CNN’s Lisa Ling delivers ‘call to action’ speech

Keynote Speaker Lisa Ling speaking at the United Way of the Big Bend’s 2nd Annual Women’s Leadership Breakfast. 
Photo submitted by Portia Akins.

CNN executive producer and host of “This is Life, Lisa Ling” was the keynote speaker for the United Way of the Big Bend’s 2nd Annual Women’s Leadership Breakfast on Tuesday.

Ling got her start in journalism aat age 18 s a correspondent for Channel One News, which serves 8.5 million students in 12,000 high schools nationwide. Here is where she covered the civil war in Afghanistan at 21 years of age. She then went on to become a co-host of ABC daytime’s hit show, “The View,” which won its first daytime Emmy during her time at the show. Some years later she became a field correspondent for” The Oprah Winfrey Show” and contributor to ABC New’s “Nightline” and “National Geographic Explorer.”

Ling has reported from dozens of countries, covering stories about gang rape in the Congo, bride burning in India, the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, and the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang in Central America, among many other issues that are so often ignored.

At Tuesday’s Leadership Breakfast, Ling shared story after story with the audience of these experiences. Each story circulated back to her call to action quote Oprah Winfrey introduced to her, “now that you know, you can’t pretend that you don’t.” Her delivery was filled with compassion, as McKenzie Burleigh Lohbeck, vice president of corporate development at Rowland Publishing, would describe her as “in tune and authentic.”

“Lisa shared that poverty is something that all cities across the country are dealing with.  Here locally, United Way of the Big Bend has adopted a strategic reset to become more focused on identifying and addressing the needs of those living in poverty and the “working poor.” said Katrina Rolle, CEO and president of the United Way of the Big Bend.

As an initiative of United Way, Women United raises funds to improv e the lives of children at risk in our community. Established by Tallahassee businesswoman Susie Busch-Transou in 2005, Women United has grown to become one of the most important women-led forces for positive changes in the Tallahassee community.