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Bringing “Half the Sky” to the Big Screen – In Song | THE HUFFINGTON POST | By Kristi Yo

Sarah Ferguson, Sheryl WuDenn, Nicholas Kristof, and Marisa Tomei at Half the Sky Live in 2010.Photo Courtesy of CARE USA.

On Thursday, February 11, activists, celebrities and friends of CARE gathered in NYC at NYU’s Skirball Center to film HALF THE SKY, an evening filled with music, discussion, and readings from the bestselling women’s empowerment book of the same name by Pulitzer prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Participants included Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei, who shared her new short film, Woinshet, co-directed with Lisa Leone; actress Maria Bello; Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York; Sally Lee, Editor-in-Chief of Ladies Home Journal; Dr. Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE; and Rachel Mayanja, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women. The New York crowd was also treated to musical guests India.Arie, Diane Birch and Angelique Kidjo, as well as an audience filled with notables (including actor Sean Penn).

On Thursday, March 4, 2010, HALF THE SKY was broadcast to 500 movie screens across the U.S. and Canada, allowing audiences to get up-close and personal with the heroes from Kristof and WuDun’s book — women like Woinshet, Goretti, and Sakena — who’ve overcome extreme obstacles in the face of economic oppression, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality.

HALF THE SKY was CARE’s second annual nationwide International Women’s Day event, reaching tens of thousands of moviegoers and  following on the heels of 2009′s successful feature-length film and panel discussion, A Powerful Noise Live!

Monica Tannian lent her music industry expertise onsite with music direction and I worked with CARE producer Scott Thigpen to co-produce, write and create the event and choose the musical guests. Nancy Bauer lent support with coordination through the CARE Action Network for a successful theatrical release. And many other members and friends of Sustenance Group either volunteered or headed to a theater to support the event March 4. Sustenance Group is so proud to have been a part of creating this wonderful event and we’re looking forward to International Women’s Day 2011!

Here’s the CNN interview between Fredricka Whitfield and India Arie:


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