At the end of last week's 35th Annual Meeting, members were congratulating staff and board alike for such an interesting and successful event. It won't surprise any of you that the day's productive discussions were the result of months of hard work of countless people that included the entire PNY staff, probably a dozen amazing professionals at Ford Foundation, the Steering Committee of Funders of Women and Girls and, of course, all of the moderators, panelists, "PHIL talkers" and featured speakers who made the day unforgettable. So, on behalf of PNY - thanks to one and all!
One of the most gratifying compliments we've been hearing is that scope of the discussions and the diversity of the voices we featured represented the complexity of the challenges women and girls face in the U.S. and around the world. Even those who are immersed in these issues felt that the conversations were fresh, informative and leading toward potential action for philanthropy. The moderators and presenters at the breakout sessions are too numerous to name here, but those rich conversations could not have taken place without their preparation before-hand and their thoughtful engagement with members.
Those wide-ranging breakout discussions perfectly set the stage for the rapid-fire talks - henceforth called "PHIL talks" - with Muslim Advocates Director Farhana Khera, Service Women's Action Network Director Anu Bhagwati and "Redefining Realness" author Janet Mock. A special thanks to our moderator of that session, Pinkerton Foundation's Rick Smith, for his dexterity and informed questioning as he rolled with the prompts from staff to extend the session while we awaited the arrival of the next set of speakers. Khera, Bhagwati and Mock were deeply impressive. Their presentations and comments during the extended panel discussion were insightful and important. If you weren't in the room or watching the live-feed, we hope that you will check out the recording on our 2014 Annual Meeting landing page, which also includes pictures from the day and a Storify of tweets.
Our deepest thanks and gratitude to Secretary Clinton for spending so much time with us and answering approximately five times more questions publicly in front of the Philanthropy New York audience than she has since stepping down from the State Department. Personally, I would also like to thank ABC News's Robin Roberts for her focused smart questions pertinent to women, girls and philanthropy.
Which brings me to our biggest thanks for the day. We want to give a big thank you to all of our members who participated in these discussions - in the auditorium, in the over-flow rooms and in the live-feed audience. We do this because of your - our members' - interest in deeply exploring challenging issues. We hope that many more members will choose to get involved in Funders of Women and Girls. If you are interested in doing so, let us know.
As we said many times at the Annual Meeting, this is only the beginning. We have five programs on women and girls issues in the planning stages for the coming months and will work with the Funders of Women and Girls group to plan additional collaborative activities.