Houston Public Library Foundation Hosts 4th Annual ‘Beyond The Page’ Fundraiser


Houston, Texas — December 3, 2020 —The Houston Public Library Foundation held its 4th Annual Beyond The Page Event on Friday, Nov. 20. Like many events this year, the festivities were held online for the guests’ safety during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The virtual event celebrated the women and men who made history through the ratification of the 19th Amendment and acknowledged the 21st Century women who have been the trailblazers, glass-ceiling breakers, and inspiration for others across Houston.

It kicked off with a VIP reception presented by Houston Public Library Foundation Board of Directors Chairperson Licia Green Ellis and author Karen Karbo. The keynote speaker for this special 100th Suffrage Anniversary was the exceptionally witty and entertaining Karen Karbo. Karen shared insights from her book “In Praise of Difficult Women” and how it led to her newest novel, “Yeah. No. Not Happening,” a humorous feminist manifesto about learning how to own and appreciate our flaws.

Phillips 66 continued their support of the event as the Presenting Sponsor, which they have done since its inception. With their help, along with our other generous sponsors and attendees, this year’s event raised over $80,000.

The Houston Public Library Foundation was proud to have many other women of note participating in the event; the event’s Emcee Miya Shay, Houston Public Library’s Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, and HPLF Board of Director Chairperson Licia Green Ellis. Judy Sultan accepted the 2020 Igniting Impact Award on behalf of Aramco Americas. The award celebrates Aramco Americas’ donation of $1.6 million that enabled the rebuilding of the Amanda Dixon Neighborhood Library after Hurricane Harvey and the development of a second HPL Techlink center in that location.

Karen Karbo is the author of 14 award-winning novels, memoirs, and works of nonfiction. Her genre-bending “Kick-Ass Women” series, including the international bestseller “The Gospel According to Coco Chanel,” mingles biography, memoir, philosophy, humor, and self-help to examine how we should live. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in Elle, Vogue, Esquire, Outside, the New Republic, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Salon.com, and other magazines. When not working on her own material, Karen loves to help inspirational outliers tell their stories.

Beyond the Page is the annual fundraising luncheon supporting the Houston Public Library Foundation, whose mission is to unite partners who value lifelong learning. Library programs enhance social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development. Advancing personal skills improve self-sustainability as well as competitiveness and employability. The exceptional programs offered through the Houston Public Library remain free to the public because of your philanthropy.

The recorded event is accessible for public or private use on the Houston Library Foundation’s Facebook page or YouTube with acknowledgment to the Houston Public Library Foundation. For information, please contact the Houston Public Library Foundation at (832) 393-1524.


The Houston Public Library Foundation works every day to meet the challenge of providing “Equal Access For Everyone In Houston.” We are striving to provide equitable access to resources across the city by bridging the technology gap, increasing literacy, and connecting visitors to lifelong learning. The Houston Public Library Foundation is the advocate and fundraising champion of the library system. For being the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston’s library system ranks seventh in the nation on per capita expenditures. We believe that Houstonians deserve better. Libraries are gathering places where people from different backgrounds, passions, and interests can engage with each other. They are the kinds of places where the public, private, and philanthropic partnerships work together to build a better society. You have the power to make your Houston Public Library the best in the nation.


Sally Swanson
Houston Public Library Foundation
550 McKinney Street
Houston, TX 77002
(832) 393-1464

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