I was honored to be one of nearly 5,000 women filling the halls of the Boston Convention Center today for the fourth annual Massachusetts Conference for Women, featuring more than 85 speakers, including headliners Lesley Stahl of CBS 60 Minutes, columnist Liz Smith (who, by the way, is 85 years old and still going strong), publisher Joni Evans, columnist Judith Martin (Miss Manners) speaking about their new joint venture, wowOwow.com, Holly Robinson Peete and Marianne Williamson. The Conference’s theme, “The Next Chapter of You,” was highlighted throughout the day encouraging attendees to invest in themselves and give back to their communities.
Jessie M. Gaeta, M.D. was honored with the Conference’s Be the Change Award. The award recognizes a woman who rises above and beyond in the realm of service by shining light on an unmet need in her community. Dr. Gaeta dedicates her life to caring for the homeless. As a practicing internist at Boston University Medical Center and Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, she treats homeless patients on the streets and in shelters. Dr. Gaeta also leads policy advocacy at the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance. By raising awareness of the public health implications of homelessness and the cost-effectiveness of a Housing First approach, she has successfully influenced lawmakers to create social change through the institution of new approaches to ending homelessness.
Click here for photos of the 2008 Massachusetts Conference for Women
I attended some amazing breakout sessions with speakers, Ariane deBonvoisin, Abby Seixas, and Marilyn Paul, whose strategies of change, self-care and organization of the inner and outer aspects of our lives expanded on Marianne Williamson's keynote statement: "The only antidote to the chaos is a deeper way of living".
The fifth annual Massachusetts Conference for Women is slated for Dec. 10, 2008 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. I am planning on attending again, and would love to have some of you join me!
Did you attend the conference this year? I would love to hear your comments...what were the take home messages that resonated with you?