She Power: $1 M Plus Raised By TXWF from Annual Luncheon

Texas Women’s Foundation, a powerhouse for women and girls in Texas, raised more than $1 million at their 36th Annual Luncheon

Guest speakers Cleo Wade and Angie Thomas discussed the power of women and girls finding their voices with moderator Laysha Ward, Target executive vice president and chief external engagement officer. (Image credit: TXWF)

Across Texas, groups convened to watch in livestream mini-parties, including 96 students and teachers from Brookhaven College, as the Texas Women’s Foundation held its Annual Luncheon online. Presented by the Dallas Mavericks, the event raised more than $1 million and had a total audience of over 4,000.

The event, entitled My Voice. My Story. Every Woman’s Power to Build Compassion and Community, brought together leaders across society to talk about the value of increasing the wellbeing of women and girls in Texas and beyond.

“Texas Women’s Foundation is the only foundation in Texas focused on the wellbeing of women and girls, their economic security and opportunities to become leaders. We work for women and families across Texas to build strong, equitable communities for all,” said Hilda Galvan, Texas Women’s Foundation board chair, as she welcomed and thanked luncheon co-chairs, Debra Hunter Johnson and Lindsay Billingsley.

Billingsley introduced the speakers, Angie Thomas and Cleo Wade, who discussed the world-changing value of women’s storytelling. Angie Thomas, author of The New York Times bestseller and major motion picture, The Hate U Give as well as On the Come Up and Concrete Rose, Thomas spoke about the process of finding her own voice as a writer.

“It all begins with realizing that your voice matters; your story matters,” remarked Thomas in her speech. “If you can get to that point, you’ve made true progress towards hopefully bringing on real change and making real impact. It begins with validating your story, validating yourself within.”

Both Thomas and Wade shared stories from their own lived experiences growing up, and also acknowledged the inspirational writers that gave them the “templates” to begin their own work — writers like Alice Walker, Toni Morrison and Gloria Steinem. 

“Because I had those templates, I knew where to start (writing)…Eventually, your voice does start to become louder and louder within you, and becomes louder than the voices you’re almost imitating or being influenced by.”

Stepping into that voice, asserted Thomas, allows you as a writer to create “a template for the next generation to do the same.”

The event also included appeals to support Texas Women’s Foundation from leaders representing the two main sponsors for the event, Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall and Southwest Airlines’ Laura Nieto. As a surprise incentive for donors, Marshall and Nieto announced that donors giving at least $500 would receive two tickets to a Dallas Mavericks game and Southwest roundtrip airline tickets.  

Texas Women’s Foundation uses their Annual Luncheon as a primary fundraiser for the work they do to advance women’s economic security, leadership, education, health and safety in Texas. The foundation’s strategy for this mission is conducted through research, advocacy, programs and grantmaking.

Roslyn Dawson Thompson, TXWF president and CEO, added her praise and gratitude for the day’s event and participants. “I can’t tell you how powerful and inspirational today has been for me, and I hope it was for you too! We are deeply grateful for the amazing talent and profound insights of our keynote speakers, Angie Thomas and Cleo Wade.”

Laysha Ward concluded the event and thanked the speakers for inspiring more women to “use our voice and our stories to nurture and build community.”

For more information on the event, visit


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Author: Kiersten Marek

Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.

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