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5 Inspirational Women

Meredith Blake
The idea for Women Rule! started with Blake: Straight out of UCLA School of Law, Blake founded Break the Cycle, a nonprofit agency that helps teens prevent and end dating abuse and domestic violence. Ten years later, in 2005, she joined Participant Productions (now called Participant Media), which makes films such as Al Gore's Oscar®-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Inspired by the power of the media to spread important messages, last year Blake founded Cause & Affect, a company that designs high-impact social action campaigns around issues ranging from the environment to human rights to women's leadership. When she took on the White House Project, she contacted O's health and news director, Liz Brody (the two had been tossing around ideas for years). "Making your dream a reality almost requires an obsession," Blake says, "a feeling that your idea really, really matters and that you are the one to make it happen come hell or high water." To that, she adds: "You also need a ton of chutzpah and a Teflon skin. You must have, or quickly develop, the ability to forge ahead in spite of naysayers and, ideally, leave them in the dust."