Fashion mogul Kimora Lee Simmons has joined forces with Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) executive director Valeisha Butterfield, Motown Records president/Universal Records executive vice president Sylvia Rhone and singer Joss Stone to help launch the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN).
Led by women executives in music, television, film, radio and other forms of entertainment, WEEN is dedicated to supporting, promoting and defending the positive, balanced portrayal of women in entertainment and in society.
The coalition, which is comprised of women of all races and ages, was created in light of recent discussion surrounding the portrayal of women of color in entertainment, specifically in Hip-Hop music.
It will target three core areas which include corporate social responsibility, media/artist responsibility and community programs/outreach.
“I am truly honored to join forces with the Women’s Entertainment Empowerment Network and this amazing collective of women,” said Simmons, the coalition’s national spokeswoman. “I firmly believe in WEEN’s mission and hope that together we can begin making a real difference with our work.”
More than 80 influential women in the entertainment industry, including corporate executives, recording artists and educators, helped develop WEEN’s mission statement, program and strategy.
The coalition will formally launch with a special invitation-only “pink” carpet event on Sept. 19 at Bo Concept, an exclusive furniture store in Manhattan. The event will kick-off a twelve month countdown to enroll 1 million women into WEEN.
To help develop its network and enroll members, the coalition created WEENonline.org.
Valeisha Butterfield believes WEEN will be a catalyst for motivating women to be more active in how are viewed.
“It is imperative that as women in leadership positions, we take back responsibility, raise awareness and implement programs that reach the young women and men in our communities that need it most,” said Butterfield, the coalition’s founder, in a statement. “Young girls are crying out for our support and mentorship. Dialogue is important, but not enough. Dialogue followed by strategy and subsequent action is necessary for the type of change we hope to see in our communities.”
For details visit www.weenonline.org.