Announcing Margaret Atwood as Keynote Speaker of “Unite and Rise”

Margaret Atwood, a leader in modern feminism, will be the keynote speaker for the annual celebration for the Fund for Women & Girls.

Margaret Atwood will speak on feminism and power at "Unite & Rise: A Virtual Celebration for the Fund for Women and Girls". (Image credit: Hamlet Hub)
Margaret Atwood will speak on feminism and power at “Unite & Rise: A Virtual Celebration for the Fund for Women and Girls”. (Image credit: Hamlet Hub)

Award-winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments, Margaret Atwood, will be the keynote speaker for the Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s (FCCF) annual celebration for its Fund for Women & Girls in April. “Unite & Rise: A Virtual Celebration for the Fund for Women & Girls,” will begin at 5:30 p.m. on April 16th. Individual tickets and sponsorship packages are available for purchase here.

The annual fundraiser will also mark the official introduction of the emme coalition, the Fund for Women & Girls’ new signature initiative in partnership with OPTIMUS Health Care. A research-driven program for girls and women aged 12 to 49 in Bridgeport, the emme coalition will coordinate physical wellness, behavioral health and social services to give women and girls lifelong tools for wellbeing that can be passed along to future generations.

The emme coalition — “emme” stands for empowerment, mindfulness, motivation and education — will provide one-stop virtual and in-person services to girls and women in Bridgeport. emme will take a holistic approach to address barriers that prevent women and girls from receiving quality healthcare and reaching their full potential. By offering program participants a broad range of options and possibilities, it will help them make informed choices as partners in their own care.

“We are thrilled that we will be able to hear from Margaret Atwood, who is known for her distinct and outspoken perspective on feminism and her views on power,” Juanita James, President & CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, said. “Her rich experience and view of the world for women is especially welcome as we launch the emme coalition, a program that will give young women access to lifelong tools for wellbeing.” 

“We are pleased to be part of this important initiative for women & girls. Being community based, OPTIMUS has the resources to be supportive and guide career and personal choices. Women are the rocks of any family and their wellbeing pays dividends for all their members.” Ludwig Spinelli, CEO, OPTIMUS Health Care, Inc.

Atwood had been slated to speak at the Fund for Women & Girls annual luncheon in April 2020, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. She has written more than 50 books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her most recent, The Testaments, won the 2019 Booker Prize. The Handmaid’s Tale has been the basis of a critically acclaimed television series. Her other works include the Booker Prize-shortlisted Oryx and CrakeAlias GraceThe Robber BrideCat’s Eye and Booker winner, The Blind Assassin.

The Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls is in its 23rd year and is the largest women’s fund in New England. The Fund’s work has improved the lives of thousands of women and girls in the region with more than $8 million in grants. This year’s virtual evening event comes in place of the Fund’s annual luncheon, which attracts more than 800 enthusiastic supporters each year and has featured speakers such as Dr. Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Billie Jean King and Tracee Ellis Ross. 

As a partner in the emme coalition, OPTIMUS Health Care will provide holistic services to help young women set life goals and make plans to achieve them through healthy lifestyle choices, self-advocacy, optimizing employment and making sound financial decisions. The emme coalition will serve 100 women and girls through intensive case management, and another 1,000 with less intensive services.

About Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards and has awarded over $337.5 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond since 1992. As a trusted nonprofit partner and thought leader, the organization brings together community organizers, business experts, and philanthropists to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County with a focus on eliminating disparities in education, employment, housing, and health. Our goal is to create a vital and inclusive community, where every individual has the opportunity to thrive. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN.  Listen to the Fairfield County Thrives podcast at

About OPTIMUS Healthcare
Established in 1976, OPTIMUS Healthcare, Inc., is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides comprehensive primary care to persons of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay or health insurance status. Its team of licensed healthcare providers and trained professionals utilize innovative techniques and extensive experience to address evolving needs. OPTIMUS Health Centers are Joint Commission and NCQA accredited. Learn more.


Join Michelle Obama Conversation at CO Women’s Foundation 30th Anniversary Celebration

Prioritizing Gender Equality: A Response to the Gates Annual Letter

ReflectUS Hires New CEO to Increase Women in Texas Politics

Author: Gender Equality Funding News

Philanthropy Women aggregates the most important gender equality funding news.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.