Announcing the Finalists in Austin’s 5th Annual International Women’s Day Awards

IWD AwardsTen Thousand Villages celebrates women locally and globally with our 5th Annual International Women’s Day Awards on Friday, March 8th, 6-8pm at our fair trade store (1317 S. Congress). The Ceremony will be hosted by 2010 IWD honoree Sara Hickman, who will present awards to three finalists and a winner from each category. “Through actions and influence these women are distinguishing Austin as a city that’s leading in social change,” Store Manager Kitty Bird said. The Finalists are:

   • Leslie Beasley – Founder, Open Arms 
   • Kay Firth-ButterfieldConsortium for Street Children
   • Christy Pipkin – Executive Director, The Nobelity Project
   • Paige Hill
– Founder, Urban Patchwork Neighborhood Farms
   • Elisabeth Welsh – Program Director, Austin Youth River Watch
   • Sarah Young – Youth Director, Discover Green – YEL

Animal Advocate
   • Karen Cole
– Founder, Lizzy’s Hospice
   • Liz ParkerEmancipet Board & Austin Pets Directory Publisher
   Sheila Smith – President, Shadow Cats Rescue

Finalists were chosen by a judges panel comprised of previous IWD winners and leaders in Austin’s nonprofit community: Brandi Clark Burton, Founder of Austin EcoNetwork; Meg Goodman Erskine, Executive Director of Multicultural Refugee Coalition; and Abigail Smith, Chief Animal Services Officer for the City of Austin.

“The judges had incredibly tough decisions to make,” Kitty said. “At the same time, it’s inspiring to learn about so many amazing women in our community who are making meaningful social impacts. This event is about celebrating all of them.”

For five years, Ten Thousand Villages has been celebrating and honoring women at this time of year. One day isn’t enough, so Ten Thousand Villages celebrates International Women’s Day for a week with cultural events and benefit shopping nights that support other nonprofits, culminating in the IWD Awards Ceremony on March 8th.

All events are free:

Monday 3/4Well Aware
5-9 pm:
Out of Africa
See Nobelity Project’s Building Hope documentary, enjoy traditional African food, and get 10% off all fair trade products handmade in Africa. A portion of all purchases supports local nonprofit Well Aware, which brings clean drinking water to rural villages in Kenya.

Tuesday 3/5
10:30-11:30 am: FREE Yoga Class! Courtesy of Mimi Curry at
5-9 pm: STender Heart Foundationouth Asian Bazaar: Mehndi, Mandalas & More
Sari wrapping, henna art, music, food and 10% off all fair trade products handmade in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. A portion of all purchases supports Austin-based Tender Heart Foundation, which helps bring education and socioeconomic development to rural communities in Northern India.

Wednesday 3/6
5-9 pm: Latin America Romance
Come hear Latin American music performed live and get a 10% discount on all fair trade products handmade in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, Haiti, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras or Colombia.

Thursday 3/7
5-9 pm: 1st Thursday on South Congress
Ten Thousand Villages stays open late for this popular monthly block party that lets Austin fly its weird flag. This event is about as Austin as it gets — don’t miss it!

Sara Hickman

Friday 3/8
6-8 pm: 5th Annual International Women’s Day Awards – Hosted by Sara Hickman! This night is all about celebrating women who have made exceptional contributions in our community and who make a difference in the lives of those around them. Limited seating; RSVP required: Facebook or email.

It’s going to be a week about social change and powerful women. Hope you will come and celebrate with us — and share this news with your friends!