“Portraits of Strength and Resilience”: Inaugural Gala by United Nations Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund to Honor Trailblazing Women Leaders on the Front Lines

21 September 2023

(Los Angeles, California) – The United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) is proud to announce its inaugural black-tie gala, “Portraits of Strength and Resilience,” to be held on September 30, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. at the Lot Studios in Los Angeles. Spearheaded by WPHF Global Advocate, Kristen Bell, the gala aims to shine a spotlight on powerful women nonprofit leaders navigating our world’s most formidable challenges.

Through a captivating blend of storytelling and sensory experiences, attendees will gain insight into the work of grassroots women leaders who are building peace, standing up for human rights, and leading humanitarian responses in communities facing conflicts and crises worldwide. The event will raise pivotal funding to bolster their endeavors and recognize partners and visionaries whose steadfast support of WPHF’s mission will help women on the front lines remain at the forefront of preventing conflict, responding to crises, and championing peace.

“The key to unlocking lasting peace and security in communities experiencing conflict and instability lies in the hands of women,said Ghita El Khyari, Head of the WPHF Secretariat. “Investing in women lays the foundation for inclusive, stable societies around the world. This gala is a testament to the tremendous impact that women and their local organizations are making in crisis-affected countries across the globe.”

Actress and activist Kristen Bell will be the recipient of WPHF’s inaugural Vision for Peace Award during the event. Serving as WPHF’s Global Advocate since 2018, Ms. Bell has advocated on behalf of local women leaders across the globe to amplify their voices and finance their efforts to make our world a more peaceful and gender-equal place.

“Throughout my journey with WPHF, I’ve witnessed the transformative strength of women working at the forefront of peacebuilding and humanitarian action,” said Kristen Bell. “Less than 1 percent of global funding goes to women’s organizations in places experiencing crises and conflict. That’s unacceptable. WPHF is working to change that and I’m proud to support its mission to finance remarkable women championing peace around the world.”

In recognition of its unwavering commitment to gender equality and efforts to uplift women and girls around the world, the inaugural WPHF Commitment to Gender Equality Award will be presented to Starbucks.

“Through the support of WPHF, we are able to build resilience among women human rights activists across Afghanistan and these women are now better protected,” said Horia Mosadiq, an Afghan activist and WPHF partner who’s been at the forefront of fighting for the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. “We are working in around 18 provinces to provide safety trainings, digital security, self-care and psychosocial support. It is really important for the world to invest in women, because throughout history, women have been the ones fighting for stability, fighting for the rule of law, fighting for peace.”

The gala evening promises an exquisite global cuisine curated by Flavors from Afar, and will include presentations by Sharon Stone, Senior Advisor to the UN Nahla Valji, and Head of the WPHF Secretariat Ghita El Khyari, with a special performance by the acclaimed Sara Bareilles. Guests will also hear from two women leaders working on the front lines to build peace and respond to crises in their communities: Hajer Sharief from Libya and Horia Mosadiq from Afghanistan.

Among the luminaries co-hosting the gala are Wallis Annenberg, Ellen DeGeneres, Sean Hayes, and Dawn Ostroff. The gala is also being supported by Crèmily, a social enterprise supporting women and girls, and corporations such as Horizon, Activision|Blizzard, Disney, Netflix, Good|Upworthy, BoldHaus, Lafayette 148, and Spindrift.

About WPHF

The United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) is dedicated to advancing the causes of peace, gender equality, and humanitarian assistance across conflict and crisis contexts around the world. Since its launch in 2016, WPHF has funded over 1,000 local and grassroots civil society organizations in 43 countries around the world, reaching over 35 million people. Through strategic mobilization of funds, impactful advocacy, and the amplification of women’s voices on the global stage, WPHF spearheads a transformative movement that envisions and strives for a world characterized by peace and gender equality.

For further information about the gala, visit www.wphfgala.org

Media Contacts

Matthew Rullo, United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund


Chris McGrath, The Uplift Agency