BY Yvette Roeder
She started as an actress. She grew into an activist. And recently, she evolved into an icon at the forefront of a movement.
Ashley Judd is a two-time Golden Globe-nominated actress with one of Hollywood’s most impressive resumes. But her impact goes far beyond the screen. She has dedicated her life to causes close to her heart and helped to give a voice to women who are victims of sexual assault.
Judd was one of the key public figures that sparked the #MeToo movement, with such a dramatic impact on women across the world that she ended up being featured on the cover of Time magazine’s Persons of the Year Issue. Her bravery in fighting sexism and sexual assault in the entertainment industry inspired thousands of others to step forward.
Judd has also led significant philanthropic and activist work around women’s health, rights and equality. She has also helped those living with AIDS around the world.
For all of this and more, the Arizona Foundation for Women is awarding Judd the prestigious Sandra Day O’Connor Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s annual award luncheon on March 26 at the Arizona Biltmore.
The Sandra Day O’Connor Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually to a woman who has distinguished herself through her leadership, contributions to society, and lifetime achievements, especially when their causes have benefited women and families.
“Ashley Judd’s impact has been remarkable across so many different pursuits,” said Mesha Davis, CEO of the Arizona Foundation for Women. “We couldn’t be more proud to honor her and hear her acceptance speech at the event at a time when #MeToo is such a relevant movement.”
Judd is not the only one to be recognized that day. A pioneer in the world of sports and a doctor with a commitment to serving those most in need will also be honored. Dr. Jen Welter will be the recipient of the Voice of Women Award, and Phoenix dentist Dr. Ken Snyder will receive the Marilyn R. Seymann Award.
The Voice of Women Award is given to an individual who has been responsible for informing and educating the public about significant women’s issues. The Marilyn R. Seymann Award is named after the founder of the Arizona Foundation for Women and honors an Arizonan who has made a difference in the lives of local women and children.
Welter was the first female NFL coach and is a gold medalist and inspirational speaker. She encourages women to pursue their passions, especially in male-dominated fields. She hosts football camps and recently released the book “Play Big,” which is about pushing past limits and facing life’s challenges.
Snyder has served as the dental director and pediatric dentist at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Dental Clinic and the satellite children’s program at the Chandler Care Center for 22 years. The clinic helps women who have been victims of domestic violence by providing them with a career path in dental assistance that will help them transition back into society.
Tickets for the event are available at azfw.org/2018-Awards-Luncheon.
Yvette Roeder is a member of the Board of Directors for Arizona Foundation for Women (AFW), and chairs AFW’s Communications Committee. She has more than 17 years of experience in public relations, and have worked in almost every aspect of that industry, such as crisis communication, media relations, internal communications and public affairs. She is currently the Communications Manager at the City of Phoenix, directly supporting Phoenix’s chief information officer. She also is raising a Sun Devil and a Wildcat, and three furry animals.”