Entertainment‎ > ‎

Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks And Others Lend Their Star Power To The Women In The World Summit

posted 6 Apr 2013, 05:11 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 6 Apr 2013, 05:11 ]

Oprah WinfreyTom HanksEva Longoria and other celebrities speak out for women at the Women in the World Summit in New York.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORKUNITED STATES (APRIL 05, 2013) (WOMEN IN THE WORLD SUMMIT) -  Big and small screen celebrities lent their time and voices to the annual Women in the World Summit in New York on Friday (April 05).

As TV personality Oprah Winfrey hit the stage to interview Dr. Tererai Trent, the founder of the Tinogona Foundation, and her favorite guest ever, she praised event founder Tina Brown.

"It is my honor to be here at this magnificent conference. I was in the car with my friend Gayle on the way here moments ago and I was saying, 'This is as close to church as we all - as we all come to experience the empowerment and the uplifting and the experience of caring one woman for another. This is what church needs to be. So I thank you Tina Brown," said Winfrey.

Brown is the Editor-in-Chief of The Newsweek Daily Beast Company and started the Summit in 2010 to bring women from all around together for the advancement of women and girls.

Actor Tom Hanks fought back tears as he praised his friend, late writer and director Nora Ephron.

"It may be as a mother that Nora is surprisingly accessible to us. Most recognizable as one of us. Racked with uncertainty on unfamiliar ground. Not sure of what to do. The polar opposite of the journalist who became all the other things that Nora was," said Hanks, who ended his speech by showing an old photo of Ephron with her children.

Hanks recently made his Broadway debut in Ephron's final work, "Lucky Guy".

Issues facing Latinas were voiced through actress Eva Longoria. The Mexican-American spoke about her youth foundation and its goals.

"My life's work is education. So making sure Latinas have access to, not only higher education but being college ready in high school and making sure that that happens," she said.

Fashion designer and philanthropist Diane von Furstenberg spoke about how women continue to influence her professionally and personally.

In 2010 von Furstenberg created the DVF Awards and said it was a way to pay tribute to those with motivating spirits.

"I have always been inspired by women. I am very much inspired by women. My work is about women. So I always wanted to create an award where I would be able to award these extraordinary women," she said sporting an arm brace to support a broken shoulder.

Model Christy Turlington Burns joined a panel to speak on mothers and her foundation, Every Mother Counts.

The two day summit kicked off on Thursday (April 4) with Angelina Jolie and Meryl Streep in attendance.