Alumna to Speak on How African Women Rebuild after Genocide

April 3, 2009 — Gretchen Wallace, a University of Virginia alumna whose nonprofit organization works to help women through social entrepreneurship, will launch the Alumni Speakers Series on April 9 at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Hall Ballroom.

Wallace's appearance is sponsored by the series in association with Students Taking Action Now: Darfur (STAND). Her talk, "Survivors of Conflict, Agents of Change," will address how Africa's women are using grassroots social entrepreneurship to rebuild from genocide.

Wallace is a 1996 graduate of the University and the founder of Global Grassroots, a nonprofit organization that utilizes social entrepreneurship training and seed funding to help female victims of conflict and genocide launch their own ideas for social change.

She also produced "The Devil Came on Horseback," a documentary about a former U.S. Marine, Brian Steidle, an American witness to genocide who served as an African Union military observer in Darfur.

This is the inaugural event of the Alumni Speakers Series, a University of Virginia Alumni Association initiative that will bring a number of distinguished alumni to Grounds every academic year. The purpose of the series is to strengthen the connection between alumni and current students so that the U.Va. community can benefit from the diverse experience and expertise of alumni.

Born out of the fight to stop the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, STAND is devoted to creating a sustainable student network that actively fights genocide wherever it may occur. STAND seeks to unite students around the world in a permanent anti-genocide constituency.

Admission is free and open to the public. Limited parking is available at Alumni Hall, 211 Emmet St. South (across from the Memorial Gym).

For information, contact Wayne D. Cozart, vice president for alumni engagement, at 434-243-9041 or wdc9q@virginia.edu.