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Kathy  Najimy

Kathy Najimy

Award-Winning Actress & “Social Action Hero”

Biography

Best known for her work in more than 30 films (including the blockbusters Sister Act, Hocus Pocus and Rat Race), as the voice of Peggy Hill on King of the Hill, and for her current roles on VEEP, Younger, and Graves; Kathy Najimy is also a celebrated advocate on the frontline of a myriad of progressive social causes including #MeToo and Time’s Up. Outspoken, energizing and inspirational, Najimy combines her acting and talents with a passionate commitment to equality, women’s leadership and issues ranging from increasing cancer research to LGBTQ rights. Read More >

As the Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year, Najimy has been called a "social action hero." She credits her drive to her strong desire to see all living things treated equitably. "First and foremost, I'm a feminist. And basically that stems from a strong belief that all deserve equal opportunity, rights, and respect,” she says. Her long-standing advocacy has placed her at the forefront of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Najimy has also led the way for AIDS activism for 30 years and has been honored for her work for women and girls rights and self- esteem, reproductive rights and student rights. A staunch advocate for animal rights, she was awarded the PETA Humanitarian of the Year Award, presented by Sir Paul McCartney.

Najimy’s producing and directing projects reflect her passion for equality and social justice. She is currently producing a series about the Women's Movement in the 70’s and developing Blue Woman, Red Town, a documentary about the 53% of white married women who voted for President Trump. She has also helped create a Broadway Show about Gloria Steinem for Lincoln Center Theater. Najimy’s other notable performing credits include the multi-award-winning two-woman feminist comedy, The Kathy and Mo Show (which she wrote, directed and starred in with Mo Gaffney) and roles on the television shows Veronica's Closet, Numb3rs and The Big C. She has even been an entrepreneur, inventing and acting as the spokeswoman for a problem-solving new garment for women.

Warm, delightful, human, humorous and with refreshing candor, Kathy Najimy encourages audiences to make a difference in the world. Whether she’s speaking out against sexism, racism or homophobia or speaking up for the power of women to lead in male-dominated industries, audiences are drawn in by her passionate, infectious idealism. Najimy’s philosophy always engages and inspires. “We are all equal, connected by our sense of common humanity, and able to achieve great things together.” Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

On Being an Actor and an Activist

The State of Women Rights

Speaking Reel

FemSalon: Kathy Najimy

Speech Topics

What All Women Leaders Can Learn from Hollywood

The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have thrust Hollywood’s predominantly male power structure into the spotlight and into question, revealing valuable lessons for any industry. Award-winning actress, performer, director, producer and “social action hero” Kathy Najimy tells audiences what it takes to write your own ticket in a male-dominated world. Pointing to a successful career that has defied age, body image and putting personal passions or family on hold, Najimy also reflects on the kindred spirits she has learned from along the way, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Whoopi Goldberg, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and feminist icons Gloria Steinem and Hilary Clinton. Reflecting that “We are always too fat, too thin, too dark, too light, too old, too young, and just not how we’re supposed to be. And if we aren’t ever how we are supposed to be, the we aren’t able to rule the world like God has intended,” Najimy inspires women to find power in themselves and each other. Most of all, she calls on both women and men to create a level playing field in the workplace and the world.

As Women, We Are One

Lifelong feminist/activist Kathy Najimy examines the ways in which our culture promotes inequity in education, employment and confidence. With humor and insight, she examines what it means to be a woman and girl in our country. Then, she asks audiences to think globally and act locally.  “If you are discriminated against and I turn my back, the same discrimination will be at my doorstep waiting for me. As women, we are one- all the oppression and all the elevation is all of ours,” says Najimy. “It is only by bearing witness to the scope and experience of the ALL women in the world that we gain insight into how we can support and lift each other locally and globally.”

Women, Body Image: Let’s Change the Culture, Not How We Look

The constant struggle with self-esteem, to change our bodies at every cost- is not a defect we're born with.  It's not organic. We are taught that or bodies are our worth and the less there is of us... the more worthy we are. Kathy Najimy shares her thoughts about body image, the road to wellness and confidence, and calls for women to change the culture, not themselves.

Pro-Choice Means Pro Your Choice

According to Kathy Najimy, some believe that controlling the uterus is the source of controlling the entirety womankind. To the long-time reproductive rights activist, pro-choice means pro your choice. Pro-choice women and men support a women's right to choose ....whatever they choose. In this compelling presentation, Najimy examines the fight for reproductive rights – where we are, how we got here, and most of all, what we all must do to protect hard-won freedoms.

LGBTQ Rights: The Time is Now

Kathy believes that sexuality is to be celebrated and respected no matter where you land in the spectrum, That you love, not who you love is to be honored, and protected under the law. Kathy examines how upbringing, family, religion, exposure to media and belonging to a like-minded community shape our perspectives. An advocate for the rights, respect and well-being of the LGBTQ community since 1980, Najimy calls for legal rights, empathy, understanding, and most off all, equality.

Speaking Out on Violence Against Women & Children

Data shows that the most violent countries are also the ones that have the most violence in the home. Domestic physical and sexual abuse is what normalizes all other violent acts. In other words, it all starts at home. According to Kathy Najimy, that’s where it must end. In this stirring presentation, Najimy calls for all of us to start a dialogue and ask the tough questions. How and why do abusers abuse? Why do victims stay? What can we do as citizens and members of families and communities?  Examining loss, shame, and how we can best support victims, she calls on all of us to advocate for safety and harmony through advocacy, education and outreach.

AIDS Awareness & Prevention

For her many years of AIDS activism, Kathy Najimy was awarded this year's Howard Ashman's Lifetime Achievement from the GMHC. Read More >

 He has been honored several times for her work to end AIDS and  guarantee rights for those living with HIV/AIDS.

She's also been honored with L.A. Shanti’s Founder award and the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center’s Distinguished Achievement Award. She first became an AIDS activist at age 20, when she realized that “AIDS was the only disease surrounded by hate.” For decades, Najimy has been fighting this very hate, countering the misinformation and homophobia that have given rise to life threatening misconceptions. Speaking from her long history in the movement, she counters falsehoods with the real truth about AIDS, who it affects, and how and why we should embrace the global epidemic. Read Less ^