Igniting the power of Women United

Date: April 18, 2016

“This is what happens when women come together. We change the world. There is nothing we can’t do.” ~Laura Pierson-Scheinberg, Women United Chair and Shareholder, Jackson Lewis LLC

Nearly 400 of Baltimore’s most influential business and community leaders gathered for the 2016 Women’s Forum on April 13, hosted by United Way of Central Maryland. It was an incredible afternoon focusing on the future – how we can improve the stability of children, individuals and families through education, housing and income and health.

Highlights of the afternoon included:

  • A panel discussion on how to stabilize families, moderated by Denise Koch, CBS Baltimore/WJZ-TV News Anchor, and featuring Barbara Siemer of The Siemer Institute for Family Stability; Dr. Michelle A. Gourdine, primary care physician; and Robert Balfanz, research professor and director of the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education.
  • A new name. United Way of Central Maryland’s “Women’s Leadership Council” announced a name change to “Women United” to celebrate 16 years of the group’s success and impact. Watch the video.
  • Local children sharing their talents. Furman L. Templeton Elementary School performed “Fight Song” and Baltimore Dance Crews Project entertained the crowd with an energetic, hip-hop dance performance.
  • A new education pilot program. Mark Furst, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland, announced that United Way is launching a new, groundbreaking education program this fall that will use data to identify students who are struggling in school and intervene to help them and their families.
  • A surprise visit. Omarina Cabrera was once chronically absent from middle school and at risk of dropping out. Now, she’s about to graduate high school and begin college, despite her challenging past. “It’s not the trials that make you a better person; it’s coming through to the other side. People like you make stories like mine possible and triumphant,” she said. Watch the Frontline video to see Omarina’s story.
  • A call to action. Dominique Moore, United Way board member and Baltimore City Partnership Board Chair and attorney at the Law Office of Dominique S. Moore, LLC, shared her Baltimore success story and how similar her life was to Omarina’s. Moore asked forum guests to support United Way of Central Maryland’s new education program. The women generously texted and wrote in pledges totaling more than $18,000. To make a contribution to this program, you may do so here.
  • Local New York Times best-selling author Laura Lippman gave a keynote, which addressed her life lessons as a former Baltimore Sun reporter turned author and mom. Ms. Lippman gifted all guests an advance copy of her latest book, Wilde Lake.
  • And much more.

The women also confronted local issues, challenged current thinking, listened to stories from individuals and families helped by United Way, and discussed what’s working and what we can do to tackle homelessness, keep more children in school and improve people’s health. The passion and power represented by the women leaders at the forum was undeniable, and the conclusion obvious. It takes all of us working together to create the kind of change we want to see. It takes Women United.

Special thanks to Tere Geckle and Hannah Rodewald, Women’s Forum co-chairs and Women United members.

Check out The Daily Record story
Read the press release
View photos
Engage with Women United

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