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Hear from women leaders—all experts in their fields—as they discuss the connection between culture and identity in Heather Raffo’s Noura and in the world around us.
Inspired by the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, STC’s “Unsex Me Here” Series tackles the complex portrayals of and demands upon women in the classic theatre canon, STC’s mainstage season and modern day workplaces.
Desiree Venn Frederic is an agent of alternatives. The Sierra Leone-born writer, social entrepreneur, educator and installation artist is inspired by her transnational experiences. Through her social practice, the thought leader explores the commons and commoning discourse, socio-cultural matters, identity in common space and its impact and relationship on thought, expression and behavior. Through her work, she is a champion for independent retail and community-minded development. She is a founding member of The Artist Union, an advocacy and policy body for creative entrepreneurs. The themes of space, ownership, social dislocation and identity run concurrent in her personal and professional life. She is the founding director of Combing Cotton Co., a think tank and community development firm and chairwoman of Local Merchant Independent Retail Association. Her major exhibitions include White% at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries in 2016. In 2017 Venn Frederic completed a 4 year practice-based research project entitled “Nomad Yard”, which won numerous awards and acclaim for its approach at community development through creative placemaking and economic equity. She lives and works in Washington, D.C.
Tanya Vitusagavulu is a Reception and Placement Case Manager at Lutheran Social Services, National Capital Area as part of their Refugees and Immigration Services program. She has been at LSS/NCA for 2 years serving refugees from all over the world, mainly Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. Tanya was born and raised in Suva, Fiji and graduated from American University with a degree in International Studies with a focus on International Peace and Conflict Resolution. Her immigrant background and her interest in the plight of people escaping and experiencing conflict all over the world drew her to the field of refugee resettlement. She previously served as an AmeriCorps member doing peace and conflict resolution with a focus on mediation. Tanya is inspired daily by the lives and the stories of resilience and determination of her clients and is passionate to help them rebuild their lives in the U.S.
Dr. Andria Wisler became the Executive Director of the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service (CSJ) at Georgetown University in January 2013. Andria received her Ph.D. in Comparative and International Education and Philosophy from Columbia University and master’s in International Educational Development and Peace Education from Teachers College. Andria is deeply interested in the intersection of higher education and societal conflict and committed to how higher education can – through utilization of its diverse resources and community based experiential learning – contribute to the creation of a more just and humane world.
Amanda J. Hackett runs her own law firm where she focuses on LGBT/SOGI-Minority immigration and asylum. Hackett is a graduate of Smith College and the Howard University School of Law. Hackett is enthusiastically studying Bahasa Indonesia at the Indonesian Embassy. Since 2014, she has volunteered as a pro-bono attorney for Center Global, the DC Center for the LGBT Community’s program for LGBT asylum-seekers. She looks forward to returning to playing with the Federal Triangles Soccer Club and to the theater community once her firm settles into itself. Hackett is an enthusiastic dog-lover. Finally, she is a proud Aunt. Twitter : @Asylum_Attorney; Website: HackettImmigration.com
This event is co-hosted by the Young Professionals Consortium Arts Engagement Council.
Photo of Heather Raffo by Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi.