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Laguna Blanca School Hosting Free ‘Women, Empowerment and Leadership’ Community Event

Laguna Blanca School’s distinguished Global Studies Program is pleased to present an exciting free community event, "Women, Empowerment and Leadership" to celebrate the International Day of Women from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, March 9 at the Lobero Theatre.

Taking the stage, World Dance for Humanity will perform “Break the Chain,” an inspiring tribute as part of the worldwide protest against domestic violence. There will be special presentations and panel discussions that include notable speakers Janet Reineck, Ph.D., Kum-Kum Bhavnani, Ph.D., Michelle Madrid-Branch, and Carla Goldstein, J.D.

Laguna Blanca initiated the Global Studies program to educate its students about the challenges and responsibilities they face as global citizens.. Women, Empowerment, and Leadership is a free community event graciously sponsored by The Mosher Foundation and Laguna Blanca School, and is geared for students in grades 7-12 and up.

The distinguished speakers at this year’s Global Studies Symposium include:

Janet Reineck, Ph.D.

Reineck holds a Masters in Dance Ethnology from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley. She has worked in humanitarian aid and fundraising for 20 years, leading rural development projects for Oxfam and International Rescue Committee in Kosovo, and directing fund development for Direct Relief International and the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. She started her World Dance class and community in 2010, offering local women a chance to experience the music and dance of other cultures while helping communities in need. In 2013, World Dance became World Dance for Humanity, a nonprofit that is helping 20 Rwandan communities create a sustainable future through donations of livestock, grants for small businesses, training, and school stipends.

Kum-Kum Bhavnani, Ph.D.

Bhavnani is a professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara. At UCSB, Professor Bhavnani’s specialties are women and international development, cultural studies and feminist studies. Currently, Bhavnani is a chair of the system-wide University of California committee on International Education. She also serves as chair of the UCSB Academic Senate. Bhavnani has a Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences from King’s College, University of Cambridge, England. Her documentary film, The Shape of Water (2006), received numerous awards around the world, including Best Feature Documentary, Best Director Documentary and World Cinema Award.

Michelle Madrid-Branch, Author

Madrid-Branch is an author, speaker and global advocate for women and orphans. She has been referred to as a “world-wide voice on adoption” by Adoption Australia. She was inducted into the New Mexico Women’s Hall of Fame in 2006 and honored with the Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women by Gov. Bill Richardson. Madrid-Branch enjoyed a decade-long successful career as a television news anchor and investigative journalist, including an Emmy nomination while on-air with ABC-TV. She has three books in print — The Tummy MummyAdoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heart and Mascara Moments: Embracing the Woman in the Mirror — and is currently writing a fourth. Her international upbringing allows her to feel at home anywhere in the world. With a shared passion for adventure and service, Michelle and her family have lived and traveled worldwide. Their current home is in Santa Barbara, and their two sons attend Laguna Blanca.

Carla Goldstein, J.D.

Goldstein is a co-founder of the Omega Women’s Leadership Center and its chief external affairs officer. As an attorney with 25 years of experience in public interest advocacy, she has contributed to more than 100 city, state and federal laws, and has worked extensively in city and state government on issues related to women’s rights, poverty, public health, and social justice. She is also an advisor to the global advocacy organization Women Without Borders. Currently, she teaches as part of the core faculty for the Omega Women’s Leadership Center, which is a learning center dedicated to convening, inspiring, and training women to use their leadership to bring about a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world for everybody.

For more information on Women, Empowerment, and Leadership, please contact Global Studies Symposium coordinator Bojana Hill at 805.687.1752 x527 or [email protected].

Laguna Blanca School is an Early K-12 co-educational, college preparatory day school. It guides students to greater heights by building upon its 80-year tradition of academic excellence with new and innovative teaching methods and programs. With the thriving experiential learning, LEGO, STEM, and global studies programs, competitive Condor League athletics and state-of-the-art athletic facilities, the school continues to broaden and enrich its students’ educational experience. For more information, please visit lagunablanca.org.

— Sydney Gardner is a publicist representing Laguna Blanca School.

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