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Gala Knight: Gladys turns out for Down syndrome research.(Joel Ryan/AP)

photo of Lara Seligman
November 13, 2011

Girl Power

Do your part to empower women worldwide this week at a three-day event featuring accomplished women in Washington, from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

Women Moving Millions, a global philanthropic initiative raising money for organizations that support women, is hosting its last formal event of the year this Monday through Wednesday. Panelists and speakers include Vice President Joe Biden, Pelosi, and Solis. Participants will discuss the event’s two main topic areas: “Women Stopping War” and “Economic Security With a Gender Lens.” Join the organization in its efforts to advance women worldwide in an event that aims to inform and inspire you to take action.

The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the J.W. Marriott hotel at 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Registration is required. Be sure to get your ticket at


Evaluating Education

Is the U.S. falling behind in education? Join the National Center on Education and the Economy to find out, as Marc Tucker and Tom Friedman discuss the new global challenges to our education system.

This Tuesday, the NCEE is hosting a book reception and conversation with NCEE President Tucker and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and New York Times columnist Friedman. The two experts will debate the urgent need to reevaluate the country’s floundering education system in order to meet new global challenges. In a discussion moderated by NBC correspondent Luke Russert, Friedman and Tucker will talk about how competition from highly educated people and capable machines worldwide is raising the stakes for higher education.

Tucker will sign copies of his latest book, Surpassing Shanghai: An American Education Agenda Built on the World’s Leading Systems, and Friedman will sign his book, written with Michael Mandelbaum, That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back.
The event takes place at 4 p.m. at the House of Sweden, located at 2900 K St. NW. Registration is required. For more information, visit or contact

Working the Runway

Ever wanted to see your representative on the runway? On Wednesday, you’ll get the chance to watch members of Congress strut their stuff alongside supermodels like Beverly Johnson at an event to benefit people with Down syndrome.

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s “Be Beautiful, Be Yourself” gala debuts in D.C. this year and aims to raise money to support Down syndrome research and advocacy. The gala will feature a live performance by Gladys Knight, as well as a fashion show featuring supermodel Johnson, Fox News’s John Roberts, more than 15 members of Congress, and 22 local guest models who have Down syndrome.

During the gala, the foundation will present Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, with the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award for their support for the rights of people with disabilities. Alex Sessions, the son of Rep. Sessions, will be featured as the foundation’s 2011 ambassador, and CNN News anchor Kyra Phillips will serve as the master of ceremonies.

The event starts at 6 p.m. at the J.W. Marriott at 1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW. Tickets start at $500. Call 703.556.6330 or e-mail to RSVP.

Supporting Military Families

Just because Veterans Day is over, it doesn’t mean that veterans, military members, and their families are far from our minds.

On Wednesday, find out more about how the Fisher House Foundation supports military families and service members at the foundation’s and the Joint Senate and Congressional Military Caucus’s Capitol Hill reception. The event hopes to raise awareness of the foundation’s efforts to support military families through its 54 Fisher Houses, Hero Miles program, Scholarships for Military Children, and the Newman’s Own Awards Program.

The invitation-only event will be held at the Capitol Visitors Center Atrium from 5 to 7 p.m. Business attire or the military equivalent is requested. For more information, or to RSVP, contact 866-306-7491.

Getting SMART

Get up close and personal with actress Gabrielle Union this week—and find out why she is addicted to her smart phone.

Join Verizon Wireless this Thursday for an exclusive interview and meet-and-greet with the actress. Dubbed “confessions of a SMARTaholic,” the event will feature Union chatting with actress Alesha Renee. The free event promises a meet and greet with the actresses and passed hors d’oeuvres.

The event starts at 7:30 at Verizon Wireless on 1314 F St. NW. Register today at

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