The twelfth annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit presented by Toyota will showcase key figures in sports, business and entertainment, and will be headlined by Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry.
The yearly gathering will take place October 18-20 at The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif., and will once again include keynotes, work sessions, panels, presentations and activities focused on advancing women in sports. All programming from this year’s experience will also be live streamed across select espnW and ESPN digital and social platforms. The full agenda for this year’s event will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Summit will kick off with opening remarks from SportsCenter anchor and Summit host Sage Steele, and EVP, Commercial Marketing, Networks & ESPN and founder of espnW Laura Gentile. Immediately following will be a keynote conversation between Steele and Halle Berry, to discuss Berry’s much-anticipated new film “Bruised,” in which she makes her directorial debut and stars in the lead role. “Bruised,” which will debut on Netflix on November 24, stars Berry as Jackie Justice, a mixed martial arts fighter who leaves the sport in disgrace. Down on her luck and simmering with rage and regret years after her last fight, she’s coaxed into a brutal underground fight by her manager and boyfriend and grabs the attention of a fight league promoter who promises Jackie a life back in the Octagon. But the road to redemption becomes unexpectedly personal when the son she gave up as an infant shows up at her doorstep.
“Each year the Summit brings together intriguing executives and personalities for much-needed conversations at the intersection of women, sports, and culture. We are honored to welcome Halle as the opening keynote to discuss her inspired directorial debut with ‘Bruised.’ It’s the perfect conversation to kick off our event,” said Gentile, “and, we’re thrilled to safely return to an intimate, in-person experience, while continuing to livestream the Summit to our passionate women + sports community around the globe.”
Halle Berry is a director, producer, and Academy Award-winning actress who continues to break down barriers acting in a multitude of critically acclaimed, diverse roles. For her performance in “Monster’s Ball,” she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the first Black woman to ever receive that honor. That performance garnered her numerous other awards including Best Actress awards for SAG, the Berlin Silver Bear and the National Board of Review. No stranger to accolades, Berry also earned the Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and NAACP Image Award for her extraordinary performance in HBO’s telefilm, “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” which she also produced, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in “Frankie & Alice.” Berry has also garnered praise for her philanthropic work with a range of organizations focusing on women and children and underserved communities. She is an active supporter and chair member of the Jenesse Center in Los Angeles. The Jenesse Center was founded in 1980 and assists victims of domestic violence and aims to change the pattern of abuse in the lives of women and children. She previously partnered with Michael Kors’ Watch Hunger Stop campaign and the United Nations World Food Programme to raise awareness for building a world with zero hunger. This partnership saw Watch Hunger Stop commit its global reach and resources to WFP’s goal of building “a world with zero hunger.” Berry joined forces with Novo Nordisk and the Entertainment Industry Foundation to launch the Diabetes Aware Campaign and has supported a vast amount of charities and organizations such as, Revlon Run/Walk, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Afghanistan Relief Organization, Stand Up to Cancer, Love Our Children USA and Clothes Off Our Back and Black Lives Matter. In 2020, Berry founded rē•spin which is a platform created to provide broader access to health and wellness content and products through inclusivity and conversation. Rooted in discovery and learning, the heart of rē•spin is its global community connected around the core belief of a holistic mind, body, and soul approach to wellness.
The espnW: Women + Sports Summit is the leading event of its kind in the sports industry. Through structured and thoughtful conversation, the event pushes the boundaries on topics surrounding women and women in sports, and has offered insight from such notable and groundbreaking people as: Olympic gold medalists Allyson Felix, Shelly-Anne Fraser Pryce, and Sydney McLaughlin, Angel City FC Co-Owner and Academy Award-winner Natalie Portman, XFL Co-Owner Dany Garcia, singer-songwriters Sheryl Crow, Jewel and Andra Day, best-selling author and activist Glennon Doyle, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert, WNBA All-Stars Sue Bird, Liz Cambage, and Skylar Diggins-Smith, best-selling author Chelsea Clinton, soccer stars Carli Lloyd, Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and more.
Interviews, photos and additional content will be posted to espnW.com throughout the Summit. In addition, events from this year’s experience will be livestreamed and can be viewed by registering at espnWsummit.com, and via Twitter and the ESPN App. For more information about The espnW: Women + Sports Summit and to see the complete agenda, please visit espnWsummit.com or follow us on Twitter with @espnW and #espnWsummit.
Founded in 2010, espnW spotlights and celebrates female athletes, elevates diverse voices & perspectives, and serves the interests of female fans at the intersection of women, sports and culture. It is the pre-eminent brand for women who love sports, the stories and connection that sports uniquely offers, and the change and impact sports can drive for girls and women of all ages. espnW’s content and voices live across digital, social, audio, television, events, and mentorship programs.