Performer and survivor Dawnn Lewis to attend 2021 CFJ Speaking of Women



Dawnn Lewis, stage and film star, philanthropist, and domestic violence survivor, has been named keynote speaker at the 24th Annual Speaking of Women Luncheon Benefiting the Center for Family Justice.

Lewis, a versatile artist known for her role in the 1980s sitcom A different world and more recently in Broadway’ssmash Tina: The musical Tina Turner, will be headlining a show scheduled for Tuesday, September 21 at noon at Waterview in Monroe.

Presented by the title sponsor United People’s Bank, Speaking of Women is CFJ’s annual fundraiser, providing essential support to the programs and services of the Bridgeport-based nonprofit organization, which provides crisis and support services to victims of domestic and sexual violence and of child abuse in the communities of Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull.

True to her tradition of choosing Talking Women speakers who have a strong connection to her mission, Lewis was chosen to headline this year’s event because of her willingness to share her own experiences of abuse in the interest of supporting others. In addition to her award-winning career as an actress, singer and songwriter, Lewis is a dedicated philanthropist whose Foundation of the new day focuses on helping and mentoring disadvantaged young people. This year, Lewis was part of the first class to be inducted into the Female Songwriters Hall of Fame.

“Dawnn Lewis is a dynamic and inspiring woman, and an extremely talented creative artist who will bring her passion for promoting the hope, safety and empowerment of fellow survivors on the Speaking of Women podium,” said Debra A. Greenwood, President and CEO of The Family Justice Center. “We are incredibly happy to have her with us for what we are sure will be an inspiring, meaningful and very entertaining Speaking of Women event.”

Anna Zap, co-host of the syndicated show Anna & Raven which originates locally from Star 99.9 radio, will return to Speaking of Women for her fourth consecutive year as host of the event.

This year Speaking of Women is co-chaired by Patti Masarek from Milford and Sofia Goncalves, CFJ board member, from Trumbull.

Last year, CFJ provided services to more than 7,000 people, including more than 4,300 directly affected by domestic or sexual violence and child abuse. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the association has seen an 18% increase in demand for global services and a 25% increase in its clients who are victims of domestic violence. Proceeds from Let’s Talk Women will directly support these essential, life-saving services.

This year, Speaking of Women is returning to an in-person format after switching to a virtual event in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to tickets sold for the lunch program at Waterview, CFJ also offers a virtual ticket option for those who prefer to participate in the event in a socially distant way.

Tickets for Speaking of Women are sold for $ 175 each for the in-person event at The Waterview and for $ 125 for the live broadcast on the day of the event.

CFJ is also looking for Let’s Talk Women sponsors and advertisers for its event program guide. To discuss sponsorship opportunities or ticket purchases, contact Lisa Labella, CFJ Director of Development and Community Engagement at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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