The Festival honored award-winning author and journalist, accomplished business woman, and women's and girl's rights activist Sheryl WuDunn with the 6th Visionary Leadership Award on January 26, 2016.
Named one of the "150 Women Who Shake the World" (Newsweek), it has been WuDunn’s goal to raise awareness and affect change on issues that face the voiceless, such as poverty stricken women and girls forced to turn to prostitution and the lost generation of girls resulting from China’s One Child Law.
The Visionary Leadership Award honors a leader whose trailblazing work is changing the world, and connects the Festival's programs to everyday impacts on the community.
“For two decades the Festival has been a place for the exchange of ideas. A safe place where artists illuminate important issues in our world and inspire us to consider our own role in response. Sheryl WuDunn’s new project A Path Appears, launched in her collaboration with her award-winning journalist husband, Nicholas Kristof, gives us a platform to continue the conversation about what each of us can do to address the profound issues of our time” said Mary Lou Aleskie, Executive Director of Arts & Ideas.
Our New Haven community celebrated her extraordinary work at a luncheon at the Omni New Haven Hotel, including New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, Festival Founders Roz Meyer and Anne Calabresi, and VLA Co-Chairs Nancy Yao Maasbach, Kimberly Goff-Crews, and Kiki Kennedy. We're grateful to our VLA sponsors Bank of America/U.S. Trust.