many opportunities to partner with and learn directly from community leaders and elected officials. This entire program is offered free of charge. (wgfpa.org/our-work/girlgov)
ABOUT HEATHER ARNET
Heather Arnet’s formal resume includes credits that range from writing and directing a documentary, “Madame Presidentá: Why Not U.S.?” about female presidents for PBS to serving as assistant associate producer of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” She has also ran and served in elected office. As an expert and spokesperson on the advancement of women in politics, she’s made live interview appearances on Fox News, NBC’s “Today Show,” CNN, MSNBC, CBS Nightly News, ABC News, NPR, Huffington Post Live and regional media outlets across Pennsylvania. She’s also been published in the Huffington Post, Daily Beast, Pittsburgh Business Times and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Arnet is the co-chair of the Council for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum and Board chair for the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership at the University of Pittsburgh’s graduate school for international and public affairs. Arnet’s work has garnered many awards, including recognition as one of the “21 Leaders for a 21st Century” by Women’s Enews and a member of the Women’s Media Center’s distinguished list of “Progressive Women’s Voices.” (A sampling of past media appearances can be viewed online.)
Information provided to TVL by:
Women and Girls Foundation.
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