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March 8: Educator, activist is Liberation Weekend keynote speaker

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

FREDERICK, Md.—A noted educator who actively promotes education and other reforms for girls in her South African village will be the keynote speaker during Hood College's annual conference focusing on blacks in America March 25-27.

The weekend events, themed "A Journey to Success," will feature a movie, a short animated film, panel discussions, a walking tour to sites in downtown Frederick related to African-American history and a keynote address by Ntaiya Kakenya. The free conference is part of the College's annual Black Student Union Liberation Weekend.

Friday evening's program will begin at 8 p.m. with a feature-length movie and discussion in the Whitaker Campus Center. Saturday's panel discussions and reflections will begin at 1 p.m. Panelists—members of the local Frederick community and from across Maryland—will discuss their personal stories, struggles and journeys to successful lives. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to speak with each panelist in small groups regarding their fields of interests and to discuss their desired journeys as they contemplate the future.

Saturday's events will conclude with a talk given by Ntaiya at 4 p.m. in Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall, and a showing of "Kakenya," an award-winning film based on her life, produced by Vital Voices Global Partnership.

Since arriving in the United States from Kenya, Ntaiya has worked to promote awareness of issues affecting girls in her community and to raise funds to build a girls' school in her small Maasai village. As the first youth adviser to the United Nations Population Fund, she has traveled worldwide to speak on the importance of educating girls, particularly as a means to fight the practices of female genital mutilation and child marriage.

The annual Liberation Weekend is devoted to providing a forum for sharing information; introducing current issues, efforts and accomplishments of black America; and promoting unity, knowledge and intellectual power. The event is sponsored by the Hood College Black Student Union.

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