Convene with purpose.
Lunch and Learn is the cornerstone Ambassadors fundraising event. The event features a well-known keynote speaker who is a thought leader, author, and/or advocate for child or maternal health. Past speakers include Selma Blair, Amy Purdy, Condoleezza Rice, and Lucy Kalanithi.
2020 Lunch and Learn Keynote Speaker
A reluctant grief expert and “notable widow” (her words), Nora McInerny miscarried her second baby, lost her Dad to cancer and also lost her husband, Aaron, to a brain tumor all within 6 hellish weeks in 2014. A prolific creator, Nora wrote the critically-acclaimed memoirs It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) and No Happy Endings, as well as The Hot Young Widows Club. She hosts the award-winning podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking, founded the non-profit organization Still Kickin, spoke on TED’s mainstage and writes essays published in Elle, Cosmopolitan, Time, Slate and Vox. A master storyteller, Nora is known for bringing heart and humor to even the toughest topics. She was voted Most Humorous by the Annunciation Catholic School Class of 1998.
Previous Lunch and Learn Speakers
SELMA BLAIR | 2019
Our 12th annual Lunch & Learn featured actress Selma Blair. Selma, born and raised in Michigan, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1994. From her performance in Legally Blonde (2001), to The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (2016), Selma has created a well respected platform used for more than fame.
Off-screen, Selma furthered the #MeToo movement by speaking out about her experience with sexual harassment. As the daughter of a mother struggling with Alzheimer’s, she is a spokeswoman for Alzheimer’s research and treatment, and an advocate for compassionate care. Her other charity work includes Children's Action Network, AmFAR AIDS Research, Lange Foundation (dedicated to saving homeless and abandoned animals), No Kid Hungry, Staying Alive Foundation and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Selma is the mother of 7 year-old Arthur Saint and recently opened up about her 4-year struggle with postpartum depression and being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
AMY PURDY | 2018
Our 11th Annual Lunch and Learn featured keynote speaker Amy Purdy. Amy shared her inspirational story and we were so grateful for her personal contribution to the event. At 19, after experiencing flu-like symptoms, Amy was rushed to the hospital in a state of septic shock. She was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and was given less than a 2% chance of survival. Due to the lack of circulation she suffered, doctors had to amputate her legs below the knee. After going through this life-altering experience, Amy went on to become a world-class Paralympic skier. Her creativity, positive outlook and never give up attitude have inspired millions. She has been a featured presenter at TEDx, a contestant on The Amazing Race and Dancing with the Stars, and a touring speaker with Oprah Winfrey on Oprah’s The Life You Want Tour. She co-founded Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit organization which helps those with permanent disabilities to get involved in action sports. Amy is also the author of the national best-selling memoir, “On My Own Two Feet”.