Salon recap

Leaders talk women in combat and the refugee crisis during Women in the World Salon

The event in San Antonio tackled xenophobia and terrorism, and welcomed America Ferrera to the stage to highlight the plight of Central American refugees

© Women in the World

Women in San Antonio met Tuesday at The St. Anthony Hotel for the Women in the World Salon to hear personal stories illustrating a variety of issues facing women today. “Our mantra is that every woman has a story, and it’s stories that have the power to change the world,” said Tina Brown, founder and CEO of Women in the World, during her opening remarks. We’ve highlighted a few of the top moments below, but you can watch the entire program here.

Women Fighting the Terror Crisis 

The salon’s first panel included a weighty conversation on the Islamic state’s new wave of terrorism and the challenge of defeating an enemy whose brutality knows no limit. “This is a war against everyone who is not like them,” said Lara Logan, a 60 Minutes correspondent, as she moderated the panel. Logan appeared alongside Juliette Kayyem, a homeland security expert and founder of Juliette Kayyem Solutions; The Honorable Farah Pandith, the Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the U.S. Department of State; and Emmy Sky, the director of Yale World Fellows.

The Great Escape

North Korean defector Yeonmi Park joined the stage with Tina Brown to discuss her harrowing escape from North Korea. “One of the first things I saw when we escaped was my mother being raped,” said Park. The human-rights activist went on to detail other abuses she experienced during that time, including being sold to a man at the age of 13.

The Other Refugees 

Actress America Ferrera joined a panel highlighting the horrific journey of thousands of refugees fleeing Central America each year. “This isn’t immigration,” said Ferrera. “This is people fleeing from their countries. It’s life or death,” she said. Ferrera was joined alongside Celina de Sola, co-founder of Glasswing International; Heidy Pérez Parada, Presidenta of the Red Juvenil Intermunicipal; Lavinia Limón, president and CEO of the U. S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants; and moderated by Maria Hinojosa, an anchor and executive producer for Latino USA.

Toyota Mother of Invention 

The program also celebrated Maria Dellapina, a single mother of four and founder of Specs4Us, a company that is committed to developing eyewear to serve children with special needs. Dellapina was joined onstage with Dionne Colvin-Lovely, National Media Director for Toyota Motor Sales; Dr. Cynthia Peacock, a professor at the Baylor College of Medicine; and interviewed by Sarah Lucero, a news anchor for KENS-TV.

What My Mother Taught Me 

Tina Brown ended the salon by speaking with retired Admiral William H. McCraven about xenophobia. “We can’t go down that path,” said McCraven. “We cannot restrict muslims from coming into the United States.” He also discussed the rigor of military training and how women can be incorporated in the armed forces and, in keeping with the title of the segment, contemplated the lessons learned from his mother — a very tough, “classic Texas woman,” who taught him the value of hard work.

Save the Date!

If you couldn’t make it to San Antonio, be sure to attend our next event at New York City’s Lincoln Center from April 6-8th. Visit the live events section of our site for more information.

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