The Women’s Conference…initial peek…

Before I hit the hay I thought I’d share a few quick peeks from today’s glorious women’s conference in Long Beach, CA, and a few quotes I jotted down from a couple of memorable speakers…these few photos are just crappy cell phone shots so the real (and long lens) camera photos will come up in a few days after I go through the old fashioned develop/scan phase. Definitely an experience never to be forgotten. Definitely the inspiration I needed.

A few great moments and quotes from today that come to mind…

* Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues) getting women on their feet inspired to love their inner girl and follow their instincts * Learning that in Norway, it is the LAW that half of every company’s board of directors must be female * Cheryl Saban (Womanomics) – “none of us can afford to be muzzled” * Learning that in the US military, one out of three women serving have been raped by one of their military colleagues * Somaly Mam, former Cambodian sex slave, losing her words in her amazement at the love we all showed her. “Raw courage can transcend a world of cruelty.” * Madeleine Albright repeating her famous quote of “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women” * Robin Roberts, in urging us to take risks: “If you’re going to wait for fear to subside, you’re going to wait a very long time” * How utterly freaking cool David Gregory is * Katie Couric coming on stage to tell her story and kicking it off with “I love the smell of estrogen in the afternoon” * Almost losing the courage to approach my idol, Annie Leibowitz, and being supported by great women I met to not only have her autograph my book but also to have my photo taken getting it and telling her how much she inspired me as a photographer. She was amazed that I’d had her original hardback of “Women” with Susan Sontag since 1999 and was SO sweet to me. Yes, I started tearing up when I spoke to her and wanted to call my mommy after. * The amazing discussion of grief and loss with Maria Shriver, Lisa Niemi Swayze, Susan St James, and Elizabeth Edwards, all who have lost a spouse or child or parent over time. Lisa was a last minute addition after Kelly Preston pulled out at the last minute – wow. We were all a soppy mess of tears and emotion. * Jane Goodall teaching us all how to make chimpanzee noises. * Confiding a life changing personal experience of my own to Eve Ensler and deciding at the last minute that a friend and her daughter deserve a certain gift of hers even more. I wanted to hug her. I’m not that bold, but I did tell her her performance was like church to me. * Elizabeth Edwards, who lost a teenage son years ago, is battling breast cancer, and has had to deal with a (not mentioned at the conference) former candidate husband’s affair – “I’m going to choose how I go on”. * Maria Shriver describing how, the day after her mother’s death, she walked into the ocean fully dressed for the first time, something her mom used to do * The winners of the Minerva Awards, whose stories put me to tears while driving inspiration deep into my heart. * Alicia Keys discussion of her fight to help children dying of HIV/AIDS and closing out the show on the piano singing “Superwoman”


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