On February 7, 2012, Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis spoke in Little Rock. She was hosted by the University of Arkansas Clinton School for Public Service and the William J. Clinton Foundation.
Davis founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2004. The institute is the only research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate and influence the need for gender balance, reducing stereotyping and creating a wide variety of female characters in entertainment. Davis won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “The Accidental Tourist” in 1988.
She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance as Thelma in Ridley Scott’s “Thelma and Louise,” in which she co-starred with Susan Sarandon. She received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of baseball phenomenon Dottie Hinson in “A League of Their Own.”
Geena Davis is not only an Oscar and Golden Globe winning actor, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer), a member of the genius society Mensa, and is becoming recognized for her tireless advocacy of women and girls nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. She is the founder of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and its programming arm See Jane, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters — and reduce gender stereotyping — in media made for children 11 and under.
Davis is also a former trustee of the Women’s Sports Foundation, serves on the Board of the White House Project, is an appointee to the California Commission on the Status of Women, and is an official partner of UN Women in their effort to change the way media represents women and girls worldwide.
Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.