September 14, 2016

A Movement for Women, Race, Equity and Knocking-Down Barriers to Success

Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) has partnered with Southbank Centre, London to bring Women of the World (WOW) back to Baltimore. The global festival celebrates women as a force for positive change and will be held at NDMU on October 7 & 8.

The two-day festival brings local, national and international contributors to the stage to celebrate and discuss issues most important to women – including equal pay, race, gender equality, politics, activism, education, LBGTQ, health and more. Live music, entertainment, food trucks, speed mentoring and a local marketplace are also highlights of the festival.

“WOW celebrates women and girls and takes a frank look at what's stopping them from achieving their potential,” says Jude Kelly WOW Founder and Artistic Director, Southbank Centre – London. “WOW is the biggest gathering of women and girls across the globe, and I'm so pleased that Baltimore is part of this story for change.”

The festivals are designed to be agents of change in their host cities, providing a space for women to participate in discussion, education and collaboration on the issues that most impact their lives. Launched in 2011 in London, WOW Festivals have engaged and inspired more than 1 million women across five continents and cities in Australia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, the U.K., and in New York City.

“We partnered with WOW to create an inclusive, learning and sharing environment,” says NDMU President Marylou Yam. “It is exciting when two organizations with similar missions come together and we are proud to be part of this powerful movement to continue to improve the global landscape for women and for everyone.”

Beginning in 2015, NDMU held WOW Think-ins and invited Baltimore businesses and community leaders along with citizens to come together to determine what issues and topics were important to women and the surrounding community.

"WOW Baltimore 2016 will shine a positive spotlight on our city and on the strength and power of the women of Baltimore, while providing a forum for discussion of local issues and opportunities for collaboration and transformation," says PJ Mitchell, Baltimore community leader and Chair of the WOW Partnership Board.

Among the noted speakers and topics at WOW Baltimore:

  • Spotlight on Baltimore: Racial injustice, police procedure, culture and the death of Freddie Gray
  • Women in Hollywood: Anne Donahue, Hollywood executive producer and co-creator of the CSI television series
  • Debbie Phelps, hosting “School Days” a program focused on success for more than 500 high school girls
  • Nancy Jo Small, award-winning author of “American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers”
  • April Reign, activists and creator of #OSCARSSOWHITE 
  • Jay Newton Small, author of “Broad Influence: The Way Women Are Changing the Way America Works”
  • Dr. Laura Berman, internationally renowned sex and relationship therapist
  • And much more…

For more information and to register visit