Thank you for joining us!
Together, we raised more than $240,000 to support gender equity globally!
Thank you for attending Rise Up’s 8th Annual Gala on October 6, 2022 from 9:00am - 10:00am PT. This year, we celebrated knowing and owning our power as individuals, as Rise Up supporters, and as a global movement for gender equity and justice.
Meet Our 2022 Gala Speakers
DISTINGUISHED GUEST SPEAKER
Nobel Peace Laureate and Liberian Peace Activist
2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker and women’s rights advocate. She is currently the founder and President of Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa. Her foundation provides educational and leadership opportunities to girls, women, and youth to empower the next generation of peacebuilders and democratic leaders in West Africa.
Ms. Gbowee’s leadership during the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace campaign — which played a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s civil war in 2003 — is chronicled in her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, and in the award-winning documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell.
She is a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, the World Refugee Council, and the African Women Leaders Network. The recipient of many honorary degrees, Ms. Gbowee holds an MA in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University. She travels internationally to advocate for human rights, peace, and security.
Ms. Gbowee’s participation in Rise Up’s Gala is made possible by Peace is Loud.
Rise Up Leader, South Africa
Rethabile is the Deputy Director of Lawyers against Abuse (LvA), a nonprofit that provides holistic legal and psychosocial support to victims of gender-based violence (GBV) in Diepsloot, South Africa. LvA not only provides critical assistance to individual victims of violence, but also works to address the broader systemic issues that lead to violence in the first place. Rethabile’s work with LvA is informed by over ten years of experience in the social justice sector, with a particular focus on trauma-informed lawyering and transformative feminist leadership. She is a member of the University of Cape Town Women in Leadership Network, the Namati Legal Empowerment Leadership Network, and the Society of Gender Professionals.
Rethabile previously served her articles of clerkship at the University of Pretoria Law Clinic. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social science and law (LLB) from the University of Cape Town and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in human rights law at the University of Pretoria.
Benjamin Yunana Maigari
Rise Up Leader, Nigeria
Benjamin is the Director of Programs for the Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF), a media and communications civil society organization working to close the gender gap in education across Kaduna State, Nigeria. With funding and support from Rise Up, Benjamin and AMDF developed a policy for implementing free and compulsory secondary school for girls in Kaduna, partnered with girl leaders to ensure the policy met their needs, and worked with parents, teachers, media, and religious leaders to advocate for the policy. In September 2020, the Commissioner for the Ministry of Education formally approved the policy, benefiting approximately 224,000 girls.
Benjamin has worked with numerous international and local non-governmental organizations in northern Nigeria, where he continues to advocate for women’s and girls’ rights. He holds a bachelor’s degree of medical science in chemistry from Bayero University in Kano, a master’s degree in development studies from Nigeria Defense Academy in Kaduna, and a PhD in medicinal chemistry from Usman Danfodio University Sokoto in Nigeria.
Rise Up Leader, India
Amrita is the Program Director of Research, Advocacy, and Communications at the Azad Foundation, which aims to equip resource-poor women with knowledge and skills so that they excel as professionals and entrepreneurs and earn a livelihood. Most recently, Amrita’s work with the Azad Foundation has focused on the inclusion of female bus drivers in the male-dominated transportation industry to strengthen women’s economic opportunities.
As a social science researcher, Amrita has over ten years of experience in project management, advocacy, and qualitative and quantitative research experience focused on vulnerable communities, gender issues, and women’s and young people’s health across India. She holds a master’s degree in sociology from the Delhi School of Economics and a master’s degree in public health from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
Marcela García Vázquez
Rise Up Leader, Mexico
Marcela is the President of Nueva Luna, an organization advancing the rights and dignity of women who have been incarcerated in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. As a leader and an activist committed to the rehabilitation of incarcerated women, Marcela fosters healthy and safe spaces for women to share their lives, dreams, and hopes for the future and stand up for their rights through autobiographical writing workshops.
Since becoming a Rise Up Leader in 2018, she has successfully led projects to improve social reintegration outcomes for formerly incarcerated women and has fought for indigenous women’s political rights. From 2020 to 2022, Marcela served as the Director of the Women’s Institute for the State of San Luis Potosí, where she worked to advance women’s rights. Marcela holds a bachelor’s degree in communication science and public health from the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí and a master’s degree in public health from the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico.
Rise Up Leader, Mississippi
Tyler is the Mississippi State Director for Planned Parenthood Southeast, Inc. where she is responsible for creating the organizing and legislative strategy for Mississippi and cultivating relationships with stakeholders in her community to protect and secure access to sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice. Tyler has been with Planned Parenthood Southeast for four years. In partnership with Rise Up, Tyler developed the project Missbehaving, a card game that uses references to popular culture to disseminate inclusive and culturally relevant sexual health information.
Tyler received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Jackson State University, with minors in English and political science. She is motivated to politically engage youth, LGBTQ communities, and communities of color to cultivate change in the state of Mississippi.