Thursday May 9th - 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
21c Main Gallery Stage
From her iconic portrayals on screen to landmark representation research behind the scenes, Geena Davis has built a career on breaking Hollywood’s gender rules and roles alike. In this live podcast conversation with Geena, Unladylike hosts Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin will explore the risks, rewards and revelations that shaped her uncompromising stardom and inspired her to redefine what it means to be a leading lady and change-maker in today’s industry.
Academy Award winner Geena Davis, one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, is recognized for her tireless advocacy of gender equality in media nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. She is the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which is successfully influencing film and television content creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters — and reduce gender stereotyping — in media targeting children 11 and under.
In 2015, Davis launched the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), an unprecedented initiative in support of women and diversity in the entertainment industry and serves as it’s Co-Founder and Chair. BFF provides a platform to significantly boost the commercial value of content produced and starring minorities and women. This initiative is the only film festival to provide guaranteed theatrical, television, digital and home entertainment distribution for the winners.
In 2012, Davis was appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She is an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide. Davis is also the Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women.
As an actor, Davis has appeared in several roles that have become cultural landmarks. Earning the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show “Commander in Chief.”
In 1989, Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist. She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance as Thelma in Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise. Davis went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her work in A League of Their Own. Other credits include iconic films such as Tootsie, The Fly, Beetlejuice, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Stuart Little.
Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis has: she is not only an award winning actor, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer, and a semi-finalist in the Olympic Trials), and a member of the genius society Mensa. Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.
Caroline Ervin is the co-founder of Atlanta-based Unladylike Media, the co-author of Unladylike: A Field Guide to Smashing the Patriarchy and Claiming Your space, and the co-host of the podcast — you guessed it — Unladylike. She's a research-driven feminist investigator always on the hunt for the hidden histories of women who’ve changed the world. An editor by training, Caroline employs her print journalism background in her new-media approach to educating audiences about health, history and pop culture through a gendered lens.
An established voice on 21st-century women, gender and feminism, Cristen prides herself in educating, inspiring and making folks laugh at the same time. Whether on the page, on stage, on camera, or in the podcast studio, she sees no stereotype too superficial, no inequality too insurmountable, and no topic too taboo to confront with credibility and candor. Her favorite food group is La Croix.