Recap of Shriver 50th Anniversary Gala: Hasan Minhaj & More

Last Thursday–October 19, 2017–I attended the Shriver Poverty Law Center’s 50th Anniversary Gala at the lovely Sheraton Grand Hotel in Chicago.  For five decades, Shriver has been one of the nation’s leading advocates in fighting for the poor, giving a voice to people in poverty.  Many of my colleagues–fellow advocates I’ve been fighting alongside to save healthcare all year–were there.  Comedian, Hasan Minhaj (who I adore) performed.  Here are a few of the highlights including pictures of some of the speakers and award winners.  (And, of course, since this is Fashionably ill, I am sharing a picture of my gala outfit.  I saw so many great dresses at the gala; I wish I could show them to you but I obviously could not take pictures of strangers.  There were 900 guests present.)


Joy Reid Speaking at Shriver’s 50th Anniversary Gala

Joy Reid of MSNBC started the evening with a plea for compassion as it relates to housing, hurricane relief, healthcare, and other issues.

Mark Shriver Speaks at Shriver’s 50th Anniversary Gala

Mark Shriver, son of Sargent Shriver–the founder of Shriver Poverty Law Center–spoke.  He joked a bit about looking like a Kennedy (yes, he is a Kennedy).  He summed up Shriver’s work by saying, “Hope, optimism, and rising to meet the challenge.”

John Bouman, President of the Shriver Poverty Law Center

John Bouman, the President of Shriver Poverty Law Center, also spoke.  One of the memorable lines of his speech was, “We will win a measure of justice every day for everyone.”


Vanita Gupta, Winner of 2017 Sargent Shriver Equal Justice Award

Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, won the Sargent Shriver Equal Justice Award.  Gupta has been working to advance civil rights her entire career. Before joining The Leadership Conference in June 2017, Gupta served as Acting Assistant Attorney General and head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

Toni Preckwinkle wins 2017 State Champion Award at Shriver’s 50th Anniversary Gala

Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle, won the State Champion Award.  Preckwinkle spoke about justice in many areas including healthcare–noting that 40,000 people in Cook County gained healthcare through the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act.  One line of hers that I liked was, “We have cut the incarceration rate by 25% in Cook County but it’s not over.”


Hasan Minjah brings the laughs at Shriver’s 50th Anniversary Gala

I was so excited to see Hasan perform.  His Netflix special, Homecoming King, blew me away.  Thankfully, I got to see it before my friend got rid of his Netflix account.  In addition to being a comedian, actor, and writer, Minhaj is a senior correspondent on the award-winning program, The Daily Show.  My favorite joke of the night was when Minhaj said, “We’re on our third travel ban.  You’re more likely to be killed by a furniture than a terrorist attack unless it’s IKEA.  Then, it’s both.”  Minjah had all of us laughing.


You can learn more about the Shriver Poverty Law Center’s work here.  Also, click here if you are interested in hosting one of their famous Justice Dinners.  On December 1, 2017, they are hosting a symposium called The Shriver Summit: The Future of Justice in Chicago; you can register here.  If you want to donate, click here.  (Note: I do not work for the Shriver Center.)

 FASHION: My Outfit

Bandage Dress is from House of CB London: “Izmira” 

I wore a blue bandage dress from House of CB London.  It’s called the “Izmira,” and is described as “dark blue denim effect bandage dress.”  The dress comes in four sizes: XS, S, M, and L.  For reference,  I am wearing a size small in the pictures.  You can buy Izmira here on House of CB London’s website (price is USD $179).

–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno



Hi there! I am a patient advocate, writer, and public speaker most well known for my TEDx Talk, “How to Get Stuff Done When You Are Depressed.” As someone who is juggling 5 illnesses: bipolar 2, myasthenia gravis, endometriosis, psoriasis, and asthma, I’m passionate about helping people who navigate life with both chronic physical & emotional pain. If you’re interested in hiring me to speak at your event, check out the CONTACT tab.

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