Cecilia Boone, Co-Founder and Board Chair
Cecilia Guthrie Boone watched her mother, Marie Keene Guthrie, maneuver life with guts and pride in the face of gender bias. Mrs. Guthrie, who raised Cecilia and her two siblings on her own after the death of their father, went from being a high school graduate with a certificate from secretarial school to becoming the first women to be elected to a countywide office in the family’s home state of Kentucky. Though it was a history-making accomplishment for Mrs. Guthrie, her family and her entire community, it came with a world of men who often dismissed her simply because she was a woman.
Mrs. Guthrie’s life, along with Cecilia’s own witness to unconscious discrimination against women that happened while she worked for IBM, inspired Cecilia’s commitment to actively fight for gender equity. Her passion for creating a world with a gender gap that is one day closed for good is the reason The Boone Family Foundation focuses on advancing equity for women and girls as a key focus area. Cecilia and her husband, Garrett, founded The Boone Family Foundation with their three children in 2007. Cecilia is a member of the foundation’s board.
Cecilia has worked from the grassroots level up to change the lives of women, particularly poor women, for the better. The Dallas Morning News, which selected Cecilia as a 2016 Texan of the Year finalist, called Cecilia a person of “remarkable grace and courage in the face of unwavering opposition from far-right conservatives” and dubbed her work through her family’s foundation to improve women’s health a “game-changer.” Cecilia led the foundation’s efforts to partner with the Harold Simmons Foundation to provide $2 million for long-acting reversible contraception for low-income women who are clients at some Planned Parenthood health centers in North Texas. Prior to this bold step, the high cost of safe and reliable contraception pushed it out of reach for many women with the highest need. “For gender equality to be a reality, women have to be able to control their reproductive systems – to decide when they will have children,” Cecilia told the newspaper. “That’s especially true for poor women.”
Cecilia is the past chair of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Dallas Women’s Foundation, Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, Planned Parenthood of North Texas, Planned Parenthood of North Texas Action Fund and Annie’s List, a political action committee that recruits, trains and funds progressive female candidates running for statewide offices in Texas. She chaired the successful Dallas Women’s Foundation $30 million fundraising campaign. In addition, she has been on the Harvard-Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board and the international Women’s Funding Network board. In Dallas, she is on the advisory boards of Children At Risk, Human Rights Initiative and Dallas Women’s Foundation.