March 6, 2009

Sheila Johnson has done it again.  

Last night I attended the premiere of A POWERFUL NOISE, a fabulous documentary film that was shown, simultaneously, in hundreds of theaters in the U.S. to mark International Women's Day.  The film tells the moving stories of three women from very different parts of the world -- Bosnia, Viet Nam and the slums of Mali -- and their struggles to overcome overwhelming odds.  It is an inspiring tribute to the strength of women to make a difference in the world.  The money and the momentum behind the film came from Sheila Johnson, pictured here, the first female African American billionaire.  Johnson and her former husband co-founded the Black Entertainment Network.  She is now an active philanthropist, CEO of a growing empire of luxury resorts and the only woman with a stake in three professional sports teams, the WNBA Washington Mystics, the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals.  

A Powerful Noise is a "don't miss" film in my book.  Especially if you're interested in emotionally-gripping stories and being reminded of what a difference each individual can make.  Following the film, Johnson turned things over to a powerhouse panel, including former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff and CARE USA CEO Dr. Helene Gayle, for a discussion on why educating women is the single most important step we can take to fight poverty and gender inequality throughout the world.  

Johnson is another incredible example of a great woman who is putting her power to work to make a difference on her watch.  How about you? 


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