Rise Up Breakfast Gala
Thank you for rising higher with us at this year’s virtual Breakfast!
Our 2021 Annual Breakfast Gala was held virtually on Thursday, November 4th. Together we raised over $300,000 to support Rise Up Leaders who are making change for girls and women around the world. See highlights from our Rise Up Leaders below and stay tuned for details about our 2022 Gala.
Missed our 2021 Breakfast Gala?
You can still make a donation to support Rise Up’s work.
Does your company want to publicly support gender equity in 2022?
Please reach out to Kate Roberts, Rise Up’s Corporate and Foundations Development Manager,
to learn more about opportunities to sponsor next year’s event.
Our 2021 Breakfast Speakers
Rise Up Leader, California
Maritza is the Executive Director of Somos Familia, a community-based organization in the San Francisco Bay Area working to build leadership in our Latinx families and communities to create a culture where people of diverse genders and sexual orientations can thrive. As a queer Latina, nonprofit professional, leader, and activist, Maritza's work with Somos Familia to increase family and community acceptance of LGBTQ+ Latinxs is deeply personal. She strongly believes that change comes from family leadership within the community she serves.
Prior to joining Somos Familia, she worked as an organizational development consultant with organizations from across the country on issues of diversity, leadership, environment, education, and innovation. Maritza is a founding member of the LGBTQ Latinx Giving Circle at the Latino Community Foundation and a member of Rise Up's inaugural California cohort of the Gender Equity Initiative. In 2020, she was named to The 41 List, which highlights 41 role models in the Latinx LGBTQ+ community who live their lives “out” and open. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of the District of Columbia and a master’s degree in nonprofit management from The New School.
Jean “Berky” Berchmans Uwimana
Rise Up Leader, Rwanda
Berky is a medical doctor and public health advocate who is passionate about abortion education and access as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights, particularly for rural youth in Rwanda. With support from Rise Up, Berky launched the SAVE project, a series of short informational videos aimed at increasing future physicians’ knowledge and capacity to perform safe abortions. Berky is also the creator behind Flavours of Family Planning, a series of videos using kitchen materials and an “edutainment” approach to engage more men in family planning. His life experiences have shaped his approach to this work.
While he was in medical school at the University of Rwanda, Berky joined Medical Students for Choice and helped grow and reinvigorate the student group. After graduating, he founded the Medical Doctors for Choice network, so that alumni of Medical Students for Choice can continue their education and advocacy for sexual and reproductive health and rights beyond medical school. Berky has served as a volunteer for a number of grassroots public health organizations, and founded the first chapter of Globemed outside of the U.S., at the University of Rwanda, which connects medical students and grassroots organizations to promote health equity and social justice.
Prabha Vilas Jadhav
Rise Up Leader, India
Prabha is the Founder of Work For Equality, a community-based organization dedicated to building the leadership capacity of girls from marginalized communities in India. As a member of a historically oppressed community herself and the first person in her community to receive an education, Prabha is passionate about enhancing girls’ access to education and is personally connected to the issues she works to address. Her current focus is helping young girls, civil society, and the government understand the connection between a lack of menstrual sanitation facilities and high dropout rates among adolescent girls. She has supported girls in her community to form girls clubs to join together and advocate at the village and district level for increased budgetary resources for menstrual hygiene and sanitation facilities in their schools.
In addition to running her own community centers for marginalized children and girls, Prabha also leads a campaign called “Break the Silence” to end violence against women and girls. She believes in people-led advocacy, and that with continuous encouragement and opportunity, girls can discover their inherent strength and rise up for their own rights.
Alejandra García Muñiz
Rise Up Leader, Mexico
Alejandra is the Director of Operations at Juntos, an organization based in San Luis Potosí, Mexico dedicated to empowering women and girls with disabilities through political advocacy and ensuring their complete inclusion in the social and workplace spheres. Alejandra founded Juntos’ PodeRosa program, which raises awareness of the unique challenges that women with disabilities face and aims to offer women with disabilities the same opportunities as men for job inclusion and empowerment. Through this work she developed a disability rights protocol for government institutions, which provides guidance on how to ensure people with disabilities, particularly women, are able to access the services they need and are treated with dignity and respect.
Alejandra and Juntos have been recognized for their social entrepreneurship and contributions to human rights by the Cummins Philanthropic Association, United Nations Women’s Guild, and Entrepreneur Magazine in collaboration with Facebook México. Alejandra has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in innovation and technological entrepreneurship.
Rise Up Leader, Nigeria
Nsini works as a Shelter Administrator and Program Officer for Project Alert on Violence Against Women in Lagos State, Nigeria, where she offers support services to survivors of gender-based violence and coordinates day-to-day activities for the organization’s domestic violence shelter, Sophia’s Place. Nsini leads the organization’s advocacy work, raises community awareness about domestic and sexual violence, and calls on community members to take a stand against violence and discrimination against women and girls.
Through her work, Nsini successfully mobilized women and allies to advocate for the full implementation of the Domestic Violence Law in Lagos State. As a result, hearings for domestic violence cases are now fast-tracked and processed within 72 hours, a process that is critical for women who would normally have to wait weeks or even months to have their domestic violence cases heard because of bureaucratic delays.
Nsini received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the National Open University of Nigeria and her Bachelor of Education in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Lagos.