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50/50 Day is a free day and global initiative for people to engage in conversation about working towards a more gender-balanced world in all sectors of society: business, politics, culture, home, and more. The first 50/50 Day was May 10, 2017 which had over 11,000 events in 146 countries. Participating groups viewed the twenty minute film, 50/50: Rethinking the Past, Present, and Future of Women in Power, which explores the 10,000 year history of women + power — from setbacks and uprisings, to the bigger context of where we are today. Participants were also given free printed discussion materials catered to different ages, and joined an online global Q&A conversation featuring 24 speakers including The Honorable Joyce Banda (Former President of Malawi), Margaret Cho (Actress and Comedian), The Honorable Vigdis Finnbogadóttir (Former President of Iceland), and Eva Longoria (Actress and Activist). The next 50/50 Day will be on April 26, 2018. 50/50 Day’s model was based off an annual global day called Character Day.
50/50 Day was co-created in 2017 by Tiffany Shlain, the co-founder of the non-profit Let it Ripple: Mobile Films for Global Change, founder of the Webby Awards, and the co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, along with Sawyer Steele and Julie Hermelin. 50/50 Day uses the short film, 50/50: The Past Present & Future of Women + Power, which explores the 10,000-year history of women and power, as a starting point for a day-long internet-linked question and answer session with a number of women and men with achievements in their professions and philanthropic work which relate to the topic. Shlain and Let it Ripple produced 50/50 Day, and invited companies, museums, schools, organizations, and homes around the world to screen the film, and then open discussions via a simultaneous online video conversation.
50/50 Day is an annual event.
On May 10, 2017, the first 50/50 Day had over 11,000 events happening in all 50 states and 147 countries. In addition, the event launched an animated billboard in Times Square in New York, New York which was made possible in partnership with the media company Refinery29 and the advocacy organization NARAL Pro-Choice America; an art installation in Oakland made through a partnership with Six-Word Memoirs, Intentional Creativity Guild & Big Picture Arts; and Philadelphia declared May 10 50/50 Day.
Among the lineup of speakers at 50/50 Day were Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi; Jennifer Finney Boylan, best-selling author, Co-Chair of Board of Directors, GLAAD; Araceli Campos, President, City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women; Margaret Cho, activist and comedian; Ava DuVernay, writer, producer, director and Independent Film distributor; Vigdis Finnbogadóttir, former President of Iceland; Dolores Huerta, activist and Union Leader; and Eva Longoria, actress, philanthropist, founder of The Eva Longoria Foundation.
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