Womankind 35th Anniversary Benefit Gala

Article by Alice Chin
Photo by Lucas Huang

AsianInNY recently attended Womankind‘s 35th Anniversary Benefit Gala at the Intrepid in Manhattan. The organization, formerly known as New York Asian Women’s Center, works with survivors of gender-based violence to rise above trauma and build a path to healing. They provide services to survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual violence. It was their first gala under its new face Womankind, and the Intrepid was a dramatic venue to host the gala.

Karen Elizaga, Chair of the Board of Directors and Executive Director, Larry Lee’s spoke about their goals and programs. Guest Speaker Brittany D’Sa, a survivor featured in “Rise Above”, spoke about her journey and the help she received at Womankind.

Loida Nicolas Lewis was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. During her speech, she talked about her 3 Secrets of Success: Goal Setting, Obedience and Code of Ethics, and Determination. Mrs. Lewis was the first Filipino woman to pass the New York bar without attending law school in the United States. She set the goal to pass the bar in one attempt because she didn’t want to leave her daughter more than once to take the exam.

Her code of ethics and determination was also integral when her husband, Reginald F. Lewis, passed away from brain cancer 6 months after his diagnosis. Mr. Reginald Lewis, a Wall Street Financier, was the 1st African American to create a billion dollar company, TLC Beatrice International. After his untimely death, Mrs. Lewis served as Chair and CEO of the company with success, but always put her children first, before work.

With the help of special guest auctioneer, CK Swett, Womankind raised over $500,000 from the live auction, silent auction, and other donations. I was happy to see the support Womankind has received so that it can continue to develop its important programming. To learn more about Womankind and their services, please visit iamwomankind.org.

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