Speaker Series Brings Diverse Mix of Experience and Viewpoints to Columbus

September 23, 2013

The Excellence in Leadership Initiative (ELI) at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus is pleased to announce a diverse mix of speakers as part of its 2013 Speakers Series.

The series, which will be held in the Columbus Learning Center (LC) Building, is free and open to the public.

11 a.m., LC Room 1000
Through her inspirational non-profit Girls on the Run International, Molly Barker has engaged thousands of people across North America to help young girls ages eight to 13 build self-esteem. Her organization, founded in 1993, encourages girls to become empowered, responsible, intentional, healthy, and compassionate individuals who pursue their dreams and are confident about rising to any challenge. An authentic, engaging speaker and globally recognized leader in girl’s education and development, Barker inspires audiences with her personal story. Girls on the Run has an affiliate in Columbus at the Foundation for Youth that serves Bartholomew, Brown, and Jackson counties. The Columbus program combines training for a 3.1 mile running event with esteem-enhancing, uplifting workouts. The goal is to reduce at-risk behaviors, including adolescent pregnancy, eating disorders, depression, substance abuse, and more. This speaker is co-sponsored by Leadership Bartholomew County.

4 p.m., LC Room 1000
Parvez Sharma, an Indian-born gay Muslim, sought to give a voice for the LGBT community in the Muslim world through his 2007 documentary film, A Jihad for Love. The title refers to the Islamic concept of “jihad” as a religious struggle, translating it into the personal struggle of coexisting with Islam and homosexuality. The film is a moving portrayal of the struggle of several gay Muslims for acceptance and the difficulties they face in Islamic countries. Sharma interviewed gays in 12 different countries, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Turkey, France, India, South Africa, the U.S., and the U.K.

4 P.M., LC Room 1000
When former refugee Derreck Kayongo was ten years old, his family fled the civil war in Uganda for a better life in America. The journey to a new life prompted him to found the Global Soap Project, which recycles partially used hotel soap to improve sanitary conditions and save lives in impoverished countries. To date, The Global Soap Project has been able to donate thousands of bars of soap to Swaziland, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Haiti, work that has lead Kayongo to be named a CNN “Top Ten Hero” of the year in 2011. This speaker is co-sponsored by Heritage Fund and Mickey King Endowed Fund.

The Columbus Learning Center is located at 4555 Central Avenue near the Columbus Regional Airport. For more information about the speaker series, contact the Office of Student Affairs, by calling 812.314.8525 or e-mailing smiles3@iupuc.edu.