Press Releases

Award-Winning Documentary Producer and Advocate
for Girls' Rights to Deliver Mills College Commencement Address

Oakland, CA–April 10, 2013 Mills College will mark its 125th Commencement on Saturday, May 18, 2013, with an address given by Holly Gordon. Gordon, an award-winning television and film producer, is the executive director of 10x10—a global social action campaign to educate girls in developing nations.

After many years producing ABC News programs such as World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, Good Morning America, 20/20, and Primetime, Gordon is now the executive producer of the groundbreaking documentary Girl Rising. Combining the power of the media with film production, Girl Rising premiered this spring, delivering the compelling message that “one girl with courage is a revolution.”

When Gordon witnessed the ways that educating girls can change the world, she quickly realized that she not only had the ability—but the responsibility—to do even more for the cause of girls. She co-founded the 10x10 campaign, which uses dynamic storytelling to educate girls and change the world. Contributions to the 10x10 Fund for Girls’ Education are distributed among 10x10’s high-impact network of nonprofit partners: A New Day Cambodia, CARE USA, United Nations Foundation/Girl Up, Partners in Health, Plan International USA, Room to Read, and World Vision.

Gordon has been recognized by Newsweek/The Daily Beast as a Woman of Impact for her work on 10x10 and Girl Rising. While overwhelming evidence shows that around the world girls face barriers to education that boys do not, the film illustrates how educated girls can become strong, productive, enlightened, and contributing members of society. That evidence and the driving message behind Girl Rising speak to the mission of Mills College where, for 161 years, generations of graduates have positively impacted their communities, their countries, and social justice efforts around the globe.

Called a landmark documentary, Girl Rising harnesses celebrity impact and social media to convey its message. The voices of Cate Blanchett, Priyanka Chopra, Selena Gomez, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Alicia Keys, Chloë Moretz, Liam Neeson, Frieda Pinto, Meryl Streep, and Kerry Washington tell how, through strength of spirit and the power of education, remarkable girls can change their lives and help eliminate poverty, injustice, and violence.

The inspirational film has garnered significant media coverage and—long before production efforts were complete—was hailed by the New York Times as “one of the hottest ‘cause’ documentaries in years.” Soon, a social media buzz led to nearly 2,000 scheduled screenings of Girl Rising in less than one month.

“Holly Gordon’s efforts are a testament to the empowering nature of education,” said Mills College President Alecia DeCoudreaux. “Her message will resonate with Mills graduates who place high value on learning and on making the world a better place.”

The Mills College Commencement ceremony will begin at 9:45 am, Saturday, May 18, 2013, on Holmgren Meadow with a graduating class that includes 280 undergraduate women and 250 graduate women and men. The event is open to the public.

About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity in approximately 950 undergraduate women and 600 graduate women and men. The College ranks as one of the Best 377 Colleges in the country and one of the greenest colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report ranked Mills one of the top-tier regional universities in the country and lists it among the top colleges and universities in the West in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. For more information, visit


Last Updated: 4/9/13