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Press Releases

The 3rd Annual Women’s Luncheon Goes Virtual on June 23!



Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Announces

The 3rd Annual Women’s Luncheon Goes Virtual on June 23!

“Sports, Leadership, and Leveling the Playing Field”

Tuesday, June 23, 2020
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Online via Zoom. Please register to receive link.


BROOKLYN, NY – The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy (Conservancy) is pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Women’s Luncheon will take place virtually on Tuesday, June 23 at 12:00 PM. Originally scheduled as an in-person event on March 13, right before COVID-19 took hold, supporters can now join the event from the comfort of their homes. The Conservancy is opening the panel discussion of this ticketed fundraiser to the public

“Sports, Leadership, and Leveling the Playing Field,” features an incredible lineup of female athletes and changemakers in the world of sports. Moderated by Stefanie Strack, the discussion will focus on leadership development in athletics and fitness, and will engage with themes of equity and diversity.

Original panelists are onboard, and we look forward to hearing from them:

  • Ashley Battle, Former WNBA Player & 3-Time National Champion
  • Lindsay Crouse, Senior Staff Editor, The New York Times
  • Alison Mariella Désir, Founder of Harlem Run and Run 4 All Women
  • Lia Neal, Olympic Swimmer, Silver and Bronze Medalist

Brooklyn Bridge Park has become a tremendous asset for sport and recreation in the city — throughout the years, the Conservancy has served thousands of visitors with a range of fitness and recreation programs in the Park, including youth basketball clinics, kayaking, soccer leagues, waterfront workouts, and more. Though public activities are not being held due to COVID-19, the Conservancy looks forward to once again providing opportunities for women and girls to train, practice, and develop their potential as athletes and leaders when programming resumes. This event raises critical funds to support the Conservancy’s waterfront programs. Thanks to the generosity of our Women’s Luncheon ticket buyers and sponsors, we are especially pleased to open this event to all who would like to participate for free.

“Sports is a perfect lens to unpack inequalities that mar our entire society. And, as we’ve seen through the leadership of many athletes in the past months and years—it’s also a valuable way to spark the conversations that change them. I’m looking forward to talking about what more we can do along those lines with these female leaders.” — Lindsay Crouse

“The past 3 months have exposed some of the darkest truths about our country and it finally appears as though there might be a reckoning — with racism, with white supremacy, with inadequate health care systems, to name a few. We cannot go back to business as usual but must remake all parts of our lives centering justice and equity. There is no more important time in history to reimagine what this might mean for girls and women in sport.” — Alison Mariella Désir

“This has been a unique and unfortunate time to say the least, but the silver lining is that it’s forced the whole world to hit pause — requiring people to step back and really reflect. I personally now know myself so much more than I did prior to quarantine. Sports, business, and life in general are so often driven by the next thing, that it’s difficult to be present. I hope that after this is all said and done, we hold onto this feeling of appreciation for each other and for nature, and go forth as a more grateful society. If anything, this entire quarantine has visibly made people more appreciative of parks, the outdoors, and nature. The grass tends to look a little greener these days, the sky bluer, and the air crisper.” — Lia Neal

“Now more than ever we must listen and create space for more VOICES. At VIS we believe that sports can host a powerful conversation about Equality and Social Justice. All of us can play a role in helping drive that change.” — Stefanie Strack


For full details, please visit the event page.

*For a press pass to attend this event, please contact Katherine Gray at kgray@brooklynbridgepark.org


ABOUT ASHLEY BATTLE


In 2005, Ashley was drafted 25th overall to the Seattle Storm. She played six years in the WNBA for the Seattle Storm, New York Liberty, San Antonio Silver Stars, as well as for international teams in Spain and Turkey. Ashley earned a double major in marketing and economics from the University of Connecticut. There, she was a three-time NCAA National Champion and made 4 Final Four appearances as a member of their famed women’s basketball team. She was also named the 2004 Big East defensive Player of the Year.

Ashley has a desire for helping the younger generation achieve their goals by coaching and mentoring high school athletes in both Pittsburgh and Connecticut. She is passionate about team building and motivating others. Currently, Ashley is part of the NBA’s Associates Program. Prior to the NBA, Ashley worked with Barnum Wealth Management. While there, she helped identify individuals who could benefit from their “Personal CFO” approach, which helps individuals better manage their wealth and achieve their long-term goals. She continues to play and coach.

ABOUT LINDSAY CROUSE

Lindsay Crouse is an editor, journalist and producer at The New York Times. Since joining the company in 2011, she has written dozens of widely discussed essays and articles about distance running, with a particular interest in the current rise of American female distance runners at all levels. Her essay “How the Shalane Effect Works,” became a frequently cited piece on female leadership and success, and her reporting on maternity issues in the sport this spring triggered industry-wide discussion and change. In November, she broke the story of Mary Cain’s allegations of abuses young women have faced while running for Nike. In her main role at The Times, she is the Senior Series Producer of Op-Docs, the short documentary series in Opinion, where she has won three Emmy awards, two Peabody awards, and three Oscar nominations. She is the first woman to receive the New York Road Runners Award for excellent in distance running coverage, the industry-leading prize. Crouse ran cross country and track at Harvard University and her best marathon is a 2:53.

ABOUT ALISON MARIELLA DÉSIR

Named by Women’s Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and the world and by The Root 100 as one of the most influential African Americans, ages 25 to 45, Alison is an endurance athlete, activist, and mental health advocate. Alison is the founder of Harlem Run (an NYC-based running movement), Run 4 All Women (an initiative that has raised over $150,000 for Planned Parenthood), and the Global Womxn Run Collective (an organization that empowers womxn leaders globally that are not given a seat at the table).

Passionate about community, mental health, and fitness, Alison’s nickname, “powdered feet,” comes from the Haitian Kreyol saying, which describes a person so active that you never see them, just the footprints of where they’ve been in powder. Alison started running distance after a period of depression, and, over the past several years, has been able to Find Meaning on the Run. Alison holds her BA in History, MA in Latin American and Caribbean Regional Studies, and EdM in Counseling Psychology, all from Columbia University.

ABOUT LIA NEAL

Lia, the daughter of a Chinese-American mother and African-American father, is the first woman of Black descent to swim an Olympic final for the United States as she helped win a Bronze for Team USA in the 4x100 freestyle relay in 2012. She also won a Silver medal as part of the US 2016 team. Her journey as a swimmer started in Brooklyn, driving 20-45 minutes into Manhattan everyday with her mom to and from Asphalt Green, home of the only indoor Olympic-sized pool in NYC. She has since graduated from Stanford University and was the school’s 2016-2017 team captain that led her team to its first NCAA Championship win in 19 years. She is now training for Tokyo 2020 whilst preparing her MBA applications. Neal is excited to continue as a role model for children interested in health, sports, swimming, and beating the odds. She understands the challenges kids will face to achieve their dreams, but believes in giving back to the community to help ameliorate some of those challenges and by sharing her story of resilience to inspire others.

ABOUT STEFANIE STRACK

Stefanie Strack is an entrepreneur, women’s advocate and leading executive at the intersection of Sports & Technology. She is the Founder and CEO of Voice in Sport™, a powerful platform creating more visibility to female athletes and sharing their stories. The new organization launched its community on Instagram @voiceinsport this year in Brooklyn, NYC with a mission to keep girls in sport and inspire them to use their voice to advocate for change. Stefanie is also the Founder and CEO of a new non-profit organization called Voice in Sport Foundation™ which is dedicated to funding Sport Research & Science for females athletes.

Formerly CEO of Rag & Bone and a 14 year Nike Executive, Stefanie’s fast tracked career at the leading sports brand started in Nike Italy in 2004. In her last role at Nike as Vice President of Express Lane she created a new innovative speed to market division from the ground up which was recently recognized as Nike’s fastest growing division. Stefanie currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and artist Alan Strack and their 2 children, Siena and Parker.

ABOUT BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK CONSERVANCY

Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy has worked for over 30 years to bring Brooklyn Bridge Park to life. We started out as grassroots advocates, bringing together residents, government, and local supporters to transform an abandoned waterfront into the park you see today. Now an essential supporter, the Conservancy works in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park to ensure that the Park reaches its full potential as a dynamic and vibrant public space for all of Brooklyn, New York City, and beyond. With your help, the Conservancy produces diverse and innovative programming for Park visitors and cultivates volunteer and philanthropic support of this special place on the Brooklyn waterfront. Since 2000, more than 1.8 million visitors have enjoyed the Conservancy’s free, public programs in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

ABOUT BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK

Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, known as Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP), is the not-for-profit entity responsible for the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre sustainable waterfront park spanning 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River shoreline. As steward of the park, BBP has transformed this previously deteriorated stretch of waterfront into a world-class park where the public can gather, play, relax and enjoy sweeping views of New York Harbor. The self-sustaining park was designed by the award-winning firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. and features expansive lawns, rolling hills, waterfront promenades, innovative playgrounds, a greenway, sports facilities and the popular Jane’s Carousel. BBP serves thousands of people on any given seasonal day, who come to picnic, walk their dog, play soccer, jog, bike or roller skate. Brooklyn Bridge Park is a signature public investment for the 21st Century and will be an enduring legacy for the communities, elected officials and public servants who made it happen.

Twitter: @BBPNYC

Instagram: @BrooklynBridgePark

Facebook: @BrooklynBridgePark

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