Despite a wicked nor’easter that chilled the region the night before, the atmosphere was exceedingly warm when 400 intrepid guests gathered at the Sheraton Boston to celebrate International Women’s Day on Thursday. The event raised more than $100,000 for the International Institute. THANK YOU!

The annual lunch honored three extraordinary immigrant women for their contributions to their fields and their communities: Colette Phillips, President & CEO, Colette Phillips Communication; Razia Jan, Founder & President of Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation; and Eveline Buchatskiy, Founder of One Way Ventures.

Former U.S. Ambassador Swanee Hunt gave a fiery kickoff speech and harnessed the palpable energy of the attendees. 7News Boston anchor Kim Khazei, a daughter of immigrants herself, led the three honorees in a wide-ranging discussion that highlighted their passions and journeys to the U.S. from three different continents. They each touched on their immigration stories, their determination to overcome low expectations and the means by which they conquered challenges to achieve their dreams.

Often moving, sometimes amusing, and always inspiring, Colette, Razia and Eveline provided those in attendance at our 2018 International Women’s Day event with an unforgettable afternoon.

Iraqi journalist and former IINE client Reem Niayzi presented closing remarks in which she shared her own fascinating story and thanked those present for their support of the IINE mission.

The event was sponsored by 54 companies and major supporters, including: TripAdvisor, TJX, Eastern Bank, and Alnylam.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to all who attended and supported the event, especially the event host committee, the honorees, and our sponsors.