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Stars #EmbraceAmbition On International Women’s Day

Mar 08, 2017 04:00 pm
The Tory Burch Foundation today announced the launch of a global campaign, #EmbraceAmbition, to encourage women to embrace ambition.

Reese Witherspoon takes part in Tory Burch Foundation's PSA video
Reese Witherspoon takes part in Tory Burch Foundation’s PSA video

The initiative kicks off today to coincide with International Women’s Day. Inspired by Tory’s personal experience as a woman and entrepreneur, the campaign aims to address the double standard that exists around ambition, which is often seen as a great attribute in men and as a negative one in women.


A cornerstone of the campaign is a video PSA celebrating ambition, created with Laird+Partners. The PSA features celebrities and leaders from diverse industries including entertainment (Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Kerry Washington, Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon), fashion (Anna Wintour), sports (Billie Jean King, Gabby Douglas, Laila Ali), business (Eric Schmidt, Sheryl Sandberg), philanthropy (Melinda Gates) and more.

Forty years since the modern women’s rights movement began, the numbers associated with women’s parity in the workplace are still appallingly low. Only four percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women and women hold less than 20 percent of board seats. In government, women comprise about 19 percent of Congress and account for less than 10 percent of national leaders globally.


“While there are systematic impediments to women’s success in business, cultural mores are also to blame,” explained Tory Burch, founder of the Tory Burch Foundation. “In one of my first interviews, a reporter mentioned the word “ambitious,” and I commented that the word annoyed me. A friend of mine said, “You should never shy away from that word.” She was right. I realized that I had bought into the stigma that women shouldn’t be ambitious – that it was unattractive. That creates a harmful double standard that we must overcome in order to achieve equality.”

As part of the campaign, visitors to can take a digital pledge to #EmbraceAmbition, challenge friends to take the pledge and share their ambition on social media. There will also be content, tools and interviews with successful women about ambition.

“Most women are ambitious, but many are afraid to show it,” said Foundation President Laurie Fabiano. “Our goal is for women to take a moment to think about whether they’ve been hiding their ambition and to question that.”

In addition, #EmbraceAmbition bracelets and t-shirts will be available in Tory Burch and Tory Sport boutiques globally and online. One hundred percent of the net proceeds of these products in the U.S. will benefit the Foundation.


Ways to #EmbraceAmbition:
Take the digital pledge and challenge friends to do the same using the hashtag #Embrace Ambition
Watch and share the video PSA.



Anne Hathaway Speaks At UN Official Commemoration Of International Women’s Day

Mar 08, 2017 02:00 pm
UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Anne Hathaway has spoken today at the UN official commemoration of International Women’s Day in New York.

Anne Hathaway, UN Women's Global Goodwill Ambassador
Anne Hathaway, UN Women’s Global Goodwill Ambassador

“In late March, last year, 2016, I became a parent for the first time. I remember the indescribable — and as I understand it universal — experience of holding my week-old son and feeling my priorities change on a cellular level,” she said. “I remember I experienced a shift in consciousness that gave me the ability to maintain my love of career and cherish something else, someone else, much, much more. Like so many parents, I wondered how I was going to balance my work with my new role as a parent, and in that moment, I remember that the statistic for the US’s policy on maternity leave flashed through my mind.


“American women are currently entitled to 12 weeks’ unpaid leave. American men are entitled to nothing. That information landed differently for me when, one week after my son’s birth I could barely walk, when I was getting to know a human who was completely dependent on my husband and I for everything, when I was dependent on my husband for most things, when we were relearning everything we thought we knew about our family and relationship. It landed differently.

“Somehow, we and every American parent were expected to be “back to normal” in under three months. Without income. I remember thinking to myself, “If the practical result of pregnancy is another mouth to feed in your home and America is a country where most people are living paycheck to paycheck, how does 12 weeks unpaid leave economically work?”

“The truth is, for too many people it doesn’t. One in four American women go back to work two weeks after giving birth because they can’t afford to take any more time off than that. 25 per cent. Equally disturbing, women who can afford to take the full 12 weeks often don’t because it will mean incurring a “motherhood penalty”— meaning they will be perceived as less dedicated to their job and will be passed over for promotions and other career advancement. In my own household, my mother had to choose between a career and raising three children- a choice that left her unpaid and underappreciated as a homemaker- because there just wasn’t support for both paths. The memory of being in the city with my Dad is a particularly meaningful one since he was the sole breadwinner in our house, and my brothers and my time with him was always limited by how much he had to work. And we were an incredibly privileged family—our hardships were the stuff of other family’s dreams.

“The deeper into the issue of paid parental leave I go, the clearer I see the connection between persisting barriers to women’s full equality and empowerment, and the need to redefine and in some cases, destigmatize men’s role as caregivers. In other words, to liberate women, we need to liberate men.

“The assumption and common practice that women and girls look after the home and the family is a stubborn and very real stereotype that not only discriminates against women, but limits men’s participation and connection within the family and society. These limitations have broad-ranging and significant effects, for them and for children. We know this. So why do we continue to undervalue fathers and overburden mothers?

“Paid parental leave is not about taking days off work; it is about creating freedom to define roles, to choose how to invest time, and to establish new, positive cycles of behavior. Companies that have offered paid parental leave for employees have reported improved employee retention, reduced absenteeism and training costs, and boosted productivity and morale. Far from not being able to afford to have paid parental leave, it seems we can’t afford not to.

“In fact, a study in Sweden showed that every month fathers took paternity leave, the mothers’ income increased by 6.7 per cent. That’s 6.7 per cent more economic freedom for the whole family. Data from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey shows that most fathers report that they would work less if it meant that they could spend more time with their children. How many of us here today saw our Dads enough growing up? How many of you Dads here see your kids enough now?

“We need to help each other if we are going to grow.

“Along with UN Women, I am issuing a call to action for countries, companies and institutions globally to step-up and become champions for paid parental leave. In 2013, provisions for parental leave were in only 66 countries out of 190 UN member states. I look forward to beginning with the UN itself which has not yet achieved parity and who’s paid parental leave policies are currently up for review. Let us lead by example in creating a world in which women and men are not economically punished for wanting to be parents.”

To read her full speech, click here.


Stars Celebrate SKECHERS Pier To Pier Friendship Walk

Mar 08, 2017 12:30 pm
The SKECHERS Foundation celebrated its eighth annual SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk with a check presentation ceremony on Thursday, March 2 at the Shade Hotel in Redondo Beach, California.

Brooke Burke-Charvet, Skechers President Michael Greenberg and Denise Austin at the 2017 SKECHERS Friendship Walk Check Presentation
Brooke Burke-Charvet, Skechers President Michael Greenberg and Denise Austin at the 2017 SKECHERS Friendship Walk Check Presentation

The Foundation presented $914,000 to six education foundations and $434,000 to The Friendship Foundation – a non-profit organization that assists children with special needs and their families. The SKECHERS Foundation also announced that it plans to expand its scholarship program four-fold in 2017, awarding $100,000 to high school students in need nationwide.

“We’re thrilled to see how much the SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk has grown in its eight years – from a passionate local movement of 1,000 that raised $220,000 in 2008, to more than 12,000 people rallying to raise a record $1.6 million for children with special needs and education,” said SKECHERS President Michael Greenberg. “It has been an incredible experience to see the life-changing opportunities that the Walk has created for children – and with the national expansion of our scholarship program, we can make an even greater impact on future generations.”

The SKECHERS Foundation will donate $1,000 to $5,000 scholarships to deserving students, who will be chosen based on financial need, academic performance, athletic abilities and leadership qualities. Administering the program is Scholarship America – the largest designer and manager of scholarships, tuition assistance and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals in the nation. The application is currently available to all high school seniors on Winners will be announced in early June.

Attendees at the 2016 SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk included Brooke Burke-Charvet, Sugar Ray Leonard, Denise Austin, and dozens of other celebrities.
“The SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk has become an annual tradition for me and my family,” said Brooke Burke-Charvet, SKECHERS ambassador and SKECHERS Foundation check presenter. “The event brings together all walks of life and is a powerful testament to what we can do when united in purpose. It’s an honor to give back to so many deserving children.”

Now California’s largest charity event supporting children with special needs and education, the SKECHERS Friendship Walk has united over 54,000 participants since its inception and has raised over $7 million to support The Friendship Foundation – as well as educational foundations that are committed to bettering the school system by saving jobs of teachers, retaining vital academic programs, maintaining smaller class sizes, improving libraries and upgrading school technology. The Walk is an extension of the SKECHERS Foundation, an organization founded to provide families around the world with the necessities and skills to succeed in life.

Numerous corporate sponsors are vital to the success of the SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk, including Nickelodeon, NBC4, Wells Fargo, Steel Sports, Vertra, The Claudette and Ethan Rickett Care Foundation, Ross,, Mattel, Body Glove, Kids Foot Locker, United Legwear, JAKKS Pacific, Marshalls, Cushman & Wakefield, Caskey & Caskey, Siltanen & Partners Advertising, Continental Development, Northrop Grumman, Equinox, Chevron, and a myriad of other companies who have shown their support to the organization.


Eli Manning Named Celebrity Guest For 2017 FedExFamilyHouse Gala

Mar 08, 2017 11:00 am

Eli Manning: Profile

NFL Quarterback Eli Manning will join Gala guests at the 2017 FedExFamilyHouse Gala on Sat., April 8, at the Peabody Hotel.

As starting quarterback of the New York Giants, Eli Manning has led his team to two Super Bowl championships while winning Super Bowl MVP honors each time. Part of an exceptional football family, Manning carries the torch honoring their great quarterback legacy and has established himself as a strong team leader and a fan favorite.

Chris and Debby Wallace will serve as honorary chairs. Wallace joined the Memphis Grizzlies as general manager and vice president of basketball operations in June 2007. A familiar face in the community, Wallace has been a stable presence throughout the team’s successful run of six consecutive playoff appearances. Debby is a community philanthropist and long-time volunteer who enjoys spending time advocating for FedExFamilyHouse.

Tony and Desiree Allen will serve as Late Night Lounge Honorary Chairs. Allen is currently in his 13th season in the NBA and has been with the Memphis Grizzlies since 2010. Since joining the Grizzlies, Allen has been an anchor for the city both on the court and volunteering in the community. Desiree recently opened an event planning business and is in the process of starting a nonprofit organization for victims of domestic violence.

Mark your calendars. Gather your friends. Celebrate the success that helped create and keep the doors open for families in need. FedExFamilyHouse is a home-away-from-home for families of children receiving treatment at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, call Le Bonheur Foundation at 901.516.0534.

To learn more about the 2017 event, visit

FedExFamilyHouse is a home-away-from-home for families of children receiving treatment at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Consisting of 24 suites and a variety of comfortable common areas, FedExFamilyHouse is provided at no cost to families. It is a Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certified facility.

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.