Friday, June 5, 2009
Women helping women. It isn’t a hard concept to grasp, but more often than not women are portrayed as being catty and malicious towards one another, especially in the entertainment business. Not so today at the Step Up Women’s Network 6th Annual Inspiration Awards, held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, where women came out to support and to celebrate the lives and achievements of other women. The Step Up Women’s Network is a national, nonprofit membership organization that connects professional women with less fortunate teen girls who are looking for a mentor.
Today’s honorees included “Desperate Housewives” star Marcia Cross, who was being awarded by National Hall of Fame swimmer Diana Nyad, President of The Container Store Melissa Reiff who was receiving her accolade from one of the former hosts of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” Constance Ramos, and Lisa Ling, who was procuring her distinction by the one and only Larry King. Marcia was a little bit nervous, but was elated to have her mentor in the audience for support. As far as her own twin daughters go, she is happy to be finger painting with them this summer and aspires for them to have “a strong voice and speak up for themselves” as they mature.
Lisa Ling (with her adorable and no doubt supportive Mom in tow) put on a brave face for the cameras, but let me in on the harrowing details of her life right now, especially concerning the captivity of her best friend and journalist sister, Laura, and fellow journalist Euna Lee in communist North Korea. Both Laura Ling and Euna Lee were on assignment reporting about the trafficking of women along the China/North Korea border and were taken into custody by the North Korean military for committing “hostile acts.” Unfortunately, they are being put through a trial right now and have had little contact with their friends and family back here in the States, which has taken an immense emotional toll on the Ling family. So does this affect Lisa’s desire to go out in the field and give a voice to the stories that she is so passionate about? She emphatically stated, “This makes me want to be a better journalist, a better person, and to try to open people’s eyes to things that are happening in the world.” Any who were Lisa’s female mentors? Her mother, current boss Oprah, and Connie Chung. Click here to sign the petition urging the North Korean government to release these 2 ladies from their present confinement.
Many of the females in attendance shared and reinforced the importance of women empowering and supporting other women, including Aisha Tyler who has a new comedy driven talk show coming out on NBC, Lesley Ann Warren one of the stars of “In Plain Sight”, Katelyn Pippy from “Army Wives,” actress Elizabeth Rohm, former “Dancing With the Stars” runner up Stacy Keibler, maternity clothing designer Liz Lange, and a Catherine Malandrino clad Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon who included her eldest son in today’s festivities. As for summer plans, I think Garcelle summed it up nicely when she expressed that she hoped her dog days would include, “Fun, bathing suits, and a mojito!” Me too!