WASHINGTON, March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Last night at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 1,200 honored guests gathered at the 15th Annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards to celebrate four extraordinary women, each taking on the most urgent issues facing their communities and showing exceptional leadership in an insecure world.
The honorees, Hafsat Abiola-Costello of Nigeria, Akanksha Hazari of India, Khanim Latif of Iraq and Yoani Sanchez of Cuba – all offered remarks on how the global community can continue to innovate and build a brighter, inclusive future for all.
This landmark 15th anniversary event was held on the heels of International Women's Day and included a congratulatory statement from Vital Voices founder, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, read by Vital Voices co-founder Ambassador Melanne Verveer.
"Tonight I celebrate this year's awardees from afar," said Clinton. "Khanim's courage in the face of extremism is an inspiration for women everywhere. Hafsat's vision for women's leadership and democracy in Africa has the power to bring people together and make real change. Akanksha is proving that purpose-driven businesses can help us overcome inequality by offering equal opportunity to thousands. And Yoani is using her voice to give voice to countless others who share her dream of a free society. Each woman on her own is a herald of progress and an extraordinary inspiration; together their leadership is forging the way forward for a world in which all people can fulfill their God-given potential."
The program also featured appearances by designer Diane von Furstenberg, journalist Tina Brown, Theranos Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Holmes, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman and others.
Alyse Nelson, president and Chief Executive Officer of Vital Voices, made the following remarks about the honorees:
"It's never been more critical to support leaders who scale sustainable solutions, who foster resilience and use their platform to uplift others. Vital Voices invests in these leaders, in their proven ability to improve the world around them."
This year, Procter and Gamble was proud partner of the "Rising Voices" initiative, which engages the next generation of women leaders around the world through mentoring, communications skills and leadership training.
Photos available upon request.
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SOURCE Vital Voices Global Partnership