Every 65 seconds, a new brain develops Alzheimer’s. Two-thirds of thebrains with Alzheimer’s belong to women, and no one knows why that is. The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement is determined to find out. Founded by Maria Shriver, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to raising awareness about women’s increased risk for Alzheimer’s and to educating the public — women and men — about lifestyle changes they can make to protect their brain health. Through our annual campaigns and initiatives, we also raise dollars to fund women-based Alzheimer’s research at leading scientific institutions, so that we can better understand this mind-blowing disease and hopefully get closer to a cure.
What We Do
- We inform women about their increased risk for Alzheimer’s and empower them to take control of their own cognitive health.
- We educate the public about the connection between brain health and lifestyle and how choices made today can help prevent losing memories and minds as we age.
- We influence scientists to conduct women-based research and inspire foundations, philanthropists, and corporations to support it.
- We raise money to support women-based research through our annual crowd-fundraising initiative, Move for Minds, and other campaigns.
- We share the stories of families caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s and partner with organizations to provide caregiver relief grants.
How We Do It
The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement™ leverages all media platforms – live events, broadcast, film, print, digital, and social media – to challenge and engage women, scientists, philanthropists, influencers, industry leaders, and the public at large in the fight to wipe out Alzheimer’s. We provide our growing community with opportunities to get educated, engaged and empowered to participate in live and digital events, to convene with brain health experts and to raise and contribute funds for women-based research.
The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement is built upon a legacy of working on all fronts to wipe out Alzheimer’s disease. What began as an unthinkable diagnosis of Maria Shriver’s father, Sargent Shriver, in 2003 soon became a declaration of war on Alzheimer’s. Maria Shriver is a singular voice with 15-years of boots-on-the-ground activism, journalism, and advocacy about the disease and the future of the world’s brains. Highlights include:
- BESTSELLING CHILDREN’S BOOK: Maria authored the bestselling children’s book “What’s Happening to Grandpa” to help young children understand the disease’s devastating effects.
- HBO “ALZHEIMER”S PROJECT”: Maria executive produced the Emmy award winning, multi-platform series “The Alzheimer’s Project” with HBO. The segment, “Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?” received the Television Academy’s “Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction Program” award. (2009)
- CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY: Maria testified before Congress on Alzheimer’s disease alongside Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, which preceded passage of the groundbreaking National Alzheimer’s Project Act.
- MARIA SHRIVER’S MARCH TO END ALZHEIMER’S: Maria organized the first ever March to End Alzheimer’s, a multigenerational 5K “march” in Long Beach, CA. The inspiring event raised over $270,000 dollars for the Alzheimer’s Association and served as the kick-off to The Women’s Conference, then the nation’s premier gathering of women. (2010)
- “SHRIVER REPORT: A WOMAN’S NATION TAKES ON ALZHEIMER’S”: In partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, Maria Shriver released groundbreaking findings and stories that forever changed the narrative of Alzheimer’s disease. It reported for the first time the disproportionate effect Alzheimer’s has on women. (2010)
- “STILL ALICE” EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Maria executive produced Sony Classic Picture’s Academy Award winning “Still Alice” and used that moment to talk about the misperception that Alzheimer’s is just a disease that affects an aging population. (2014)
- FIRST WOMEN’S ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH FUND: Maria and The Shriver Report inspired the Alzheimer’s Association to create the first-of-its-kind Women’s Alzheimer’s Research Fund where 100% of the proceeds support women’s brain research. (2015)
- GLOBAL MOVEMENT OF WOMEN: In 2015, Maria launched the Wipe Out Alzheimer’s Challenge, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, challenging a global community of women to get educated, empowered, and engaged in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
- THE WOMEN’S ALZHEIMER’S MOVEMENT: The Challenge evolved into a movement focused on the disproportionate impact that Alzheimer’s has on women both as those who suffer from it and those who care for their loved ones with it.
ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: In March 2017, The Alzheimer’s Association awarded Shriver with its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing her for using her voice and her platforms to significantly move the needle on the public’s awareness of this disease.
MOVE FOR MINDS: The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement annual awareness and fundraising campaign began in four cities in 2016 in partnership with Equinox Sports Clubs. In 2017, the event grew to 8 cities across America, raised over $700,000 for women-based research, and garnered nearly 120 million media impressions. In 2018, Equinox committed all 93 of its clubs around the world to Move for Minds, allowing it to become a month-long initiative throughout June (Brain Awareness Month). Move for Minds also launched for the first time on the Today Show plaza.
A WOMEN’S HEALTH SUMMIT: IT STARTS WITH THE BRAIN: On Nov. 1, 2017, to kick off National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Family Caregivers Month, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement partnered with Lifetime for a first-of-its-kind event that convened leading scientists, thought-leaders and best-selling authors at Hearst Tower in New York City to discuss tackling one of the greatest health challenges of our time: protecting women’s minds from Alzheimer’s disease.
WAM GUIDE: TIPS FOR A BRAIN-HEALTHY LIFE: In 2017, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement released its one-of-a-kind health guide featuring brain health tips from today’s leading researchers and health experts. The guide serves the nonprofit’s larger goal of educating as many people as possible about how they can take charge of their cognitive health.
COLOR YOUR MIND: In 2017, Shriver published Color Your Mind, the first-ever coloring book for people with Alzheimer’s and the people who love them.
“UCI-MIND-WAM WOMEN’S INITIATIVE” at the UNIVERSITY of CALIFORNIA–IRVINE: In 2018, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and UC-Irvine announced a research partnership to advance the study of women’s brains at UCI’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, which is one of 30 Alzheimer’s disease research centers funded by NIH. Together, the two entities have awarded $100,000 in research grants so far.