SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — For the twenty-second year in a row, Bryant University hosted a Women’s Summit on Friday, featuring leaders in business and culture to promote empowerment and inspire women.

Among the keynote speakers was Mary McDonnell, an actress, producer, podcast host, and 2018 winner of Trinity Repertory Company’s Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. Twice nominated for an Oscar, her roles across film and television include “Dances with Wolves,” “Sneakers,” the reboot of “Battlestar Galactica,” “The Closer” and “Major Crimes.” The latter two dramas featured strong female leads in the criminal investigation field, with McDonnell helming “Major Crimes,” which was spun off from the Kyra Sedgewick-starring “The Closer.” McDonnell’s “Lady Bam Podcast” documents conversations with an emphasis on women in entertainment.

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