United Nations

Hm_a_logo_1It is that time of the year in NYC where every night is some benefit.  I was invited to attend the Epic Award Dinner for The White House Project at the United Nations.  In the 20 some odd years we have lived in NYC, I have never been to the UN so I quickly accepted the invitation. 

Driving up in a taxi and being let on 46th and 1st in front of  the UN is just cool.  I have no other word to explain it.  This plot of land that houses delegates from every country in the world so that we can hopefully work with each other diplomatically is just a "wow". 

I get out and go through security.  Much more efficient than La Guardia.  No surprises there. The place is quite large.  Very 50’s architecture.  There is a huge exhibit inside from World Press Photo.  It is a non profit organization that supports photojournalism and the free exchange of pictures internationally.  The exhibit is unbelievable.  Photos from across the world that through a click of a lens can capture what life is like in that country at that time and at that place.  An interesting exhibit at the UN considering some of the photos of certain countries just make your heart heavy.  Yet on the other hand, the differences are so apparent just from the photo.  You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see why being in Iraq is so difficult because of our culture differences.  Just take a look at these photos.  Enough on politics. 

After drinks we went 2 flights up to a large dining room that overlooked the East River where the event took place.  The White House Project is non profit organization aimed at advancing women’s leadership in all sectors.  They awarded 3 women for their roles in Corporate Leadership.  Carolyn Buck-Luce who is a partner at Ernst and Young, Deborah Elam, the Diversity Director  from General Electric Company, and JoAnn Heffernam Heisen the Chief Information Officer at Johnson and Johnson. All leaders in their firms. 

Also, they honored the man behind North Country, Jeff Skol and the writer and star behind Commander and Chief, Rod Lurie and Geena Davis. 

Each speaker was eloquent about women and our ever changing role in society.  Why there are not more women in power.  Information on how women are perceived thru the media.  How G rated shows have more male figures than women, etc.  All very interesting.  Glad to see this group of people making a change and looking at the big picture.  But, hands down the most impressive person of the evening was Marie Wilson who is the President of The White House Project.  She is so incredibly passionate about women and their roles around the world that you want to raise you hand and say pick me, I’ll do it.  She gave a speech that was not only rousing but without any notes and off the top of the head remarks.  Truly impressive. 

It was a bit long winded evening but interesting to hear what this group was doing.  I admit I wasn’t as  inspired being in the UN as being outside of it.  I plan on returning for lunch.  Anyone can make reservations to eat there for lunch.  A different country cooks each month.  I’m going to take the kids.  The concept behind the UN in many ways is much cooler than the building but I am glad I went.