Gulf Coast Chapter

Thank You for a Successful Season

We'd like to thank all our members, supporters, and friends for helping to make our 2020-2021 season of events truly successful. We pivoted to virtual options for our annual walk, lunch, and film festival, and while we missed gathering in person, we're thrilled with how these events went.

Stay tuned for updates on the exciting events we're planning for the 2021-2022 season. And again, thank you for your support.


GCC - Diversity Statement

July 1, 2020

The Gulf Coast Chapter of UN Women USA is committed to encouraging membership and leadership that is diverse and inclusive.

UN Women believes that women are the product of their lived experiences. These experiences reflect a diverse array of religions, races, cultures, and sexual orientations. They shape who women become as individuals and as family and community members.

 It is our fundamental belief that when a range of diverse voices is heard, our Chapter is more productive, purposeful, and joyful. Through the efforts of women and men who reflect our entire community, we are better able to achieve our goals and provide our members with enriching, fulfilling life experiences.

Upcoming Events

From virtual community conversations with award-winning filmmakers to our annual walks, luncheons, and the Through Women's Eyes International Film Festival, the Gulf Coast Chapter hosts a variety of engaging events throughout the year. Stay up to date with what's next here.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Women & Girls

• Women are 70% of health and social workers globally.
• Women are more likely to lose an income.
• Women who are displaced, refugees or migrant workers are particularly vulnerable in a pandemic.
• In quarantine, domestic violence and sexual exploitation have risen. Access to justice is disrupted. 
• Women do 3x the unpaid care work compared to men.

UN Women is there for women during COVID-19 and always.

Take action for good. Any amount will help women around the globe.



UN Women USA Gulf Coast Chapter (GCC)

GCC is a group of committed women and men who work to: 

  • Educate about gender issues worldwide 
  • Advocate on behalf of gender equity here and globally
  • Fundraise to support the valuable programs of UN Women

As a local Gulf Coast Chapter Member, you help actuate change at the global level. The work is real and effective. Please support your chapter events and change the lives of women everywhere.


Real Work. Real Progress. 
Support women and girls around the world.

2020-2021 SEASON Gender Equality: Now More Than Ever

New and Ongoing Programming
GCC Community Connections - Online! 

  • Gulf Coast Chapter Book Club: Meets 2:30-4 p.m., on Mondays. For schedule and book titles, contact Leita Kaldi Davis at
  • GCC Member Conversations: Join us via Zoom on a host of interesting topics.
  • Book Club and Member Conversation schedules, titles and Zoom links will be sent out via the newsletter. Contact Cathy Berna at to be added to the newsletter distribution list. 


Saturday, December 5, 2020
Walk With Us - Beginning with an online fundraising campaign, this community walk in Sarasota helps raise awareness about violence against women. 

Saturday, February 13, 2021
Women and the Environment - Join us for an issue-oriented lunch at the Sarasota Yacht Club. Tickets.
March 5-7, 2021
Through Women's Eyes International Film Festival - In its 22nd year, this high-profile festival presents the very best in new, groundbreaking films by established and emerging filmmakers from around the world.

For membership information, contact Cathy Berna, Membership Chair, at 941-923-1050 or

Annual Lunch

The annual gathering highlights current gender equality topics and new UN Women initiatives.

Winter Walk

Beginning with an online fundraising campaign, this community walk in Sarasota helps raise awareness about violence against women.

International Women's Day

A delightful social event, this evening party celebrates women around the world.

Spring Festival (Through Women's Eyes)

Our largest event, this high-profile festival presents the very best in new, groundbreaking films by established and emerging filmmakers from around the world.

The Gulf Coast Chapter Seasons in Review

Recap of our 2019-2020 Season
"Gender Equality: The Time Is Now"
January 26, Sunday, 2 p.m. at Bookstore1:

A Community Conversation about Gender Equality and the Environment
A panel discussion with Christine Johnson, President of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, and Dr. Heather O'Leary, Assistant Professor ISS-Anthropology, University of South Florida. Moderated by E. Scott Osborne and Chris Serio Martin. 

February 1, Saturday:
Walk With Us 
Community walk to raise awareness about violence against women and girls
9 a.m. at Payne Park, Sarasota
February 29, Saturday: 
A HeForShe Community Event with Second Chance Last Opportunity
March 6,7,8, Weekend: 
Through Women's Eyes International Film Festival
International Women's Day Celebration



Recap of our 2018-2019 Season
"The Power of Voice"
Through your support, our programs raised more than $50,000!

October: Fall Lunch "Finding Our Voices"
Almost 150 guests enjoyed an enlightening afternoon of great programming. We celebrated advocate Mona Jain, and keynote speaker, Dr. Tracy Collins, addressed the importance of financial strength for women. Guests enjoyed the game show, "Whaddaya Say?," a light-hearted look at bridging difficult, controversial conversations. 
January: "The Power of Speaking Up: Sparking Conversations and #MeToo 2019

GCC #MeToo 2018

Men and women gathered at a sold out event at Bookstore One in downtown Sarasota to learn about issues surrounding #MeToo. 

February: "Walk With Us. The Power of Community."

On this beautiful day, many community groups joined us to raise awareness and share stories of their efforts fighting violence against women and pushing for gender equality. The GCC online fundraising program was a great success!
GCC Winter Walk
Photo: Image Lab Inspired Photography, Sarasota
March: International Women's Day - The Power of Voice Through Books
On Friday, March 8, at the Art Center, Sarasota, we enjoyed celebrating women around the globe and the words of our speaker, Dr. Deborah G. Plant, an African American literature and Africana Studies scholar.

Through Women's Eyes International Film Festival Was a Great Success! 
We enjoyed a wonderful and inspiring collection of outstanding films, sold out our TWE ticket packages, and raised a record amount for UN Women programs. Attendees saw a broad range of films that showcased brave and inspiring women. For more descriptions of TWE films see 
Thank you to all who attended and supported TWE!
Also, thank you to Manatee Educational Television for terrific coverage of our Fabulous Filmmakers Reception. Enjoy the video interviews of our filmmakers below.

Through Women's Eyes Film Festival 4-6-19
Through Women's Eyes Film Festival 4-6-19



The sold-out Fall Luncheon in October showcased the HeForShe Campaign and brought women and men together to hear Dr. Phil Wagner, USF Sarasota-Manatee, speak about cultural "Brocabulary." Sarasota Mayor Shelli Freeland presented the CEDAW Resolution. The LBGTQIACMFO? Players performed "How do you say He/She?"
Walk With Us, a Walk Against Violence in March was a great success. We partnered with Café in the Park in downtown Sarasota and benefited from the support of the Pine View Peace Jam club. Thanks again to Coastal Eye Clinic for their generous sponsorship.
Through Women's Eyes, our signature international film festival had another banner weekend this past April, with sold out theaters for many of our fabulous films.  
These collaborative Chapter efforts raised more than $40,000, all of which goes to support UN Women programs. 
HeForShe is a UN Women solidarity movement for Gender Equality.
Many thanks to our generous sponsors: SunTrust Private Wealth Management, Coastal Eye Institute, Democratic Club of Sarasota, Asolo Rep, The Harding Group at Morgan Stanley, The Sierra Club, New Gate Montessori IB, Protect Our Defenders, Veracity Chiropractic, Upper Cut Boxing and Fitness

Why become a member of USNC-UN Women?

Around the world, governments, corporations, families, and individuals are realizing the universal benefits of gender equity, and UN Women is the neutral, global voice for Gender Equity.
UN Women works with member state governments, regardless of political orientation, investing in women's economic empowerment, increasing women's political participation, and making sure women's needs are equally represented in the allocation of public services.
The need for UN Women programs has never been more in demand and the Gulf Coast Chapter of the U.S. National Committee for UN Women is stepping up to meet the challenge! All proceeds from GCC activities go to support UN Women.
For membership information:
If you are interested in participating in the work of the GCC chapter, please email

Past Event: August Book Club

MONDAY, AUGUST 10 at 2:30 p.m.

August Book Club: Cantoras

The UN Women-USA GCC Book Club will meet via Zoom in Monday, August 10, to discuss "Cantoras" by Carolina DeRobertis, a Uruguayan-American author.  This is the story of five lesbian women in 1977 Uruguay, under a military government that crushed political dissent with ruthless force, and where homosexuality was a crime.

Contact Leita Kaldi Davis ( for the Zoom link and meeting ID.

Past Event: July Book Club


July Book Club: The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison

Join tus for a timely and eye opening discussion of Toni Morrison's The Origin of Others on Monday, July 13. The meeting will take place on Zoom OR at the Betty J. Johnson Library in Sarasota. Contact Leita Kaldi Davis ( to be notified of the location and receive log in information, if needed.

This title was selected in view of the intense global uprising in the wake of George Floyd's murder by police, prompting us to delay our regular book schedule for a month in order to focus on a noteworthy book on racism in July. Choosing one book is a heavy task, made even more challenging by the fact that many books by acclaimed authors like Ta Nehisi-Coates, Dr. Robin DiAngelo, Ibram X. Kendi, Ijeoma Olu, and Trevor Noah are out of stock at major booksellers and checked out or on hold at the Sarasota libraries. (That's rather telling, is it not?)

In the end, we chose a book that is both available and appealing to our readers: The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison, We invite any and all interested parties (membership in UN Women GCC is not required) to read this and join us for our discussion on July 13.

Past Event: Virtual Community Conversation -- The Shadow Pandemic

Community Conversation: Newtown Alive, June 18


Virtual Community Conversation: The Shadow Pandemic

Join us on Zoom on Wednesday, July 15 at 2:00, to hear Jessica Hayes, CEO of SPARCC, and GCC representatives for a conversation about intimate partner (domestic) violence. Time for questions and discussion following the presentation.

Click the link below on July 15 at 2:00 (or just a few minutes beforehand) to join this community conversation:

Meeting ID: 868 0260 1599