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Kelly Rutherford

Mom, Actress, Activist & Philanthropist
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Biography

In her speaking engagements tailored to campus audiences and young people, activist, philanthropist, real-life mom and Gossip Girl mom Kelly Rutherford engages in interactive Q&A using clips from her show to spark conversation on subjects ranging from dating and sexual violence, bullying and self-image, substance abuse and family issues.

Rutherford played the hip, progressive Manhattan socialite and power mom Lily van der Woodsen in 96 episodes of the show's six-season run on the CW Network from 2007 to 2012. Gossip Girl now enjoys international syndication and a new popularity among Millennials via Netflix streaming.

Taking memorable plot points from Gossip Girl featuring Lily, her popular daughter Serena and her prep-school pals Blair Waldorf, Chuck Bass, Nate Archibald and Dan Humphreys, Rutherford fosters discussion on making smart choices in a complex world through the issues that arose from the hit show's rarefied world of power, privilege and prestige.

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Life Choices: Real Talk, Not Gossip – An Interactive Discussion


As Lily van der Woodsen on TV's Gossip Girl, Kelly Rutherford played pampered, privileged and posh, alongside her it-girl teenage daughter Serena (Blake Lively) and her popular friends. But amid all the parties and pomp was a series that illuminated pressing issues relating to young people. As one of the major cast members on the show, Rutherford was privy to story arcs centered on real-life issues like dating and sexual violence, bullying, self-image, substance abuse and parent-child relationships. In this interactive program geared towards students and young adults — many of whom are now discovering Gossip Girl on Netflix, giving it new life after its long run — Rutherford uses clips from the show that highlight these themes as a way to engage her audience and spark conversation. Rutherford encourages audience members to participate in real time by submitting questions and comments via social media and participating in live Q & A.

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