Filmmaker credits United Way's Women's Philanthropy Fund Breakfast for inspiring action
Ramaa Mosley, filmmaker and girls’ and women’s rights advocate, highlighted the Orange County United Way’s 13th Annual Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast.
More than 600 business, community and non-profit leaders attended the April event at Hotel Irvine, which netted about $275,000 to support the United Way programs and partnerships to help at-risk women and children.
Keynote speaker Mosley directed the Afghan segment of the award-winning documentary, Girl Rising, and helped launch #BringBackOurGirls, a social media campaign raising awareness of the 276 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped in 2014.
A previous Women’s Philanthropy Fund breakfast, she admitted, served as her motivation for launching the social media campaign.
“It was at the Breakfast in 2014 that I decided something must be done to raise awareness for these kidnapped young women,” Mosley said. “At that time, there had been no social media activity, no petitions, no action cry. I initially wanted to fly to Nigeria to help in the effort, but my then 11 year-old daughter protested. But I knew I could still make a difference from here.”
Within weeks, the #BringBackOurGirls Twitter hashtag Mosley posted in response to the kidnapping story was retweeted two million times. This included tweets by the Vatican, First Lady Michelle Obama and hundreds of other world leaders and celebrities.
Over the past 15 years the breakfast events have raised more than $4.5 million through their annual breakfasts and nearly $35 million in total from the Women’s Philanthropy Fund to support women’s and children’s programs in Orange County, according to Sue Parks, founding chair of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund.
Supporting students at Anaheim’s Paul Revere Elementary School will be the next focus of The Women’s Philanthropy Fund.
Top sponsors of the breakfast included Laura Khouri and Michael K. Hayde; Nordstrom; Opus Bank; Owl Foundation; Scripsense; and Wells Fargo.