Final countdown

The Women in the World New York Summit kicks off tonight! The drumbeat begins …

(Top L-R) Summit participants Mindy Kaling, Alec Wek, Padma Lakshmi, Meryl Streep, (Middle L-R) Megyn Kelly, Lynsey Addario, America Ferrara, Laura Bush, (Bottom L-R) Christine Lagarde, Kerry Washington, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Rula Ghani.

It’s here! The 2016 Women in the World Summit kicks off on the evening of April 6, ushering in a three-day extravaganza of gripping panels and inspiring speakers. Political firebrands, fearless activists, gender-bending sports champions, and stars of television and film are slated to take to the stage during the event. “Tell me more!” you say? Gladly.

Over the course of the Summit, we will hear from female forces in political landscapes at home and abroad. Afghanistan’s first lady, Rula Ghani, will speak about the challenges facing women in her country. Two generations of women of the Bush dynasty—Laura W. Bush, and her daughters Barbara Bush Jr. and Jenna Bush Hager — will discuss the fascinating work they have been engaged in while the men in the family have dominated headlines. And while we’re on the topic of GOP personalities: FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly, thorn in the side of Donald Trump, will speak about her status as the preeminent female voice in American conservative media.

Prominent players in the field of business and economics will also take to the stage. Anne-Marie Slaughter, best-selling author and one of the few women to run a Fortune 500 company, is slated to discuss policies and trends that can help women balance their family lives and career goals. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, will discuss the outlook for the global economy, and the economic impact of the wave of refugees sweeping across Europe.

Other panels will address the humanitarian aspect of global crises. Photojournalist Lynsey Addario, activist Liz Clegg, women’s rights advocate Zainab Salbi, and Urban Justice Center director Becca Heller will discuss the plight of refugees who have been displaced by violence. Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the World Food Programme, will open up about her work improving the lives of hungry people around the world.

As politicians continue to call for the closure of women’s health centers, Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of Americaand Planned Parenthood Action Fund, will discuss the looming threat to women’s reproductive rights. Kerry Washington, star of the upcoming biopic Confirmation, will pay tribute to Anita Hill, a pioneering figure in the fight against sexual assault.

Activist and author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, along with a panel of Muslim-born women, will debate the place of women in Islam. Actress America Ferrera will join former member of Mexican Congress Lilia Aguilar and kidnapping survivor Astrid Elias to discuss why women and girls of Central America are fleeing to the United States.

TV fans, rejoice! Women in the World will play host to a slew of exciting players on the small screen. Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi will open up about her early career as a fashion model and her unique perspective on food and feminism. Yara Shahidi, star of the acclaimed TV show Blackish, will join a group of panelists to discuss why television has become a revolutionary frontier for black women. Mindy Kaling will share her experience has an Indian-American in Hollywood, and reveal the new direction of her (hilarious) comedy series The Mindy Project.

Catch all these exciting speakers—and more—during the Summit. The event, which will be held at Lincoln Center, can be live-streamed on the Women in the World homepage on Wednesday, from 6 p.m. EST. You can view the complete program here.


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