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Social Entrepreneur Gretchen Steidle Wallace at KSC

KEENE, N.H. 10/17/08 - Gretchen Steidle Wallace, founder of Global Grassroots, a non-profit organization which invests in social entrepreneurship to advance women’s wellbeing in poor countries, will be the guest speaker at Keene State College’s James D. Ewing World Affairs Lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 30, in the Mabel Brown Room of the College’s Lloyd P. Young Student Center.

Her talk, “Survivors of Conflict, Agents of Change: How Africa’s Women Are Using Grassroots Social Entrepreneurship to Rebuild from Genocide,” will explore her work as a social entrepreneur helping to empower women in genocide- and conflict-torn areas of the world. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Gretchen Steidle Wallace received a BA in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia (where she attended as a Jefferson Scholar), and her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, where she helped found what is now Tuck’s Allwin Initiative for Corporate Citizenship. The Allwin Initiative works to give business leaders a sense of corporate responsibility, service, business ethics, and knowledge of social enterprise.

She co-authored her brother’s memoirs, The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur, the story of former Marine Captain Brian Steidle, and produced a documentary film with the same title. She was honored by World Business Magazine and Shell as one of the top International 35 Women Under 35.

In 2004 Wallace led a team to South Africa to study the impact of HIV/AIDS, the work of social entrepreneurs combating the disease, and the opportunity for creative business investment in the epidemic. In the townships of South Africa, she discovered how critical a role the lack of women’s sexual and economic rights played in the continued spread of HIV. In late 2004, inspired by her work in South Africa and her brother’s tenure in Darfur as a military observer for the African Union, she incorporated Global Grassroots. Global Grassroots ( uses consciousness practices, social entrepreneurship training, and seed funding to help women victims of conflict and genocide launch their own ideas for social change. In 2005, she returned to Africa to launch Global Grassroots’ initial work in the Darfur refugee camps of eastern Chad.

For more information on the lecture, or to request accommodations for a disability, please contact Patricia Hitchner at 603-358-2112.

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