Ladies who lead the way

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Staff Writer

COEUR d’ALENE — Some of North Idaho's most dynamic leading ladies will be engaging the community Saturday during an event at the Human Rights Education Institute.

"The Strength of A Woman: An Evening of Conversation with Local Change Agents" will feature a panel of notable Idaho women with rich leadership experiences and diverse backgrounds.

The speakers are: Paulette Jordan, who is running as a candidate for Idaho governor and is a member of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe; Brook Bassett, creator of "Girl Awake!" and owner of Verve Studio 8; Liz Moore, executive director of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS); Sholeh Patrick, writer and columnist for The Coeur d'Alene Press; and Shana Zotikos, executive director of the North Idaho AIDS Coalition (NIAC) and Ph.D candidate.

The panel will run from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and will be moderated by Art Spirit Gallery owner Blair Williams.

"We’re having this primarily so we can draw attention to the gifts that women in our community have to share and the stories that they have to tell that can bring about positive change in our world," said Jeanette Laster, programs and development manager for HREI. "We selected these women based on the fact that they have been local change agents in our community, they've had struggles, they've had successes and they've made a difference and an impact on our community that members of the younger generations can look up to. We’re hoping people will bring their kids to this."

This free event commences a month of programming in March that will focus on uplifting girls and women of all ages in recognition of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, which is Thursday, March 8.

In the Coeur d'Alene Library from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, Bassett and the Luminary Initiative Project will showcase "Girl, Awake!," a six-girl ensemble that address issues related to being a girl in the modern era. Topics are presented using many theatrical forms including spoken word, dancing, monologues, video projections and more.

The HREI Book Club selection for March is "We Should All Be Feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The club will meet in the HREI Gallery on March 21 at 5:15 p.m. Adichie's book centers on her experiences and her belief that feminism should be a concept embraced by everyone — not just women.

HREI will show "Hidden Figures" on Saturday, March 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. This film highlights a group of African-American women who worked as mathematicians for NASA during the space race and broke professional and gender boundaries to help launch John Glenn and other astronauts into both space and history. The screening is free and family friendly.

During Women's History Month, HREI's exhibit gallery will also showcase female "Human Rights Heroes: Past and Present," activists and advocates working locally, nationally and globally to shape a better world.

HREI is located at 414 Mullan Road, Coeur d'Alene.

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