What started as a lark when Longwood Highlands resident Julie Hébert (an award winning writer/director of Man In the High Castle) and her friend, actress Jill Klein, served on jury duty together at the Clara Shortridge Foltz courthouse, wondering “who is Clara Shortridge Foltz?,” has now become a nonprofit media organization bringing to light stories of remarkable women who have changed the world, in the hope of inspiring women and girls to achieve their own greatness.
“After we found out who she was, we thought, “‘why didn’t we know that?” and “we need to tell people about this!,” Hébert told the Buzz. “I think a lot of people just aren’t aware of all the accomplishments of women, so we decided to make short videos and make them available online for anyone to see.” (FYI: Clara Shortridge Foltz is credited with creating our country’s system of public defenders. You can watch the video and learn more about her.)
Wow, what a difference a year can make!
This year, Look What SHE Did! hosted a benefit brunch last weekend at Jar Restaurant (owned by award-winning chef Suzanne Tracht) to celebrate its success and to raise funds to spread the word about the organization’s work creating short videos that tell the story of ground-breaking women who were largely left out of our common historical narrative.
“I learned about Look What SHE Did! at the Ebell of Los Angeles and was so impressed,” Hancock Park resident Janna Bodek Harris told the Buzz. “I thought they were fantastic and wanted to get involved. So when Julie asked me to help plan the benefit, I got involved.”
Harris said she was very pleased to see such a diverse group of people at the benefit last weekend, adding that it’s important to have support that reflects the women featured in the organization’s videos.
“One of our objectives is to reach out to young women with the message ‘if you can see it, you can be it.’ So it is really important that our supporters are diverse like the women and girls we are trying to reach,” explained Harris.
Look What SHE Did! is now a 501(3)c nonprofit media organization whose videos are free and intended to be widely shared and discussed. Last weekend’s benefit brunch brought the organization very close to reaching its fundraising goal of $50,000 during its annual Women’s History Month Fundraising Campaign to fund the small annual operation.
Harris and her husband Jim Harris were among the sponsors of the brunch, along with Hancock Park residents John & Marilyn Wells, through their family foundation. Other sponsors included Arleen Sorkin & Christopher Lloyd, Amazon Prime Video and Transform, Inc.
The brunch featured a conversation with Joan Blades (co-founder MoveOn.org) and member of the Look What SHE Did! advisory board, Dr. Jane Margolis (UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies) and Erin Aubry Kaplan (journalist and essayist) on historic inequality and the challenges presented by today’s highly polarized political environment. As writers, researchers and political organizers, the three women presented their own ideas and frustrations about how society can move toward systemic change that improves the lives of everyone.
Entertainment professionals who attended included: Lynn Hirshfield (SVP Participant Media), Jordan Sheehan (Executive VP, Scott Free), Robin Swicord (Academy Award nominated writer), Shelby Jiggetts-Tivony (Creative Vice President for Disney), Robin Weigert (Emmy nominated actress), Anna Thomas (Academy Award nominated writer), Kathy Baker (Emmy award winning actress), Dana Stevens (writer, producer), Gates McFadden (actress) and Arleen Sorkin (actress). Christopher Lloyd (Emmy award winning producer of Modern Family) and Devorah Moos Hankin (Producer, Catch Me If You Can and Patch Adams) were not able to attend.
Hancock Park resident Kelly Martin and Ebell members Cynthia Comsky, Marnie Bodek and Laurie Schechter were also in attendance.
We can’t wait to see what next year brings. In the meantime, check out their video library with dozens of titles and a video of the brunch made by the talented 17 year old African American filmmaker, Aniya Wolfe below.