The following free events are co-sponsored by the Alexandria Lyceum and the Metropolitan Business Group. Events are held on the Alexandria Campus.
“The Spirit of Shea: The Opportunities and Challenges of Building a Business in Mali”
Tuesday, November 18
12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Presenter Gary Tounkara, a Malian-American who grew up in West Africa’s “shea beltway,” knows the importance and potential of shea butter to help to generate jobs and income for some of Mali’s poorest areas.
Formerly, Tounkara was project manager for East and Western Africa at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy. In 2009, with the financial and moral backing of the World Bank’s “D-Made” Project, Tounkara established his company, Karite PLUS, in the Malian capital city, Bamako. In an attempt to help improve the conditions of some of the 8 million rural women in the Sahel region whose livelihoods depend on shea, Karite PLUS partnered with U.S. importers and distributors who focused mainly on organic cosmetics products.
Tounkara will share his experiences of business planning, the process of getting funding, getting the facility and the machinery, and more.
Free Screening of “The Glass House”
Thursday, November 20
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center
“The Glass House” follows four girls striving to pull themselves out of the margins by attending a one-of-kind rehabilitation center in uptown Tehran. Forget about the Iran that you’ve seen before. With a virtually invisible camera, the girls of ”The Glass House” take us on a never-before-seen tour of the underclass of Iran with their brave and defiant stories: Samira struggles to overcome forced drug addiction; Mitra harnesses abandonment into her creative writing; Sussan teeters on a dangerous ledge after years of sexual abuse; and Nazila burgeons out of her hatred with her blazing rap music. This groundbreaking documentary reflects a side of Iran few have access to or paid attention to: a society lost to its traditions with nothing meaningful to replace them and a group of courageous women working to instill a sense of empowerment and hope into the minds and lives of otherwise discarded teenage girls. (Summary from the film’s website.)
There will be a question and answer session after the showing.