International photojournalist coming to Walla Walla

YWCA Walla Walla is excited to announce that Paola Gianturco will be the keynote speaker at the YWCA Leadership Luncheon at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2. Tickets, $50 per guest, are available from the YWCA office or from one of our Table Captains.

Paola is an American photojournalist and former business executive, born and raised in Urbana, Illinois. Her photojournalistic work has focused on women around the world who have overcome difficult issues. When she was 8 years old, she received her first camera, a gift from her father. She graduated from Stanford University in 1961.

Before becoming a photojournalist in the mid-1990s, Paola spent 34 years working in marketing and corporate communications. She worked at Hall & Levine, the first women-owned advertising agency, where she became a principal; and spent nine years as executive vice president of the corporate communications subsidiary of Saatchi & Saatchi. In 1995, Paola was living near San Francisco, working as a communications consultant. The United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing inspired her to document craftswomen in developing countries, and she invited former co-worker Toby Tuttle to collaborate in photographing and writing a book. Photojournalism became her career.

Paola has worked as a photojournalist, documenting women’s lives in 55 countries. PowerHouse Books has published five of her acclaimed photographic books: Gianturco’s Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon (2012), Women Who Light the Dark (2007), ¡Viva Colores! A Salute to the Indomitable People of Guatemala (2006), Celebrating Women (2004), and, In Her Hands, Craftswomen Changing the World (2004). All are philanthropic projects, for which she donates her royalties to carefully selected nonprofit organizations that relate to each book’s content.

Poala just published Wonder Girls: Changing Our World in collaboration with Alex Sangster and Musimbi Kanyoro. Paola   and her 11-year-old granddaughter documented the work of 15 girl-led nonprofit groups in 13 countries in Asia and Central Asia, North and Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. They interviewed and photographed 102 girls.

“If you believe ‘girls are the future,’ prepare to be dazzled,” said Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin, YWCA Executive Director. “These girls are changing our world right now, and you will leave this luncheon inspired and full of hope.”

Groups of activist girls age 10-18 are transforming our world: improving education, health, equality and the environment; stopping child marriage, domestic violence, trafficking and war. Their imagination and courage radiate through their stories, all told in their own words.

The book’s Foreword was written by Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, the world’s largest grant- making organization that benefits women and girls internationally. The Global Fund for Women will receive 100% of the authors’ royalties from this book. Musimbi was also General Secretary (CEO) of the World YWCA for 9 years, working out of Geneva.

Paola’s photographs have appeared in Marie Claire, Essence Magazine, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, and the Washington Post, among others. Paola has been a guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” CNN, NPR and “Voice of America” programs as well as many other television and radio programs across the country and around the world. Her work has been exhibited by the United Nations-New York; UNESCO-Paris; the US Senate Russell Rotunda; The Field Museum, Chicago; The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Washington DC; the International Museum of Women, the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco and the San Jose Museum of Art among others. Paola has lectured all over the country, including The Peabody Museum, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, The Smithsonian Renwick Gallery and the American Craft Museum.

Gianturco is a former board member of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development, and a former board chair of the Washington-based Crafts Center. 40 Over 40 listed her as one of 40 Women to Watch Over 40 in 2013. Women’s e-News named her one of Leaders for the 21st Century in 2014.Grandmother Power won ForeWord Review’s 2012 Book of the Year Award for Women’s Studies, the 2013 International Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction, and’s 2013 Readers’ Choice award for Favorite Grandparenting Book.