Rise Up’s 9th Annual Gala will be held virtually on October 26, 2023 from 9:00am - 10:00am PT.
At this year's Gala, we're amplifying the voices of local leaders and honoring their incredible achievements towards strengthening gender equity. We'll hear from influential Rise Up Leaders from India, South Africa, and the United States, along with Rise Up's dedicated global team.
Let's come together and show our support for Rise Up's gender equity leaders by proclaiming, "We hear you. We see you. We stand with you."
Host a Gala Watch Party
Are you interested in hosting an in-person Gala watch party at your home or workplace on October 26th?
Bring your community together in person to celebrate Rise Up's gender equity leaders and help us reach our Gala fundraising goals. The Rise Up team can support you with hosting – please reach out for more information!
Our 2023 Gala Speakers
Award-winning Journalist, Writer, Political Activist and Feminist Organizer
Gloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, political activist, and feminist organizer. She has spent decades traveling in the U.S. and around the world as an organizer and lecturer and is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice.
Gloria was a founder of New York and Ms. magazines and co-founded the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Free to Be Foundation, and the Women’s Media Center in the United States. She also helped found Equality Now, Donor Direct Action, and Direct Impact Africa.
In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and, in 2019, she received the Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum. For her boundless commitment to feminism, and for including all voices in the name of equality, Gloria was the 2021 recipient of the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities.
Gloria Steinem’s participation in Rise Up’s Gala is made possible by Gloria’s Foundation.
Headshot and bio credit: Katie Lyman
Joyce Nomagugu Msomi
Rise Up Leader, South Africa
Joyce is the Founder and Project Manager of Ukukhanya Kwesizwe Community Development (UKCD), an organization that advocates for women, girls, and the LGBTQI community in the KwaMashu Townships of South Africa. She is a community activist who is dedicated to protecting women and children from gender-based violence.
In partnership with Rise Up, Joyce established Asikshukume or “Let Us Talk,” an advocacy project aimed at establishing a Thuthuzela Care Center (TCC) for survivors of gender-based violence in a region of South Africa with one of the highest rates of poverty and sexual violence in the nation. The TCC will provide essential access to judgment-free, quality care to over 100,000 gender-based violence survivors.
Joyce holds a diploma in Marketing from Durban University of Technology, a diploma in Office Administration from Damelin, and a diploma in Christian Theology from Christian Impact University.
Onyemma C. Obiekea
Rise Up Leader, California
Onyemma is the Policy Director at Black Women for Wellness (BWW) and its sister organization, Black Women for Wellness Action Project (BWWAP). In this role, she leads the organizations’ policy agenda and works to advance intersectional, transformative legislation that seeks to secure equity and a liberated future for Black women, girls and other communities at the margins throughout California. She began her work in reproductive justice as Program Coordinator for BWW’s Get Smart B4U Get Sexy Program.
Onyemma is a member of Rise Up's second cohort of California Leaders and completed Rise Up's Learning and Advocacy Accelerator in June 2023. A dedicated reproductive justice advocate, she is committed to contributing to the global realization of reproductive justice by leveraging her training and experience in the field.
Onyemma holds a JD from Northeastern University School of Law and a Master of Public Health from Tufts University School of Medicine.
Rise Up Leader, India
Vikram is the Founder of Independent Thought, a leading national human rights organization that advances equity and justice, with a focus on children’s rights. By challenging discriminatory provisions under criminal justice procedures, pushing for better implementation of child marriage laws, and fighting for a free, equitable, and quality education for all, Vikram aims to bring an end to discrimination and abuse against children.
Since becoming a Rise Up Leader, Vikram’s advocacy has led to the passage of the Haryana Amendment to the Bill on Prohibition of Child Marriage, which declares every child marriage performed after its passage to be void in the State of Haryana.
Vikram holds a postgraduate degree in Human Rights and International Law from the Indian Society of International Law, a Masters diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations from the Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, and Master of Laws from Noida International University.