Empowering women is the best way to increase prosperity and stability around the world. That's the premise of Half the Sky, a new PBS special based on the best-selling book by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn that uses emotionally explosive storytelling to confront the greatest moral challenge of our time: the oppression of women and girls around the world.
KUED will present a free sneak preview of the special followed by a panel discussion Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 S. West Temple. The screening will feature 40 minutes of important segments from the four-hour series. The entire series will air on KUED over two nights, October 1 and 2 from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m.
Filmed in 10 countries and inspired by the best-selling book by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the series features actress-advocates — Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, Diane Lane, America Ferrera, and Olivia Wilde who join Kristof as he travels to Asia and Africa to meet inspiring and fearless individuals working to bring about change as they confront extreme gender bias.
Women and girls around the globe face threats -- sex trafficking, forced prostitution, rape, female genital mutilation, maternal mortality and discrimination — every day of their lives. Says WuDunn, “In the same way that slavery was a moral challenge for the 19th century and totalitarianism was a challenge for the 20th century, the challenge that women and girls face around the world is the moral challenge of our time.”
A panel discussion immediately following the screening features:
Nick Larsen, is the executive director and co-founder of Child Rescue Association of North America, a domestic anti-human trafficking organization based in Salt Lake City. He also heads Child Rescue's Backyard Broadcast, a campaign developed to empower youth across the country to develop their own "Broadcast Stations" to increase awareness of child sex trafficking in America.
Dr. Mara Rabin is the medical director of Utah Health and Human Rights(UHHR), where she serves as a medical consultant to physicians who provide care to UHHR clients, and provides forensic medical examinations for asylum seekers. She also works to increase awareness among Utah’s health care providers about the unique health issues facing refugee and immigrant survivors of severe human rights abuses. She also serves on the executive committee of the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs.
Felicia Maxfield - Barrett is executive director of the Utah Refugee Coalition (URC) that helps refugee communities connect to partnering organizations, government agencies, and other resources while providing education to the general public about refugees.
Lindsay Gezinski is an assistant professor at the University Of Utah College Of Social Work where she studies the commodification of women’s bodies, especially pertaining to sex work, sex trafficking, surrogacy, and egg donation in India.
Jacque Baumer served as a case manager for victims of human trafficking at Utah Health and Human Rights before becoming the executive programs director for the Child Rescue Association of North America, an organization dedicated to ending child sexual exploitation in Canada and the U.S. She also produced one of the largest anti-human trafficking police trainings in the country.
KUED’s Women and Girls Lead is a multiyear public media initiative to educate, empower and engage Utahns about the issues facing women and girls worldwide. Part of a national PBS project, the initiative combines independent documentaries, community events and partnerships with a variety of Utah organizations to amplify the voices of women and girls who overcome major obstacles to act as leaders.
KUED is working with more than 20 organizations to increase community awareness, challenge stereotypes and educate and empower women. Project elements include broadcast of PBS documentaries. In addition to Half the Sky, KUED will air Makers, about women who have changed the world as we know it, from high profile leaders to everyday women; Utah Makers, a KUED production looking at Utah women who have forged new paths and inspired others; and Kind Hearted Woman, a Frontline special profiling a Native American woman struggling to save her family and help her community and abused women.
The Women and Girls Lead initiative also includes the free monthly screening and panel discussion series at UMOCA on the second Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m.
Online elements include interviews, curated by SHEROES with women who have overcome extraordinary barriers. Salt Lake Community College Community Writing Center, the Center for Documentary Expression and Art and the Sorensen Unity Center will hold a writing workshop and curate a mutli-media exhibit. The project alo includes educational materials for classroom use compiled by UEN and KUED PBS LearningMedia and hosted online.
A website, kued.org/wgl, will include links to program information, partner projects and sites, an event calendar, educational resources as well as information about the local project elements.
To learn more about the KUED's Women & Girls Lead Initiative contact Jacqui Voland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
B.W. Bastian Foundation
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