Amy Burton

February, 2024

Blog, Gracies Leadership Award

Allison Williams’ Experience at the 2023 Gracies Leadership Award

My experience at the 2023 Gracies Leadership Awards excelled my expectations. Besides the beautiful venue in Tribeca and delicious lunch, the Gracies were inspiring and lit a fire in me as I near graduation from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

When I was accepted as a Google News Initiative Fellow and would be able to attend the Gracies Luncheon I could not believe it- I was counting down the days. Since I was 14, I’ve known I wanted to work in broadcast journalism, and being in a room with women alike is something I’ve never experienced.

I grew up watching MSNBC, whether it was The Today Show or Nightly News, so being in the same room as Rashida Jones, MSNBC president, was surreal. Without the Gracies, I’m not sure I would’ve ever been able to introduce myself to her and be able to stay connected after.

All the women honored at the luncheon had a common theme in their acceptance speeches: they didn’t get where they are alone. Their speeches were heartwarming and honest as they thanked their pears, family and team members they’ve met over the years that have kept them motivated.

Not only were all the women honored at the event willing to stay in touch with myself and the other fellows, but the Alliance for Women in Media board members were as well. The board members have been able to make introductions to their colleagues working in the broadcast journalism field. As I approach graduation, it’s getting close to finding a job where I can learn and grow to become the best journalist I possibly can be, and these introductions are going to be invaluable as time goes on.

I am so thankful I was able to attend the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon as a Google News Initiative Fellow and look forward to keeping up with my membership in the Alliance for Women in Media.

Allison Williams is a recipient of the 2023 Google News Initiative Student Fellowship. She is a Journalism student at Columbia University, and we look forward to seeing how she continues to shape the world of media in the future.