The White House Project
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|Headquarters||New York City|
|Board of Directors|
The White House Project was an American non-profit organization, which worked to increase female representation in American institutions, businesses and government. Its main programs focused on leadership and campaign training for women, and the portrayal of female leadership in the media.
The White House Project was founded in 1998 by Marie C. Wilson. It was headquartered in New York City and has regional offices in Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan, and Georgia. The organization closed in 2013 due to difficult economic times.
- 1 Vote, Run, Lead
- 2 Corporate Council
- 3 The White House Project Report: Benchmarking Women's Leadership
- 4 Barbie's candidacy endorsement
- 5 EPIC Awards
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Vote, Run, Lead
Vote, Run, Lead was a program of The White House Project designed to engage women in the political process as voters, activists, and candidates through training, inspiration, and networking. The training, which included communications, fundraising, and campaigning, aimed to demystify the political process and inspire women to be leaders. The White House Project offered a variety of ways for women to get involved with the program through voter education and registration, community forums and events, political leadership trainings, issue briefings, networking events, and movie screenings.
Several day-long training "boot camps" gave women in-depth knowledge on specific areas. Debate Boot Camp helped women expertly discuss and defend issues. Security Boot Camp taught material related to National Security. Fund raising Boot Camp helped women create financial plans. Strategy Boot Camp prepared women to contact voters and have a field plan.
Founded in 2006, The White House Project’s Corporate Council's purpose was to engage senior businesswomen with government policy issues, private philanthropy, academia, and business, and to facilitate engagement between senior businesswomen in the private and public sectors. Members of the Council were corporate women who were active agents of change within their corporations, and who occupied, or had access to, their executive suite.
In November 2009, TWHP's Corporate Council released Benchmarking Women's Leadership: A Report Card on the Leadership Gap in America. This report was commissioned by the Council to document and highlight the relative lack of women in senior leadership roles across a number of sectors. Throughout the year, Council members participated in series of meetings focused on leadership development, and dialogue with senior members of the media, politicians and activists about a range of timely and engaging topics. Corporate Council Members included Bank of America, Barbie, Best Buy, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and HBO.
The White House Project Report: Benchmarking Women's Leadership
Benchmarking Women's Leadership examined ten sectors across American culture (politics, business, law, sports, academia, journalism, religion, film/TV, nonprofit, and military) and offered possible solutions from experts in each sector on how to advance women's leadership to get to a critical mass.
Barbie's candidacy endorsement
On Thursday 5 April, Dufu and The White House Project honored leading women at the 10th anniversary of the EPIC (Enhancing Perception in Culture) Awards, where Barbie made her big announcement and unveiled a new Tumblr page.
The Barbie "I can be... President" will be distributed by Mattel in order to involve women in politics. “Barbie is the most powerful brand for girls, and to create any social change you need to find them where they are,” says Tiffany Dufu, president of The White House Project. She hopes that Presidential Barbie will contribute to shift cultural consciousness.
The White House Project created the EPIC (Enhancing Perceptions in Culture) Awards to honor innovators who brought positive images of women’s leadership to the American public. Each April, over 400 prominent business, civic, political and entertainment leaders gathered in New York City to celebrate their accomplishments in advancing women's leadership.
On April 7, 2011, The White House Project hosted the 9th annual EPIC Awards. The event honored six people who were advocates of women's leadership in popular culture and media. Marie C. Wilson, the Founder and President Emeritus of The White House Project, received the Impact Award for being the founder of both The White House Project and Take Your Daughter to Work Day. Gabi Wilson, a teenage singer and a musician, received the Barbie "I Can Be" Award for being a young female role model. Recipients of the EPIC award, which honors members of the media who are helping to shape the perception of female leaders, included Duane Baughman, director and producer of Bhutto, a film about the life of Benazir Bhutto; Doug Liman and John Schreiber, who respectively directed and produced Fair Game, a film which told the story of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent whose title is leaked after her husband wrote an op-ed opposing the Iraq war, consequentially causing her to lose her job; Ben Hauser, the senior producer of ESPN E:60, and Chelsea Baker, who worked together to create "The Chelsea Baker Story —A League of Her Own", which told the story of Chelsea, the best little league pitcher in the nation; and Dee Rees, who wrote and produced Pariah, a film about a young lesbian searching for her identity.
On April 7, 2010, The White House Project hosted the annual EPIC Awards at the IAC Building in New York City. The goal of the evening was to celebrate and honor women's leadership in both media and popular culture. The main event was hosted by the hilarious Megan Mullally. Special guests included Meryl Streep—who presented the Global Trailblazer Award which honored the 2010 film, Yes, Madam. Sir , as well as Jill Scott, Sheryl WuDunn, Kiran Bedi, Megan Doneman and Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.-- who presented the Beacon Award, honoring Sheryl WuDunn, co-author of the novel, Half The Sky. Ally Woodard became the youngest ever EPIC Award winner, as the 9 year old received Barbie's inaugural "I Can Be" award, recognizing her efforts as a global ambassador for children's rights. The After Party was hosted by Kerry Washington.
On March 30, 2009, the EPIC awards were held at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City. The awards were hosted by Soledad O’Brien, CNN anchor and special correspondent. Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Chief Judge Kaye, who is now retired, was the first woman ever to serve this position. She is also a noted advocate of court reforms, and she helped to create the Center for Court Innovation, a think tank organization that conducts judiciary research. Maria Teresa Petersen and Rosario Dawson, founders of Vote Latino, were honored for helping to promote political participation amongst Latinas. The Lifetime Network’s Every Woman Counts Campaign was honored for encouraging women to become involved in politics. Special guests included Beth Brooke, Global Vice Chair of Public Policy, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement at Ernst & Young and a Board Member of The White House Project; New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; Lilly Ledbetter, a leading advocate of equal pay for women and the inspiration of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009; and Geena Davis, Academy Award Winning Actress and Founder of See Jane, the programming arm of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media that aims to increase the visibility of positive male and female role models in children television shows and films.
On April 17, The 2008 EPIC Awards celebrated the 10th anniversary of The White House Project. The "Circle of 10" women, who were cited as embodying women’s leadership with philanthropic, personal, and professional endeavors, were honored, including: Barbara Bridges, Anne Delaney, Barbara Dobkin, Julie Gilbert, Mellody Hobson, Helen LaKelly Hunt, Swanee Hunt, Deborah Slaner Larkin, Linda Riefler, and J. Christine Wilson.
The 2007 honoree was Jean King, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award; Sheila Nevins, President of HBO Documentary Films. She was recognized for conceiving of the EPIC Awards; Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck were honored for “Shut Up & Sing” and KeKe Palmer and Nancy Hult Ganis received an award for their contribution to the production of "Akeelah and the Bee." Geena Davis and Liz Smith were among the presenters, and Indra K. Nooyi, President and CEO of PepsiCo delivered keynote remarks on the theme of the evening, "Add Women, Change History."
EPIC Awards were presented to culture changers who brought images of women’s leadership to a global audience in 2007: Abigail E. Disney, Leymah Gbowee and Gini Reticker for the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell; Marjane Satrapi and Kathleen Kennedy for the film Persepolis; and Glamour magazine for its body of work, including the book In Search of Hope: The Global Diaries of Mariane Pearl. Special guests participating in the event included Carla Harris and Diane Von Furstenberg.
The 2006 honorees included Academy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress Geena Davis for her portrayal of President Mackenzie Allen on ABC’s Commander In Chief; Rod Lurie for creating this television program; Participant Productions, producers of the critically acclaimed film North Country with Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron; and three corporate leaders: Carolyn Buck-Luce of Ernst & Young, Joann Heffernan Heisen of Johnson & Johnson and Deborah Elam of General Electric.
The 2005 honorees included Hearst Magazine for their 2004 Election Year articles; CHISHOLM '72 - Unbought & Unbossed; Oscar winner Born Into Brothels, directed by Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman; and TV's The West Wing.
The 2003 honorees included many different areas of popular culture that normalized women leadership. The films Bend It Like Beckham, Blue Vinyl, Frida, The Powerpuff Girls Movie, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Real Women Have Curves, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, and Whale Rider all received EPIC Awards. Commercials from MasterCard International and McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, Reebok International Ltd. and Berlin Cameron Red Cell and the Girls Scouts and Kaplan Thaler Group all received Advertising awards. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charms for the Easy Life, Damaged Care, Homeless to Harvard, and The Division received the film and television EPIC awards. The EPIC Awards also presented an award to Julie Foudy, the Captain of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team. Eve Ensler performed at the event.
The 2002 EPIC Awards, in its inaugural year, honored those who presented positive images of women leaders in pop culture venues. Dr. Renee Poussaint and Camille Cosby from the National Visionary Leadership Project were honored for a series of interviews on the power of African-American women leaders. Geraldine Laybourne and Ted Nelson of Oxygen Media and Mullen Advertising were honored for an advertising campaign that challenges stereotypical concepts of femininity. Walter Anderson from Parade Magazine was honored for introducing Parade's readers to women with the credentials to serve as President of the United States. Actress Jenifer Lewis and executive producer Tammy Ader accepted an award on behalf of Lifetime Television's show Strong Medicine that features strong women doctors battling for their patients' lives. Val Ackerman, from Women's National Basketball Associated, was given an award for showcasing top women athletes as persistent, tough, and effective. Guests also paid tribute to Geraldine Ferraro for her historic bid for the Vice Presidency in 1984. Melissa Etheridge performed at the event.
- Franke-Ruta, Garance (January 28, 2013). "The White House Project Shutters Its Doors" (Web). The Atlantic.
- Murray, Rheana (April 5, 2012). "Barbie running for President! New doll comes with pink power suit designed by Chris Benz". Ney York Daily News. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
- Goudreau, Jenna (April 4, 2012). "Serial Career Changer Barbie Now Running For President". Forbes. Retrieved April 10, 2012.