Cumberland Times-News

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March 18, 2013

Documentaries examine global efforts to educate girls

Screenings today at ACM

CUMBERLAND — Global efforts to educate girls — and thereby improve the lives of women and families in developing nations — will be featured in two documentary films to be shown Tuesday at Allegany College of Maryland.

“Girl Rising,” a newly released feature-length movie from an Academy Award-nominated director, will be shown at 6 p.m. The film portrays the stories of nine extraordinary girls in nine countries as told by nine celebrated writers and voiced by as many renowned actresses.

Earlier in the day, portions of “Half the Sky,” a four-hour documentary that premiered on PBS stations last fall, will be shown at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Chapters devoted to girls’ education and economic empowerment will be presented in 75-minute sessions that include ways to help.

ACM’s Peace Studies has organized the day under the title, “Educate Girls: Change the World.” The events, all in the College Center’s Zimmer Theatre, are free and open to the public.

To assist efforts to improve the education of girls, participants are asked to bring a book that will be donated to Better World Books. The socially-conscious bookseller partners with Room to Read, an organization that promotes literacy and gender equality in Asian and African counties.

Cash donations also will be accepted, including for 10x10, a coalition of non-governmental organizations, corporations and others working to improve the lives of women in the developing world through education of young and adolescent girls.

Both films explore the extreme challenges faced by women and girls around the world and highlight the brave fight they are waging to better their circumstances and change their societies.

Each movie makes the case that educating girls longer means that they marry later and bear fewer children. Empowerment that comes from education helps break the cycle of generational poverty and increases the likelihood for democracy to flourish and reduces the conditions that promote extremism.

Educated Girls: Change the World is sponsored by ACM’s Peace Studies Club, a student organization. For more information contact Kurt Hoffman, ACM faculty member and club adviser, at 301-784-5113. His e-mail address is khoffman@allegany.edu. Information is also available on the college website, www.allegany.edu.

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