Due to the restrictions of COVID-19 and social distancing, this year’s event will be held virtually through livestream broadcast and social media. Instead of 5K, walkers may choose the number of miles/kilometers to walk and have sponsors match a dollar amount.
Meet Our 2020 Speakers
Our Friday Keynote Speaker
Lyric Thompson is the Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). In this capacity, she leads the institution’s formulation of evidence-based policy recommendations and oversees ICRW’s advocacy efforts with the U.S. Government and internationally. She is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University, where she teaches a graduate level course on women’s rights advocacy. In August of 2019, Lyric was nominated by Governor Roy Cooper to the North Carolina Council for Women. In Washington, Lyric leads or is a member of a number of advocacy coalitions on women’s rights issues. She is on the Editorial Board of Apolitical and writes regularly on gender and foreign policy for such outlets as Foreign Policy, Devex, Ms. Magazine, The Hill, Thomson-Reuters Foundation and open Democracy. She has media experience in television, print and radio news, including Voice of America, Al Jazeera and The New York Times. Lyric brings more than ten years of experience in global gender and development issues, including women, peace and security; women’s economic empowerment; violence against women; child marriage and adolescent girls’ issues. She has advocated for gender-equitable policies at the United Nations, the World Bank, the White House, State Department, Department of Defense, USAID and on Capitol Hill. Previously, Lyric served for five years as a primary expert and strategist for Amnesty International USA’s women’s human rights program, as senior policy manager at Women for Women International and as a project manager for overseas development contracts at DAI. In both 2018 and 2019, Lyric was named as one of the Gender Equality Top 100 by the public policy platform Apolitical. In 2016, Lyric was honored by Professional Women in Advocacy for Excellence in a Campaign for Women Serving Women, recognizing her leadership advocating with the U.S. government for the world’s first piece of foreign policy dedicated to the rights and empowerment of adolescent girls. In 2011, Diplomatic Courier Magazine named her among the “Top 99 Under 33 Young Professionals Impacting Foreign Policy”.
Our Friday Guest Speaker
Maryum Saifee is a women’s rights activist and leading voice in the movement to advance gender equality and in particular, bring about an end to Female Genital Mutilation. She is speaking in her personal capacity. Most recently, Saifee was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship where she advised the Human Rights Foundation, a global network of dissidents and citizen journalists from authoritarian regimes, on strategy and advocacy. Saifee was a career U.S. diplomat for over a decade. She began her career during the Arab Spring where she was the deputy cultural attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. She managed and oversaw over two dozen exchange programs. Saifee also served in Baghdad during the U.S. military withdrawal where she interviewed Iraqis seeking emergency immigrant visas because their lives had been threatened as a result of working for the U.S. government. After Baghdad, she worked in the U.S. Consulate in Erbil developing a strategy for the rollout of consular services. Saifee then served as a policy advisor in various capacities throughout the U.S. Department of State. Saifee covered regional organizations for the Middle East in the Bureau for International Organization Affairs where she oversaw the implementation of the first cooperative agreement between the Arab League and State Department around education, entrepreneurship, and peacebuilding. She worked on gender policy for the Secretary’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs and served as a senior advisor in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues where she covered gender-based violence and the intersection of gender, religion, and peacebuilding. In her personal capacity, as a survivor of Female Genital Mutilation, Saifee has led strategy on campaigns to end FGM in the United States. Prior to the Foreign Service, Saifee was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jordan and an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Seattle. She has consulted for the Ford Foundation, Women Deliver, Acumen Fund, and the United Nations. Saifee is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and was a recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award. She is a 2019 Presidential Leadership Scholar. Her advocacy work has been featured in The Guardian, Ms. Magazine, Council on Foreign Relations’ blog, Al Jazeera, National Public Radio, and The Economist. She is the recipient of the 2019 Global Woman Awards in the category of "Survivor Activist".
Our Mistress of Ceremony - Global Woman Awards - Friday, October 16th
Tyra Garlington - "Frankly Speaking"
She is author, inspirational speaker, local, national and international talk show host, business owner and survivor. They coined the term “steel magnolia” to describe a Southern woman whose delicate exterior belies an unbreakable core. Although she is not Southern by birth, Tyra Garlington’s life and professional experiences give the right to “steel magnolia” as her own. The Cincinnati native holds a master’s in psychology from San Diego State University. Tyra has been a teacher and principal, whose belief in the ability of children to rise above their bleak surroundings helped to turn around an entire school. She has been a member of the clinical staff at University of California, San Diego, helping tormented individuals find their way to peace. She has worked at IBM as a marketing consultant for 22 years, in higher education administration, and local, state and federal governments. She has been a volunteer mentor and Education Pillar Chair on the Board of Leadership Fairfax, in Fairfax Virginia, guiding the development of the next generation of leaders and setting the course for the educational goals of the program. She continues to deposit in this and future generations through her servant leadership in Rotary International, several ministries in her church, and life skills coaching.When Tyra enters a room, people see the smile, the style and grace. She says she is always blessed. She calms the jittery nerves of young speakers and is herself the quiet calm at the center of any storm – even those in her own life. For Tyra Garlington, there have been many obstacles. She has suffered abuse, a brain tumor, loss and cancer and she stood her ground against each one, calling on her unlimited faith and belief in God. In typical “steel magnolia” fashion, Tyra Garlington turned her internal pains into talks that would help others who faced insurmountable odds. She is drawn to charitable and service organizations that tackle domestic violence, homelessness and children who live in worlds they cannot control. The Steel Magnolia from the Mid-West will be there to help them. Tyra believes that nothing that has happened in her life will be wasted. Her next chapter will be shaped by her need to continually learn, engage, and encourage others both personally and professionally.
Our Friday Beat Box Artist
Antoinette 'Butterscotch' Clinton
Butterscotch is an American singer/songwriter/musician. Although she is heavily influenced by jazz, classical, hip hop and R&B artists, she incorporates beatboxing into her compositions with instruments she plays, including the piano, flute, saxophone, bass and guitar. After high school Butterscotch was accepted into the music program at California State University Sacramento as a Classical Piano Major but after a couple years she was touring so much and decided to pursue her dreams of making it in the musical world. Now Butterscotch is an internationally recognized vocal artist, most popularly known from her appearance on NBC's "America's Got Talent" as a finalist. Prior to America's Got Talent, Butterscotch claimed titles as both the first International World Female Beatbox Champion and the West Coast Beatbox Champion for both genders. Butterscotch has made such an impact on young women, she was even the inspiration of a teenage girl to be transformed into a beatboxer on MTV's MADE and also performed on Tyra Banks show encouraging another young talented female beatboxer to continue working to be on top. She has opened up for Wyclef Jean, Will.I.AM, Fishbone and many more. Last summer Butterscotch received the honor to record with the legendary bass trio Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten on their album and is also guest artist on the George Benson project, "Songs & Stories". She has toured in Australia, Germany and Hong Kong and continues to live her dream of touching the world with her music.
Our Friday Jazz Entertainer
Benjamin Jackson Caesar
From Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Benjamin Jackson Caesar is an American singer, songwriter, recording artist, arranger, producer, and educator. His notable instruments are piano and percussion. Caesar is one of Washington, DC’s prominent male vocalists. He is praised for his distinguished stage presence, extended high range, lyrical, clear and light tones, fine diction, song interpretation and phrasing. Caesar’s versatility has wowed audiences with his talent and skills, performing in four languages and five genres and attracting crowds of various ethnic backgrounds. He is also known for his recital/concert work within the DC Metropolitan areas including performances with the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia, Jeff Dokken, conductor. His professional music career began (Spring 2009) in Washington, DC. Caesar is fortunate to have had a career constructed on “word of mouth” via his fans and supporters. Often, he is called upon to sing for: Weddings, Funerals, private parties, churches, recitals, concerts and other special events. His music performance and education studies are from the University of the District of Columbia, Private studies at Oberlin and Shenandoah University, (Conservatories) with an emphasis in Voice Pedagogy (CCM) Contemporary Commercial Music. Caesar began singing in the church at the age of six and professional voice training at age 16. He has held many leadership positions in the church, school, university, business and corporate levels. He has performed on many platforms; such as the Kennedy Center, DAR Constitution Hall, Lafayette Park (White House Grounds), World Bank, and many more. In addition, various productions and performances such as: Pop entertainer for Six Flags, Langston Hughes, “Don’t You Want to Be Free?”, “Ragtime,” Broadway production at the Lincoln Theatre (DC), “Treemonisha,” A Scott Joplin Opera, Gilbert and Sullivan (Operetta’s)-The Washington, DC Savoyard, He has taught and accompanied, the Production, “KIDS” at the Kelsie Collie Children’s Musical. He teaches music from pre-K through 6th grade. Caesar teaches voice, piano, Spanish, public speaking and acting.
Our Friday R&B Entertainer
Cyrus DeShield, Grammy Nominated Singer
Cyrus DeShield is a Grammy-Nominated Artist. He was born in Rhode Island to Liberian parents. Cyrus returned to his parents’ homeland as a child, but before he had hit puberty, he saw the horrors of the 1990 civil war that forced his family to move from Liberia to Ghana and later, the Ivory Coast. His experiences forged a self-aware artist who connects his craft to this journey. While Cyrus and his family dodged bullets and bomb explosion, he retreated to a place where he found peace – she found solace in music. Eventually, Cyrus and his family found their way to the United States, and ironically, they settled in Boston, the same New England area where he was born. He and his brother pursued their music careers, but Cyrus never gave up, and hung onto his dreams. After Cyrus had the opportunity of singing at the Apollo in New York, he was signed to A&M/Interscope Records. He began to toy with the idea of elite songwriting and production skills to make records. Then, in 2011 Cyrus signed with Universal Music Publishing Group and moved to Atlanta three years later. He took the process slowly but steadily, until he began to climb the ladder of success. In 2019, DeShield made a transition from songwriter to a full-fledged artist. His childhood experiences migrating across West Africa, consuming diverse sounds and cultures shape his musical perspective and rhythm.
Our Saturday Keynote Speaker