Gerry Laybourne to Receive Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal

Gerry LaybourneCongratulations to our friend, mentor and Generation W speaker Geraldine “Gerry” Laybourne–one of six amazing people and organizations selected to receive the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal.  The award is given annually to those who have made significant contributions in areas that were the focus of the work of Eleanor Roosevelt such as education, advocacy, social justice, public service and human rights.  This year’s ceremony–which will be held on Oct. 19th at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park–will also be a celebration of the 130th anniversary of Mrs. Roosevelt’s birthday.

Just like Eleanor, Gerry is a change agent, an advocate for women’s leadership and is committed to helping the women of the world.  She is the founder of  “The Geraldine” Mentor Walk, an event that is hosted in 40 countries and offers the opportunity to build intergenerational connections and provide access to a lifelong mentor network.  “The Geraldine” Mentor Walk is the culminating experience at all of our Generation WOW events (the next one will be held Nov 5th in Jacksonville).

Others being honored with the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal include:

  • Diana Nyad, champion athlete, journalist and humanitarian.
  • Nobel Laureate Lehmah Gobowee, Liberian peace activist and advocate for women and girls.
  • Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation.
  • Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel, founder and chairman emeritus of the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy Inc., and former U.S. ambassador to the European Office of the United Nations
  • Astor Services for Children & Families, a Rhinebeck-based nonprofit that champions and advocates for empowering healthy children and families.


In addition to honoring the recipients, the awards ceremony will raise funds to support the Eleanor Roosevelt Leadership and Human Rights Legacy programs at the center, including Girls’ Leadership Worldwide, which empowers girls to be principled leaders and catalysts for creating sustainable change, and Eleanor Roosevelt Emerging Leaders Program for community college students and other initiatives.

Click here to read the full article about the awards and honorees.