To Circle the Earth

To Circle the Earth: Ibu Global Council of Women with Pat MitchellWhile passengers slept through the long transcontinental flight bound for Africa, I watched my friend Pat tear through endless email exchanges, determined to pave a path for groundbreaking women filmmakers to flee Afghanistan where they were no longer welcome. Pat would not rest until her friends were free.  

What I mean to say is that Pat Mitchell will never rest while women around the world are anything less than free.

Herself escaping a tiny Southern town where options for women were nil, Pat has spent a lifetime circling the earth, paving a way for women wherever she goes. Whether making award-winning films as President of CNN Productions or serving as the first woman President of PBS, offering a platform for unheard voices as Chair of Sundance Institute, founding TEDWomen to allow more women's voices to be heard, or leading initiatives for women from Kalkota to Colombia to the Congo, Pat has powered the efforts of countless women. When she penned a book of her adventures, she invited the reader to join her in, as she called it, Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World. This is the life Pat leads. A brilliantly dangerous one.

 Susan Hull Walker and Pat Mitchell in Kenya

One May evening on a friend's porch, Pat and I began to sink into one another's stories as we sank into our rockers, into a webbed world where our work, travels, and passions seamlessly connected. The next day, Pat read the Ibu website from one end to the other, wrote and offered to put her shoulder to the plow and help move the movement, and began with me a conversation that has only grown more adventurous—may I say dangerouswith each day.  

Together, we imagined for Ibu a Global Council of Women—a circle of leaders from all regions of the world championing the women of their home countries and shining a light on the work of Ibu artisans there. It's the beginning of a true global network connecting Ibu women across boundaries. Pat has already gone to work, bringing women of accomplishment and advocacy to the Ibu table.

It's a joy to inaugurate the Ibu Global Council by introducing Pat Mitchell to you today. If you don't already follow her fearless work, you can read her weekly reports on the affairs of women everywhere, listen to her interviews and videos, or read her dangerous book here. Each month we'll add faces and names to the Ibu Global Council until it circles the earth, and all of the women in it. Pat will be at the helm, as always, tirelessly, resolutely, and with great heart, accompanying women into their sovereignty and strength. 

All the best,