Award-Winning Actor, Activist Geena Davis to Headline Event

The Starr Women’s Hall of Fame induction to honor extraordinary women who have made their mark on Kansas City
Portrait of actress Geena Davis

Geena Davis, whose acting and activism have elevated gender parity, will be the featured speaker at the March 21, 2023, induction ceremony for the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame.

Geena Davis Interview on KCUR “Up to Date”

Transcript (DOC)

Davis’s award-winning work in television and film and as the founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media has established her as an industry leader in drawing attention to gender equality on screen.

“We are proud and honored that Ms. Davis is headlining this event,” Alicia Starr, co-chair of the hall of fame planning committee said. “She’s a shining example of the achievements that we honor through the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame – community enhancement, leadership and the development of opportunities and recognition for women’s accomplishments, as well as developing resources that further women’s opportunities. Her focus on research and empowering women and girls is directly in line with our objectives in honoring Kansas City’s influential women.”

Davis secured her first film acting role in “Tootsie” in 1982. She has been a working actor since,  starring in popular movies like “A League of Their Own” and “Thelma and Louise.” She received an Oscar for her starring role in the “The Accidental Tourist” in 1988 and a Golden Globe for her turn as America’s first female president in the 2005 television series “Commander in Chief.”

In 2019, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored Davis with a second Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, in recognition for her work to achieve gender parity in film and television.  Beyond industry accolades, Davis’s work exemplifies the vulnerability and triumph of women’s successes professionally and personally.  

The Emmy Awards presented Davis with the Governor’s Award in 2022 for her groundbreaking work with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media, which she founded in 2004 to create gender balance, foster inclusivity and reduce negative stereotyping within the family entertainment media. The organization uses data-driven research, education and advocacy to empower and inspire content creators to provide inclusive content. In addition, they have developed research tools for content evaluation: Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ) and Spellcheck for Bias.

This year’s induction event is at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at 4 p.m. Tickets are available through the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The Starr Women’s Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing extraordinary women and preserving the history of their accomplishments. These women are social reformers, volunteers, philanthropists, civic leaders, activists and educators. They are neighborhood leaders and grassroots organizers, from yesterday and today, both famous and unsung. They are movers and shakers whose tireless commitment to community has made Kansas City a better place to live. The Hall of Fame is a repository for their legacies. By sharing their stories, the Hall of Fame encourages and inspires women everywhere. Biographies of the past inductees are available at Starr Women's Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame is named in honor of Martha Jane Phillips Starr, a legendary activist and philanthropist who blazed a trail for family issues and women’s rights. The Hall of Fame is made possible through the Starr Education Committee, Martha Jane Starr’s family and the Starr Field of Interest Fund, which was established upon her death through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. The idea for the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame stemmed from Starr Education Committee members.

A permanent display honoring Hall of Fame members is open to the public on the third floor of the Miller Nichols Library at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The library is at 800 E. 51 St., Kansas City, Missouri.

The civic organizations that advocate on behalf of women and family issues and have signed on in support of the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame include: American Association of University Women, American Business Women’s Association, Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City, Central Exchange, CBIZ Women’s Advantage, Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri, Greater Kansas City Chamber’s Executive Women’s Leadership Council, Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus, Jackson County Missouri Chapter of the Links, Inc.; Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri; KC Metro Latinas, Kansas City Athenaeum, Kansas City Young Matrons, OneKC for Women, SkillBuilders Fund, Soroptimist International of Kansas City, Soroptimist Kansas City Foundation, UMKC, UMKC Women’s Center, UMKC Women’s Council, UMKC Women of Color Leadership Conference, United WE, WIN for KC, win|win, Women Leaders in College Sports, Women’s Public Service Network, Zonta International District 7 and Zonta Club of KC II.

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Published: Feb 1, 2023

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