Opening Plenary and Reception
Wednesday, November 20, 6:00pm–8:30pm
Through his inspiring photography and films, Phil Borges has transformed audiences’ perceptions of cultural diversity, gender equality, and other social issues facing developing regions of the world. He seeks to create a relationship between the audience and his photographic subjects, stating, “I want the viewer to see these people as individuals, to know their names and a bit of their history, not just to view them as an anonymous part of some remote ethnic or tribal group.”
Borges is the founder of Bridges to Understanding, an online classroom program that connects youth worldwide through digital storytelling to enhance cross-cultural understanding and build a sense of global citizenship in youth. His most recent work, Tibet: Culture on the Edge, uses full-color portraits to bring his audience face to face with those living in one of the most fragile environments on Earth, who face a rapid induction into the 21st century while trying to retain their Tibetan Buddhist practice and culture. Past works include the book and exhibition Women Empowered, created with the organization CARE, which highlights the oppression and discrimination of women and girls in the developing world, and the exhibition Stirring the Fire: A Global Movement to Empower Women and Girls.
A special screening for conference attendees of the 2013 groundbreaking film “Girl Rising,” directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, will be shown following the Opening Reception. Learn more about the film and watch the film trailer.
Friday, November 22, 12:15pm–2:00pm
A Minnesota native and avid outdoors enthusiast from a young age, Ann Bancroft has shattered female stereotypes and earned acclaim as one of the world’s preeminent polar explorers. She is the first known woman in history to ski across ice to the North and South Poles and was the first woman, along with her fellow adventurer Liv Arnesen, to cross Antarctica.
An educator and philanthropist, Bancroft is dedicated to sharing the stories related to her dreams of outdoor adventure with the hope of inspiring a global audience to pursue their own dreams. She has worked with many young people, a population where she finds endless hope and optimism and the conviction that anything is possible. In 1991, she founded the Ann Bancroft Foundation to create curricula based on the historic 1993 all-women’s Antarctic polar expedition, which reached more than 200,000 students worldwide. Today, the Foundation has focused its mission on Bancroft’s vision to provide every young girl who dares to dream with the support, inspiration, and resources needed to make those dreams come true.
Featured Documentary Screening: Girl Rising
Wednesday, November 20, 8:15pm–9:30pm
Justin has six years of experience working in South America as an anthropologist, teacher and in development with various non-profit organizations benefitting girls and women. He was awarded an Ambassadorial Scholarship by Rotary International which allowed him to pursue his Master’s degree in journalism and a post-graduate program in documentary screenplay writing in Santiago, Chile at La Universidad Católica de Chile. While in Chile, Justin focused his non-profit work on women and children living with HIV/AIDS and his production work on women marginalized by mental illness. Justin moved to New York City in 2010 where he joined forces with Girl Rising, confident knowing that empowering and educating girls and women is the key to a more harmonious world. He enjoys educating audiences about the importance of educating girls and has presented at: TEDxUnisinos, Social Media Week NYC, Google Latin American Leadership Conference. Justin is hopeful that his lead will inspire other men and women to invest in girls.