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In March of 2020, the Aspen Institute Forum on Women and Girls hosted the launch of our 2020 SOAR Leadership Series, the first conversation in a series featuring leaders who have broken barriers, championed change, and pursued bold ideas to advance the causes of women and girls in communities and across the world.

From disrupting workplace cultures that hold women back to advancing women’s health by combating the rising rates of maternal mortality, especially among black women, these women are a driving force for change. They have taken down seemingly unmovable barriers and tackled pervasive challenges, often unseen, but experienced deeply and disproportionately by women.

Moderated by award-winning journalist Gloria Riviera, we will hear from women actively confronting these barriers with fresh energy and bold ideas and, in the process, changing the rules of the game for women and girls. We’ll explore new ground that cuts across sectors, regions, generations, and backgrounds. We’ll learn what it means to take risks, push through setbacks, and rise above. And we’ll learn what inspires these leaders, what drives them, and what we need to do to activate and support more women leaders.

See below the dates for the other conversations, and stay tuned for more details.

  • March 3: Washington, DC
  • July 29: Washington, DC
  • September 14: Birmingham, Alabama
  • December 8: Washington, DC


Representative Lauren Underwood

Represents Illinois 14th District in the U.S. House of Representatives

Fatima Goss Graves

Co-Founder of Times Up Legal Defense Fund; President and CEO of the Women’s Law Center

Piper Kerman

Author of Orange is the New Black and Criminal Justice Reform Advocate

Rohini Anand

Former SVP Corporate Responsibility and Global Chief Diversity Officer, Sodexo


Gloria Riviera

ABC News Correspondent and co-founder of Press Forward