On June 9, 2020, the leading international humanitarian and development organization CARE hosted its first-ever Virtual Advocacy Summit. CARE transformed its annual CARE National Conference, which has been held in Washington, D.C., for the past 17 years, into a dynamic digital gathering, open to all. The event included high-caliber speakers, in-depth conversation and inspiration about how we can all do our part in the global fight for gender equality, even during times of crisis.
The CARE Virtual Summit focused on the unprecedented challenge presented by COVID-19 that threatens to reverse decades of progress toward ending global poverty and hunger. Speakers and participants discussed how with economies shuttered, a real possibility exists that more than 500 million people will slip back into poverty. The event provided people interested in speaking out about injustice, especially gender injustice, with this important avenue and tools.
As we face the challenges of both a global pandemic and systemic racism in the U.S., CARE is standing in solidarity with the most marginalized populations fighting to build a more just and equal world. While the focus of the Virtual Summit remained largely on the global COVID-19 response, the event also addressed the moment that we are in and the intersection between racial andsocial justice.
Key speakers discussing gender injustice and other issues included Michelle Nunn, President & CEO, CARE; Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Stacey Abrams, founder of Fair Fight Action; Representative Susan Brooks; Sylvia M. Burwell, President, American University; Ambassador Mark Green; Honorable Mark Dybul, Former United States Global AIDS Coordinator; Helene Gayle, President and CEO, Chicago Community Trust; Iman, CARE’s Global Advocate; Valerie Jarrett, Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama; Anja Manuel, Co-founder and Partner, Rice, Hadley, Gates, and Manuel LLC; Representative Grace Meng; Bellamy Young, Actress, Singer and CARE Ambassador; Senator Cory Booker; Sofia Sprechmann, Secretary General, CARE International, Amanda Gorman, Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, and more.
The CARE Virtual Summit encouraged conference participants to sign the petition asking to Congress to put women and girls at the center of the COVID-19 response. CARE Action advocates are calling on the U.S. government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to include additional funding — no less than $12 billion for the global response — for prevention and response in the poorest and most vulnerable communities around the world.
The event, highlighting critical issues including racial justice and social justice, was streamed live on https://www.facebook.com/carefans/live/, NowThisNews, NowThis Politics and NowThis Her. For more information, visit CARE.org.
In a virtual invite-only gathering prior to the Summit, CARE hosted members of its Global Leaders Network (GLN) to hear from US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as well as Admiral Mike Mullen (USN, Ret.), Senator Richard Shelby, Senator Patrick Leahy, Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Michèle Flournoy, Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and Vice Chair, CARE Board of Directors on the future of U.S. National Security.
The GLN also hosted a conversation on First Families and Humanitarian Leadership with Neil Bush, Chairman of the Board, Points of Light Founder, George H.W. Bush Foundation for China-U.S. Relations, Jason Carter, Partner, Bondurant Mixson & Elmore LLP, Chair, The Carter Center , Susan Eisenhower, Chair, The Eisenhower Group, and author, How Ike Led (Thomas Dunne Books, 2020) and Lynda Johnson Robb and Lucinda Robb Board Member, Library of Congress Rubenstein Awards Board member, Nat’l Archives Foundation.
Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. That’s why women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to confront hunger, ensure nutrition and food security for all, improve education and health, create economic opportunity and respond to emergencies. In 2019, CARE worked in 100 countries and reached more than 68 million people around the world.
Andrea Karen Hammer is the founder, director and owner of Artsphoria Publishing, Media Group & Shop (https://www.artsphoria.org): Artsphoria Event Advertising & Reporting (https://www.artsphoria.info); Artsphoria International Magazine (https://www.artsphoria.com); Artsphoria: Arts, Business & Technology Center (https://www.artsphoria.biz); Artsphoria Movie Reviews & Film Forum (https://www.artsphoria.us); Artsphoria: Food for the Soul (https://artsphoria.live); Artsphoria's Animation & Imagination World (https://www.artsphoria.net) and Artsphoria Shop (https://artsphoriashop.com). She is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer who has published articles in international publications.