In 2019 — aka The Year of the Woman — "ladies who lunch" really means "women who are passionate advocates, activists, and kick-ass fundraisers for causes they care deeply about."
Just take a look at the A-list headliners Dallas nonprofits are bringing in for their fall fundraising luncheons. They include Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and Oscar winners and nominees. Best-selling authors. A groundbreaking journalist. On screen, they're red-carpet darlings and fun late-night TV talk show guests. Off screen, they're lending their voices to causes like the fight against human trafficking, the importance of arts education, and female empowerment in the workplace.
With fall social season upon us, here's a look at six hotly anticipated Dallas luncheons bringing star power to the table. Grab tickets now because they're all likely to sell out.
Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon featuring Laura Linney
October 4, Omni Dallas Hotel
Laura Linney, a two-time Golden Globe winner, four-time Emmy winner, and Academy Award-nominated actress, will step away from the set of her hit Netflix show Ozark to deliver the address at this powerhouse luncheon. The star, who has championed women's rights, headlines an event that will honor six female CEOs of Dallas-based companies who are leading the charge in once male-dominated industries. The Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon, chaired this year by Marjon Henderson, Marisa Howard, and Samantha Wortley, raises funds to support The Family Place, a nonprofit organization that helps survivors of domestic violence.
New Friends New Life Luncheon featuring Jada Pinkett Smith
October 11, Omni Dallas Hotel
A successful actress, producer, director, humanitarian, and activist, Jada Pinkett Smith headlines this annual luncheon, which helps provide services for victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation. Though her acting credits range from The Nutty Professor to the FOX television series Gotham, the star's latest buzzy project is her Facebook Watch talk show titled Red Table Talk, which she hosts alongside her daughter, Willow Smith, and mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris. Pinkett Smith has been an outspoken advocate for the fight against trafficking. She will bring her passion and advocacy for children to the event, co-chaired by couples Shelly Slater and Clayton Huffstutter, Christa and Ketric Sanford, and honorary chairs Amy and Joe Crafton.
Baylor Health Care Foundation Celebrating Women Luncheon featuring Kristin Chenoweth
October 11, Hilton Anatole Hotel
To Broadway buffs, Kristin Chenoweth is still best known for her original role of Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked. But the Emmy and Tony Award winner's career spans stage, film, television, music, and voiceover work. Chenoweth's newest album, For the Girls, releasing September 27, teams her with icons like Reba McEntire and Jennifer Hudson on anthems of female empowerment. She's working with performing arts students on her current tour, coming to Mansfield November 2. Before that appearance, she'll stop in Dallas to deliver the keynote address for Baylor Health Care Foundation's annual luncheon. Celebrating Women brings together more than 1,300 patrons to increase awareness and generate funding for breast cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment. This year's chairman is Laura Downing, with honorary co-chairs Margo and Bill Goodwin.
Council for Life Celebrating Life Luncheon featuring Nicole C. Mullen
October 21, Omni Dallas Hotel
Nicole C. Mullen, a Grammy-nominated and multiple Dove award-winning singer and songwriter, is the headliner for the annual Council for Life luncheon. Mullen's singing career has spanned decades; she is a member of the Christian Music Hall of Fame and is the only African-American artist to win the Dove Award for both Song of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. She received to Grammy nominations in 2002 and 2005, for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year. She also speaks passionately about adoption, and has an adopted child herself. Jennie Gilchrist and Lisa Luby Ryan will serve as co-chairs of the event, which helps fund agencies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that offer pregnancy resources, adoption, and more.
Keri Russell, who will forever be "Felicity Porter" to some, is a sought-after actress on television, in film, and on Broadway. She was most recently seen on the critically acclaimed FX series The Americans, which completed its six-season run this spring, and upcoming, she will star in Star Wars: Episode IX. The Milestones Luncheon is an annual fundraiser benefiting the Junior League of Dallas Community Service Fund and recognizes the impact and achievements of its volunteers. Bess Enloe is being honored as Sustainer of the Year. Co-chairs are Alli Eagan and Connie O’Neill.
Texas Women's Foundation Luncheon featuring Elaine Welteroth
November 14, Hilton Anatole Hotel
Elaine Welteroth is an award-winning journalist, New York Times bestselling author, former editor in chief of Teen Vogue, who is best known on screen as a judge on the newest season of Project Runway. In her magazine career, Welteroth broke new ground as the youngest person and the second African-American to be editor in chief in Condé Nast’s 107-year history. She has written for the hit show Grown-ish and just released a book, More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say), which she describes as part-manifesto, part-memoir, exploring topics such as race, relationships, identity, and success. The annual luncheon is the Texas Women's Foundation (formerly Dallas Women's Foundation) main fundraiser in support of its work to advance women’s economic security, leadership, childcare access, and healthcare in North Texas. Janiece Evans-Page and Virginia Rose-Harris are co-chairs this year.