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The White House Project’s 2011 EPIC awards

12 Apr

EPIC AWARDS 2011

The White House Project’s 2011 EPIC awards were held in the IAC building in New York City on April 7 2011. RBRW had the privilege of attending such a prestigious and inspirational event with access to the Red Carpet, the Awards Ceremony and the After Party.  The EPIC Awards is an event that brings together a diverse cross section of people inclusive of activists, philanthropists, and television and film stars for an occasion that celebrates and honors significant women who have contributed to the development of advancing women’s leadership in all communities and sectors – up to the U.S. presidency through media and popular culture.

Prominent stars in attendance were Anna Sophia Robb from the new movie ‘Soul Surfer’ and Academy Award Winner and White House Project Board member, Geena Davis who began the Awards evening acknowledging the mission of the White House Project: ‘to empower women in leadership’ and embraced new President of the White House Project: Tiffany Dufu. Other supporters of the event included Project runway super model and entrepreneur Carmilla Barungi; Loreen Arbus, producer, philanthropist and activist –who was also the first woman to head up programming for a TV Network in the U.S.; and Gloria Steinem, feminist author and activist.

Dufu made her mark as new President in a speech where she made it quite clear that her “life work is to advance women and girls.” She also presented former White House Project President and Founder Marie C. Wilson with an award honoring her legacy in contributing to the progression of empowerment, gender equality and leadership for countless women across America.  Wilson accepted her award graciously and with humility thanking her family for their support in her efforts to establish and grow such an amazing organization. She also expressed her excitement and faith in new President Tiffany Dufu and her vision to further the work of the White House Project.

The EPIC awards also acknowledged the talents and positive influences of male directors and producers of films highlighting the efforts of significant girls and women who have contributed both nationally and internationally in their roles of leadership. These included: Duane Baughman, Director and Producer of the acclaimed film Bhutto; Doug Liman, acclaimed Film Director of the movie Fair Game and Executive Producer of Covert Affairs; Ben Houser, Senior Producer, ESPN’s E:60 and The Chelsea Baker Story — A League of Her Own and Chelsea Baker, Plant City Little League; and Dee Rees, Writer and Producer, Pariah.

Those in attendance were privy to inspirational speeches from a variety of women ranging from young teens such as singer and musician Gabi Wilson and Chelsea Baker to women such as Lisa Cortes, Executive Producer of the movie Precious and hit series Covert Affairs star Kari Matchett who also hosted the After Party.

The talented Gabi Wilson accepted Barbie’s ‘I Can Be’ Award and had the audience spellbound as she concluded the evening with her rendition of Beyonce’s ‘If I were a Boy’ in honor of Marie C. Wilson.

For more information about the White House Project and the EPIC Awards visit their website at www.whitehouseproject.org and stay tuned towww.rbrw.org where RBRW television will give you a detailed account and coverage of this inspirational event.

 

{Exclusive} An Intimate interview with Marie Wilson, former President & Founder of The White House Project and new President Tiffany Dufu

2 Apr

After 13 years, the reins have been handed over at the White House
Project and Tiffany Dufu could not be more perfect for the position.
Marie Wilson, former President and Founder of The White House Project
and new President Tiffany Dufu sat down with RBRW’s Jacquelyn Aluotto
for an exclusive interview covering important issues from the very
beginnings of what is a most extraordinary organization, the change
over in leadership and the
future direction of the White House Project.

 

Jacquelyn speaking with Marie and Tiffany

 

 

Dufu and Wilson really have a special union. This is evident in their
interaction with each other. Meeting through a mutual friend who was
mentor to Dufu and one of Wilson’s oldest friends – Wilson knew that
she wanted Dufu on board right away and admitted to worrying about
losing such talent: ‘when your friends send you somebody it is usually
someone who you’re going to like…I was completely awed right away’.

 

 

Current White House Project President Tiffany Dufu

Whenever Dufu is asked the question; ‘How did Marie find you?’ Her
response is simple: “Marie Wilson had her eyes open… Marie has a gift
to see beyond [physical attributes] and see you as a viable leader. She can see your
skills and your qualities before you see them yourself.” Dufu has no
qualms in speaking about Wilson with admiration for her integrity,
honor and vision, although the feelings appear to be mutual.  Wilson
added, “This is the heart of what this organization is all about – to
see people. When somebody sees you – you think better.”

 

The White House Project is an organization that essentially enhances
public perception of leadership in the areas of politics and business.
It has changed how women’s leadership in America is talked about by thinking
outside the box and using popular culture, media and research to reach
countless Americans all across the country. 

 

RBRW will be covering the White House Projects  9th Annual  EPIC Awards – April 7th in New  York  which honors Outstanding Efforts to Promote Images of Powerful Women in Pop Culture.

At this event Marie Wilson’s legacy will be honored.

Stay tuned and view our exclusive interview with Founder and former
President Marie Wilson and new President Tiffany Dufu.

 

 

 

 

written by Francis Bobongie

 

The White House Project:

The White House Project is a non-profit organization which aims to advance women’s leadership in all communities and sectors—up to the U.S. presidency—by filling the leadership pipeline with a richly diverse, critical mass of women.

For more information about the White House Project visit
their website at www.thewhitehouseproject.org

 

Footnote: More Pictures from this exclusive interview can be seen on Facebook.com/RBRW.org check out the link http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=38023&id=137995686238191&l=b38869b0f1

Follow us on Twitter.com/RBRW

“God Save the Queens” Hat workshop | ‘Women’s History Month’ Event

16 Mar

A word from RBRW Team Member Fran

Francis Bobongie

I had never even heard of Paterson and certainly didn’t realize its place in history; and before you think I am entirely ignorant – I am from Australia, and Paterson New Jersey had never rated highly or had even made my list of places to visit here in the United States.  There are some treasures to be found in Paterson and I had the pleasure of visiting these over the course of two days.

Right now if you were to visit Paterson you would spend a lot of time held up in traffic. It is however, well worth the wait! With all the recent rain the ‘Great Falls’ that I had no idea even existed, right here on the East Coast have transformed into an amazing torrent of water cascading down all part of the Passaic River below. The sound and the beauty of the water, with the mist combined makes for an awesome experience that just tantalizes the senses. The warm weather has allowed for perfect conditions, and in just the right light, very prominent rainbows add to the picture perfect scene. People have been visiting from near and far with the odd helicopter zoning in to get a closer look.

Just on the next block on Market Street, is the Paterson Museum. This truly is one of the most exciting places I have ever been to. As you walk through the most amazing wooden doors I have ever seen, the transformed warehouse is host to some of the most ‘well preserved artifacts’ according to a visitor I met from Weehawken. There is a plethora of information available on a myriad of firsts. Did you know? Paterson was the first planned industrial city in America; John P Holland built and tested the first submarine in Paterson; and known as the Ryan NYP, the first engine that flew a plane from New York to Paris non-stop was built there. These are only the things that I can remember off the top of my head! My visit had me on information overload. At its height Paterson was an amazing and thriving industrial city.

It was here that I also met Mohamed Kahalil. He is the first African American artist from Paterson to have artwork displayed in the White House and the first Arab Egyptian Muslim to have designed the Christmas ornament for the First Lady Laura Bush. It is only fitting that he should work in Paterson at the Museum and joins all the other ‘firsts’ that are there too.

You can find Mohamed at the Museum working on a collection of pieces that will eventually be displayed in glass cases in front of prominent buildings in Paterson. These pieces stand tall and each one is different in its own right, however his signature symbol is very prominent: An eye with a spot in it reflects one of Mohamed’s own eyes that has a freckle.  In one way or another you can find this signature trademark on all of his designs. His artwork uses everyday materials that are recycled and reused in one way or another. He has the creativity and vision to see in something as simple as a glass bottle, a piece of wood or a rusty nail; something that can potentially look amazing. He divides his time between the Library and the Museum with his artwork displayed in both places along with a number of venues in both New Jersey and New York.

The RBRW team had the pleasure of attending “God Save the Queens” Hat workshop organized by curator Cristina Deutsch by Paterson Free Public Library and in line with ‘Women’s History Month’. This workshop looked at the significance of the church hat in the African American culture. The women were privy to an engaging talk, highlighting the transformation of the ‘church hat’ throughout history and its importance in making women look beautiful and feel special for one day of the week.

Women who attended the workshop were able to make their own hats from an assortment of donated materials and the opportunity to afterwards have a makeover using Mary Kay makeup products. There were hats with flowing tulle, flowers, feathers and shells. The creativity was brilliant and the women not only had fun socializing but also learnt a little historical information and were able to produce a final product that they could be proud of and take home. The workshop coordinators were supportive, helpful and encouraging and made these women feel good about themselves and with their efforts. Following the workshop, the women were ready to pose for photos and talk about their designs when interviewed.

To transform something is to make a “marked change, in appearance or character and usually for the better.” My visit to Paterson showed me just that – a transformation: in nature, people and just within the city in general. Whether transformation occurs simplistically or in its complexity the process is certainly evident in Paterson and is exciting.

Waterfalls, art and hats, seem like an unlikely way to highlight transformation.  However, this whole idea of transformation resonates well with me and what RBRW is all about. Our non-profit organization helps with a holistic healing process of making over battered women from the inside out. It’s amazing how something as simple as a makeover in every sense of the word, can see reach through the complexities of the soul and transform a person: discovering inner beauty and radiating it outwards.

A WORLD THAT HAS LOST HUMANITY IS A WORLD AT WAR— International Women’s Day Message from RBRW Creator Jacquelyn Aluotto

8 Mar

Happy International Women’s Day:
This is a very personal and honest blog for me. People always ask me why I make documentaries on the issues I do and where my passion comes from. I never really answer all the aspects of that question. I always say because I want to make a difference in the world and help people. Help people break the cycle of abuse, violence, poverty, ignorance etc… All of this is true but the reason behind that is as a young girl I watched my young Mom never really love herself and see how wonderful she is because she was abused. I watch my Mom now and sometimes I get frustrated as to how she doesn’t know what a kind and special, beautiful person she is. My Mom has endured so much and she could have been a bitter hateful woman but instead she is so compassionate. She is just only hard on herself.  She is her worst enemy. As a daughter of course this has always hurt me because I love my mom so much and her happiness is important to me. I have always wondered if people were not abused what they would turn out to be. Or if abused victims had received the proper help, care, and counseling how they could become empowered.

I have learnt through my films and my life with my family and being an activist that helping is healing. Well at least it is for me and so many others. I have learnt, seen, and felt; that in the shelters and safe havens that I film in that if you give victims the proper care, tools, counseling, and support people will become empowered and free. Free from a mind that they deserve nothing and cannot escape a past that haunts them: that there is so much more of the world for them. That love really does exist and being beaten on emotionally and physically amongst other things is not love and not their fault: that they and we all deserve as human not to exist but to live.  To thrive, laugh, cry, and cherish life because it is a gift. We are all a gift.
I have learnt that I feel comfortable in shelters with these women and children. I admire that they are trying to survive in a world that for some reason is afraid of the power they posses and has done everything to strip them of it and yet they are still here and still trying.  They are still strong, beautiful, and powerful. I sit in awe and want to cry sometimes when the children and teens talk about being raped and beaten. That a 10 year old little girl can become a drug addict to numb herself because she was being prostituted out since she was four years old. But yet she will give me a picture she has colored because she wants me to have a gift. After all they have been through they still have so much love in them. It amazes me. It is my inspiration and I hope it always is.  What seems to be the worst for these victims is no one believes them or validates what has happened to them except these Safe Havens. Shelters and Safe Havens are crucial to our existence. I think what has happened to this world is pure INSANITY. Civilization happened a long time ago so why are we still acting like savages. One reason is no one does validate breaking a cycle so it will stop from the next generation. Instead we have perpetuated one.
 I have learned of filming, volunteering and being in shelters and safe havens for ten years. We can all break the cycle of violence, abuse, ignorance, rape etc. It is not easy but with love, support and the proper tools it is happening all over the world and it is beautiful. It inspires me every day. It is what keeps me going as a human activist to evoke change. To demand it. Humanity is the most important thing in this world. Without it we will not survive.

 
I ask everyone not just women because the men in my life are amazing and show me love every day. Give love and compassion to one another. Love is the greatest gift we can give to each other and ourselves. In this world we value things over people. It is so sad and we are cheating ourselves. My fiancés does not have a lot of money but the love he shows me is priceless and I would not give that up for all the money in the world. When you have unconditional love it restores your soul. My wish is that we can all find that love for each other and ourselves. Helping is healing and that passion in me is my prayer every day. I hope more and more people join me on this journey.

A WORLD THAT HAS LOST HUMANITY IS A WORLD AT WAR -Jacquelyn Aluotto

International Women’s Day Message from RBRW

8 Mar

“When women thrive, all of society benefits, and succeeding generations are given a better start in life,” by Kofi Annan. Seventh secretary-general of the United Nations, 2001 Nobel Peace Prize Today is the launch of our new RBRW website and it coincides with quite a significant day. 100 Years ago, March 19, 1911, marked the first ever International Women’s Day. It was initiated by Claire Zetkin as a result of the second International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen with prominent Women leaders of the time. In 1913, the date was changed to March 8 and ever since Women across the world have been celebrating and embracing the advancements of women within society and their contributions to the world; making it a more livable, and more opportunistic place to be.
Today there will be high-profile women honored for their commitment, talents and contributions to different causes socially and internationally. Amongst women awarded will also be regular women too. Some women possibly will go about today and have no idea that International Women’s Day exists or is even happening; multi tasking family commitments and/or work…just another day. Unfortunately there will also be women who today are just trying to survive for whatever reason and make ends meet. This diverse group is the reality that makes up the ‘WOMEN’ of our world.
International Women’s Day should be a day where every woman across the world is celebrated for who they are and what they do no matter how big or how small their contribution or its impact on the world. The work you do as a woman to make your immediate place a better place to live needs to be acknowledged. For all women in the world, wherever you are, and whatever you are doing today on this the 100th International Women’s Day, please know this: You are valuable and appreciated by someone and your efforts have not gone unnoticed! Take pride in who you are and what you do. Happy International Women’s Day.

Facts:
·         On 19 September 1893 New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote.·         During International Women’s Year in 1975, IWD was given official recognition by the United Nations and was taken up by many governments.

 ·         International Women’s Day is marked by a national holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

A Blast from the past | WEEN Awards Sept 2010

13 Dec

Check out this article that our host Jacqui Phillps did for the 2010 WEEN Awards. It was  one of our first award show for the season.

http://www.examiner.com/makeup-in-new-york/ween-awards-nyc?sms_ss=yahoomail

 

 

 

photo card Sept 5 898.jpg

photo card Sept 5 896.jpg

 

Real Beauty Real Women on The Red Carpet at New Jersey Fashion Week

3 Nov

 

Jacqui Phillips Host of Real Beauty Real Women on The Red Carpet at NJ Fashion Week with Dina Manzo


I am Jacqui Phillips the host of Real Beauty Real Women www.realbeautyrealwomen.com (RBRW).  RBRW had the honor to attend and host on The Red Carpet at New Jersey Fashion Week. This was a star-studded event that represented New Jersey’s beauty, fashion and style as amongst the top in the world. The designers, artist and models were more than fabulous!  I must say this is the start of a elite new trend. New Jersey Fashion Week is the beginning of a fashion and beauty cult following.

I was so excited to interview many celebrities and athletes.  I would like to thank the following for joining me and RBRW on the Red carpet;  Caroline Manzo, Dina Manzo and Lauren Manzo from The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Anna Demidova from Dancing with the Stars, Celebrity stylist to the stars Amy Acton of Style Studio, NJ Devil Ken Daneyko the 3 time Stanley Cup winner and Toni Geiger the number 1 ranked Team USA Judo fighter and Olympic Gold Medal hopeful .  I also had the pleasure of interviewing the new young hip hop artist Giorgio GIGG Scalone.  Special thanks to the ever so fabulous creators of NJ Fashion Week Donella Tilery and Jack Panico.

New Jersey really represented and spoke for itself. The stars of the hit show Jerseylicious were there taping the reality show for the Style Network.  I had the pleasure of speaking with the beautiful Alexa Prisco, star of Jerseylicious and the owner of  The Glam Fairy.  She helped create the  beautiful makeup for the fabulous runway show.  Tracy DiMarco from Jerseylicious was on the Red Carpet looking styling as always!

I must say it is so refreshing to see the quality of New York Fashion Week spread throughout the country.  I was honored to be on The Red Carpet with my co-hosts of Real Beauty Real Women Linda Moran, David Frank Ray and George Ortiz.  We were all so ecstatic over the gorgeous looks and quality of work.  Great Job to everyone involved we can not wait to cover this next year!

We were most excited to talk to our executive producer Jacquelyn Alluotto about her documentary,  NOT IN MY BACKYARD from pick it up pictures. It was our pleasure to talk about the importance of this film and cause as it is in our hearts and souls.

Jacqui Phillips
Make-up Artist