Kathryn Schindler, Investor and Activist

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As one of The Hunger Project's (THP's) earliest investors, beginning her investment in 1980, Kathryn Schindler has had the unique opportunity to see the journey of our organization's and our partners' paths to empowerment from the early stages. THP's message of self-reliance, local leadership and empowerment has made a profound impact on the way Kathryn interacts with the world around her.

"The Hunger Project has completely shaped the person who I am today. This is everything from how I interpret world news to how I interact with others on a daily basis and everything in between. Listening for what will make a difference, for what is needed and wanted and figuring out how to provide it is how I live my life. This has put me into what many people would call positions of leadership, most often, leadership without any formal authority, but leadership to mobilize resources to address the changes that are needed."

Inspired by THP's Founding President, Joan Holmes, and other powerful, vocal and influential women such as Eve Ensler and Carol Gilligan, Kathryn works tirelessly to share with the people around her the importance of women's empowerment.

"I was born into circumstances where I at least have the possibility of giving voice to what I see is happening around me. Now that I know that millions of women must be heard and that I am one who can be heard, I can no longer be quiet. On countless occasions since [I went on an investor trip to India in 1997], I've been in situations where it would have been much easier, more pleasant and less disturbing to others for me not to say anything, but because of the women I saw and met within India, as difficult and as uncomfortable as it is, I do say something, often quite a lot."

More than just speaking to the THP philosophy, in her own life Kathryn is a source of professional empowerment for the women around her, in a business environment largely dominated by men.

"I am most proud of my work on the days when a woman who perhaps holds an administrative position...mentions to me that she's thrilled to see me doing the work that I do, that I've inspired her to see more for herself than she might have previously thought possible."

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