‘Women Spirit Rising’ in West Lafayette, Feb. 22
By Deanna Brown
The community is invited to “Women Spirit Rising,” a free evening of multicultural storytelling and music, featuring Beena Sebastian (see photo ab0ve), founder of Cultural Academy for Peace in Kerala, India, as a presenter.
The program runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., with a reception following, on Saturday, February 22, 2014, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 333 Meridian St., West Lafayette, Indiana.
It will include performances by area singer/songwriter Denise Wilson and Illinois folksinger Peg Lehman; presentations by Kay Gaier, cofounder and co-director of Growing Grounds in Wabash, Ind., and Beth Beams, cofounder of Center for Nonviolence in Fort Wayne, Ind. Segments of the film, “Girl Rising,” also will be shown, portraying the power of education to change a girl and the world.
“The purpose of Beena Sebastian’s trip from India to Indiana and this community event is to share the story of the Cultural Academy for Peace in India and to explore ways women here and women in India can mutually inspire one another,” said Deanna Brown, founder of Cultural Connections: Women Weaving Worlds, which is sponsoring Sebastian’s visit and the evening.
More than a dozen Lafayette and West Lafayette women have traveled to India with Cultural Connections, as well as others from around Indiana and other states, Brown said.
“Together, we are claiming our voices while unfolding each others’ dreams for justice for girls and women around the world,” Brown said. “It will be an evening of sharing and celebrating, and we invite the community to join us.”
A local organization, Cultural Connections (http://www.bluemangoindia.in/, click on “Connections” tab at top) offers travel experiences that bring women from the United States and women in India together in mutual interchanges to cultivate self-awareness and self-reflection through cross-cultural dialogue and activities.
In its trips to India, Cultural Connections spends time with Sebastian at the Cultural Academy for Peace (www.culturalacademy.org). Founded in 1984, the academy works to create a nurturing a society based on peace, justice, reconciliation and respect for life. It operates a rescue center for women and children, counseling center and other programs.
For more information, call 765-523-3313.