WhoIsShe? SheGives Member Janet Wu


News Anchor/Reporter

Op-Ed, Essayist and Travel Writer

Attended Yale, Columbia and Harvard

Has traveled to 60 countries, 12 of them alone

Was named a Girl Scouts Leading Woman of the Year for 2015

Has trekked around Everest, K2 and summited Kilimanjaro.

Who brought you into SheGives? What do you like best about her?

I’m lucky to be personal friends with many SheGives members including Mira Genser and Ellie Chu. It was “Love at first meeting” with Kirstan. I admire how she channeled loss and grief into positive actions to make the world a better place. What’s better than that?

What causes are near and dear to your heart?

My world travels show me the dark side where too many people live. I think of girls who are forced into prostitution, slavery and bad marriages simply because of where and how they were born. How many other Malalas will be deprived of education and denied the simple right of speaking out? How many kidnapped Kenyan school girls will never grow up, experience a sense of accomplishment and joy?

Internationally and locally, we need to stop the cycle of abuse and domestic violence. It is a scourge that perpetuates itself in many costly and damaging ways.

Do you have a favorite SheGives memory?

I remember feeling exhilarated at the very first nonprofit presentation when we vetted Lovin’ Spoonfuls at Myers & Chang. I later gushed to friends about the evening. A male friend remarked,”Guys give by pointing to the next guy and asking ‘How much did he give?’ You women are superior to us.” Right then, I knew Kirstan and the founding board had created something extraordinary, and I was privileged to be a part of it.

Would you like to share about anything you’re currently working on?

I am expanding my work as a writer, and I find myself pondering the emotional difficulties affecting so many of my friends and colleagues.

By definition, happiness is fleeting so we shouldn’t expect to be happy all the time, but why are so many people depressed, despite having expansive and privileged lives? We need to find contentment within a society that is filled with noise, self imposed stress and unrealistic expectations.

I am obsessed with that process and writing about it.

What book had a tremendous impact on you?

It’s too hard to name just one! Jane Eyre made me fall in love with reading and the joys of a great story told through the craft of a great writer.

The Greek play Antigone by Sophocles had a great impact on my intellect. Here is a female character written 2 thousand years ago who defied the pressures and laws of society for her sense of duty and loyalty. The story is an allegory on the idea of a moral compass.

Who would be invited to your ideal dinner party?

Leonardo DeVinci. Who wouldn’t want the ultimate “Renaissance man” at the table? He could be the most brilliant person to ever walk the face of this earth.

Johannes Brahms. I love music and he composed my absolute favorite classical piece. His 2nd Piano Concerto was actually panned at its debut. I’d love to ask him about that and thank him again for composing it.

Dorothy Parker. We share the same snarky sense of humor. She’d keep the conversation lively.

Catherine The Great. If we’re going to discuss politics, why not kick it old school? I would corner her to ask if all that stuff in her biography was true.

And I’d invite all of you so we could hear the answers.

Posted in WhoIsShe?.