Helen Lakelly Hunt has been active within the women’s movement for the past eighteen years. She is founder and president of The Sister Fund,
a private women’s fund dedicated to the social, political, economic, and spiritual empowerment of women and girls. Helen has helped to found a number of other women’s funding institutions, including the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the New York Women’s Foundation and the National Network of Women’s Funds (now Women’s Funding Network). Helen has served on the Boards of Directors of the Ms. Foundation for Women, Women and Foundations, and the New York City Women's Agenda. Among Helen’s major civic activities have been active memberships on the Childcare Commission for the Mayor of the City of New York.
Committed to building society that invites the full participation of all, Helen has long recognized the need to strengthen women’s rights and leadership. She sees the unearthing of women’s contributions throughout the ages, within both the social and religious spheres, as being a crucial aspect to achieving justice in society. In 2004, Helen completed a Doctoral degree at Union Theological Seminary in New York City where she further explored how theology or a spiritual perspective has strengthened the work of women’s activism. Her dissertation focused on “The Religious Roots of American Feminism,” as she feels that the work of our foremothers: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Sojourner Truth (to name a few), exemplifies the balance of compassion and fire that is so necessary to redefine and enhance the women’s movement. (This work became the basis of her book, Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance, which was published by Atria books in the summer of 2004.) Helen’s doctorate built on her past academic studies, which include three degrees from Southern Methodist University: a B.A. in Secondary Education, an M.L.A. in Liberal Arts, and an M.A. in Counseling, along with an honorary Ph.D. from the Chicago Theological Seminary.
Helen has been recognized for her leadership in building the women’s funding movement, including the following awards: the National Creative Philanthropy Award from the National Network of Women’s Funds, Gloria Steinem's Women of Vision Award through the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Equity Leadership Award from Nontraditional Employment of Women (NOW), the Laura Parsons Pratt Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of Women and Children from the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and as an Honoree of the Center of the Elimination of Violence in the Family. Helen is honored to be an inductee in the National Women’s Hall of Fame, in Seneca Falls, New York.
Along with her studies and activities on behalf of women and girls, Helen has co-authored seven books with her husband, Harville Hendrix, and has been instrumental in the development of Imago Relationship Therapy, which he founded. Feeling strongly that our ability to function with integrity and wholeness within our communities and larger lives begins with our family connections, Helen focuses a great deal of her time and energies on sustaining connections with her husband, their six children and three wonderful grandchildren.