Life Moments for Women video produced by the Film, Media & Social Justice Department
of Mount St. Mary's College.
Song "Women of Today" by Faith Rivera & Beth Eichel, performed by Faith Rivera.
When women share their stories, something magical happens …and that means the next generation of women already has a beautiful pathway to follow.
~ Helen Iris Torres
Little did I know our new Life Moments for Women video would be magical for me!
It began one year ago when I was privileged to attend the unveiling of the first “Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California” prepared by Mount St. Mary’s College. The response for this groundbreaking event at the college’s historic Doheny campus near downtown Los Angeles was overwhelming. An enormous tent was brought in to accommodate over 800 attendees!
The positive energy in the tent was contagious. Women of all ages (and some men) were gathered in circles engaged in laughter and conversation. I was warmly welcomed by friendly students and staff who introduced me to several accomplished women.
College president, Ann McElaney-Johnson, proudly acknowledged the “vitality and diversity of the gathering” and thanked the hundreds of business and community leaders for their efforts on behalf of women. A firm believer in the “transformative power of higher education,” Dr. McElaney-Johnson said this first-of-its-kind Report, was an opportunity to “create awareness, spark dialogue and inspire action” to help all women and girls achieve their full potential.
I was riveted by Geena Davis, actress and new Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, and other prestigious speakers who discussed challenges facing women in the critical areas of education, employment, technology, poverty, leadership, physical and mental health, violence and incarceration. Statistics were sobering, proving there is much work to be done around the world and in our own state.
At the end of the program, deeply inspired, I went to the office of Dr. Rosalyn Kempf Director of Women’s Leadership, with a copy of Life Moments for Women. She wasn’t there, so I left the book and one of my business cards on her desk
Soon after that, Rosalyn invited me to speak to her class. Six months later, Patty DeDominic and I. along with Denita Willoughby, Anna Ouroumian and Adele Scheele spoke at the college’s Women’s Leadership Conference ─ and Dr. Pam Haldeman, Director of the Film, Media and Social Justice Department, generously agreed to produce our new video!
Thank you, Pam Haldeman, Kelby Thwaits and Charles Bunce for your many hours of precious time and endless patience in the production of our video. Thank you Ann McElaney-Johnson, Stephanie Cubba, Rosalyn Kempf, Kim Kenny and everyone at Mount St. Mary’s College, for your commitment to the betterment of women.
Thanks to Mary Ann Halpin for the introduction to Faith Rivera. Faith, we are so grateful for the gift of using your song, “Women of Today” (www.faithrivera.com). Thank you to all the women who graced our video with their presence and inspiring message.
Recently, Patty and I spoke to mothers of the Palos Verdes National Charity League, a philanthropic organization for moms and daughters. When I entered the room, a mother approached me with a smile. She had purchased a copy of Life Moments for Women at a local gift shop and gave it to her teenage daughter to read on an airplane flight.
When her daughter returned, she told her parents that she had read the entire book. Life Moments for Women changed her life! “In our house,” the mother beamed, “Maureen and Patty are rock stars!” That was the very moment when Helen Torres’s words in our new video rang true for me: When women share their stories, something magical happens!
I was a rock star! (Who knew?) Best of all, I learned that a young woman had suddenly discovered a beautiful pathway to follow.
Maureen E. Ford, Co-Author, Life Moments for Women,
100+ Extraordinary Women Share Turning Points in Their Lives
Note: The second Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California will take place at Mount St. Mary’s College on March 21, 2013. The event is complimentary, but seats are limited. http://statusofwomen.msmc.la.edu