Concern Worldwide, U.S., the non-profit founded over 45 years ago by the late Fr. Aengus Finucane, held its annual Women of Concern luncheon on June 27 at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan. The organization, which implements programs in 25 of the world’s poorest countries and reaches 6.9 million people, recognized Carla Harris, managing director and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley, as its 2013 honoree.
The event was emceed by Lynda Baquero, an Emmy-award-winning correspondent for NBC4. Aine Fay, Concern Worldwide U.S. operations director and the 2013 guest speaker, gave a moving speech about first leaving Ireland as a nurse to work with Concern 30 years ago; how far they have come since then, and how much further Concern is striving to go, especially in response to the crisis in Syria.
Dr. Anita Sands, a group managing director at UBS and the 2012 Woman of Concern, together with Concern Worldwide U.S.’ chairman Tom Moran and Joe Calahan, Concern’s recently appointed CEO, presented Carla Harris with her 4,500-year-old bog oak sculpture award.
Harris spoke powerfully of Concern’s work, especially its mission to empower women in poor communities as catalysts for change. “They need us to recognize that as women, we are the lifeblood and the connectors to the future. If we don’t make it, then the future will not thrive. If my sister in the Congo or Bangladesh does not survive, then our children’s future will be compromised because it will be devoid of the contributions her children can bring to the world. Each of us is called to do our part,” she said.