Cherie Blair Speaks at Wheelock Conference

June 20, 2013

Activist Cherie Blair at Wheelock International ConferenceHuman rights activist Cherie Blair told attendees at the opening of Wheelock's inaugural International Conference that nonprofit groups need to work together to solve the world's most intractable problems.

"[Before I started my foundation] I would see good work over here and good work over there," said Blair, who founded the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women in 2008 to help women build small and growing businesses in developing and emerging markets so that they can contribute to their economies and have a stronger voice in their societies. "We must work across sectors and share not just our successes—which is easy—but our failures. Otherwise, we're not going to make big solutions to the big issues."

Blair's keynote address was the inaugural event kicking off the Global Challenges and Opportunities Facing Children, Youth and Families conference hosted by Wheelock from June 19-22, 2013. More than 500 people are participating in the conference, including more than 160 speakers from 40 different countries and 25 states. Participants include national and international educators, practitioners, researchers, philanthropists, students, and policy leaders, all ready to explore pressing issues affecting children, youth, and families in the areas of education, health, and human rights across the globe.

Wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, leading lawyer and committed campaigner for women's rights, Blair is an active campaigner on equality and human rights issues. In addition to founding her own charity, Cherie remains closely involved with charities with a special emphasis on women and children. She is a member of the International Center for Research on Women's Leadership Council, Ambassador for the GSMA mWomen Programme, Honorary Vice President of Barnados, President of the Loomba Foundation, Ambassador for Scope, Trustee of Africa Justice Foundation and Patron of a number of charities, including Breast Cancer Care and SolarAid. Cherie is also Vice-Chair of the US Secretary of State's International Council for Women's Business Leadership and Honorary Chair of the World Justice Project.

Cherie was an Ambassador for London 2012, supporting the bid to host the Olympics in the UK and was awarded a CBE in the 2013 New Year's Honours List for services to women's issues and to charity in the UK and Overseas.

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