Somaly Mam is a hero. Nick Kristof said so in his op-ed column in the New York Times this past weekend. Kristof raided a brothel in Northern Cambodia with this amazing woman who has become the guiding light in fighting forced prostitution around the world.
After escaping a similar brothel, where she was raped and tortured on a daily basis for years, Somaly Mam found her purpose. She devoted her life to fighting human trafficking, has saved 7,000 women and children from slavery, and has put her own life at risk countless times. Her biggest everyday concern is the 75 girls who live with her in her home, a haven.
"For me, dying is nothing," Mam told Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, one of her most ardent supporters, on stage at this year's Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. Sandberg framed the problem of human slavery in business terms: It is an estimated $32 billion industry. Imagine, in this era--human trafficking is reportedly the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world.
Sandberg's conversation with Mam drew a standing ovation from the MPW audience, some tears, and a flood of support to the tune of $45,000.
We're glad we could help in a small way. Watch this clip of Sandberg's interview with Mam, and if you too would like to help, go to the Somaly Mam Foundation here.
Evelyn Lauder, who died of complications from non-genetic ovarian cancer on Saturday, had a swarm of close friends throughout her life. Yet many close friends who attended her funeral today did not have a clue that she would die so soon.
Classic Evelyn. "It was never about her. It was always about you," Liz Robbins, a prominent Washington lobbyist, told me this morning over breakfast before she headed to the invitation-only MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 14, 2011 1:22 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
Elizabeth McKee Gore works at Ted Turner's UN Foundation and oversees Global Partnerships there.
She told me the cool story about creating Nothing But Nets five years ago. The UN Foundation wanted to help cure the world of malaria. Her bosses charged her to develop a strategy to build a public campaign.
She came up with a program called the UN Foundation Campaign to End Malaria. And she commissioned a MOREPatricia Sellers - Apr 25, 2011 11:58 AM ET
by Patricia Sellers
Today's best CEOs know that a dose of social responsibility helps attract and keep customers and employees.
Most companies give around 1% of their pre-tax profits to philanthropic causes. One that stands above the crowd: Target (TGT). The big-box retailer gives more than 5% of its pre-tax income to support communities. The 5% pledge, which Target proudly promotes, translates to more than $3 million in giving each week.
Patricia Sellers - Nov 17, 2010 12:31 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
You thought that peer pressure ended in high school?
Not so. This is the method that Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates are using to challenge America's billionaires.
This morning, Fortune broke the story that Buffett and the Gateses (MSFT) are calling on the other wealthiest in the land to give half of their personal net worth to charity. "The biggest fundraising drive in history" is what my colleague, MOREPatricia Sellers - Jun 16, 2010 2:01 PM ET
by Jessica Shambora
Global issues took center stage at last night's Fortune Most Powerful Women dinner in New York, thanks to the voices of CNN's legendary foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour and Xerox's (XRX) Anne Mulcahy, who retired as chairman yesterday.
Amanpour, who spent 27 years at CNN championing international coverage, heads to ABC in August to take over from George Stephanopoulos as host of Sunday morning's This Week. She told Fortune's Pattie MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - May 21, 2010 3:29 PM ET
A Friday indulgence: While I try not to use Postcards as a promotional vehicle for what we do at Fortune, I can't resist telling about a milestone we reached yesterday. The Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, the confab that grew out of our annual Power list in the magazine, has sold out.
Eight months ahead of the 2010 event, October 4-6 in Washington, D.C.
That's crazy. Granted, for a few years now, MOREPatricia Sellers - Feb 12, 2010 10:51 AM ET
I delved into On the Brink last evening. That's the new memoir by Hank Paulson, the former Treasury Secretary, about trying to save the world--or at least the global financial system--when Bear Stearns (JPM) and Lehman Brothers (BCS) and AIG (AIG) were collapsing around him.
The hell, the fear, the physical illness he felt are long past. When I spoke with Paulson on Friday, he seemed mightily relieved about that--and that MOREPatricia Sellers - Feb 2, 2010 2:00 PM ET
In this past Sunday's New York Times, Nick Kristof wrote a column titled "Our Basic Human Pleasures: Food, Sex and Giving." Compelling title. Even more compelling insights. Kristof makes the case that altruism breeds happiness. That is, if you work with others on a cause larger than yourself, you'll likely be happier than the lone super-achiever.
It's a great thought--and certainly relevant now, as we absorb the horrifying extent of the MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 21, 2010 3:02 PM ET
Before Mary Richards and Murphy Brown, there was Ann Marie--That Girl. I grew up in the '60s. So Marlo Thomas, who played the first independent working woman I ever saw on TV, had a major impact on me. Nearly a half-century later (yikes!), I now know Marlo personally. It's enormously gratifying to see an icon of my youth not only going strong (and looking young) but doing work that really MOREPatricia Sellers - Dec 3, 2009 11:05 AM ET
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