A UNITED FRONT: Ronald Lauder and his wife, Jo Carole, opened their uptown Manhattan home in the name of peace Monday night.
As an ambassador for Peace for the United Nations, the cosmetics magnate welcomed supporters of the UN Women for Peace Association. The group’s president, Barbara Winston, and her daughter, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, were in the crowd, as was former New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly, who will cochair the organization’s annual luncheon on March 1 with Alice Tisch. Kelly spoke about the criminality of human trafficking and how women and girls are smuggled from one country to another and are often held for years.
“This organization is a vital one — no question about it. They are committed and devoted to getting the word out, making people aware of the atrocities that have happened to women across the globe and are happening every day,” said Kelly, noting how the group works with closely with U.N. agencies to develop social, educational and professional opportunities for women and girls to foster empowerment and independence. “It is important to point out that any of the resources that come into this organization go direct to the U.N. trust fund to help end violence against women. That organization has an aim of prevention, as well as myriad services for the victims of violence.”
Afterward, some guests were so intrigued by their surroundings that they took a brief guided tour of the second floor. On the main floor, Lauder discussed the role companies have in pitching in with societal challenges and other causes. “There’s no question that all companies — fashion, beauty, steel, anything — have to be involved. Too often you see them not really involved. They have to be the leaders, they have to be the people who make the difference. Too often, even in our industry, they’re not that involved as they should. Estée Lauder, as you know, is very involved in breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease [research]. We typically do something as a family and as a corporation. I think that all companies in this industry and all the industries should be involved.”
This year’s luncheon will honor the actor, writer and activist Ben Stiller with the UNWFPA Advocacy award; Think Equal founder Leslee Udwin with the Activism in Arts Education award; designer Naeem Khan with the Women’s Empowerment award, and philanthropists Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujols and his wife Deidre with the Humanitarian award. Mark Brackett, founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and Robin Stern, the center’s cofounder and associate director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, will receive a Changemakers and Educators award. UNWPA, the Yale-backed Center and Facebook are working together to raise awareness about importance of integrating social and emotional well-being into schools, families and communities as a pathway to peace around the world.