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"Perspectives on Leadership" Lecture: Jennifer Valberg - Outreach Director, "The Otesha Project"


Jennifer Valberg - Outreach Director, "The Otesha Project"

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008 - 5 p.m., MW170

A dream born in Kenya has become a charitable organization of hopeful young people uniting as The Otesha Project ( Otesha, which means "reason to dream" in Swahili, was created to mobilize youth to create local and global change through their daily consumer choices. Otesha believes that there are alternatives to our culture of overconsumption, and that each one of us has opportunities to have positive impacts every single day.

Jennifer Valberg is the Outreach Director for The Otesha Project. The Project's education programs and bicycle tours use theatre, multi-media, and storytelling to engage a wide range of audiences, and have reached more than 72,000 people to date. Otesha’s performances focus on re-evaluating our daily choices to reflect the kind of future we'd like to see - rethinking what we really need, conserving resources, and voting with our dollars. They aim to demonstrate the positive effects our everyday choices can have, by living sustainably, changing the world, and having loads of fun--all at the same time!

Jennifer has spoken to over 3,000 people, and performed in over 25 communities as a member of Otesha's Lake Superior cycling and performance troupe. She has trained multiple 'Hopeful Highschool Hooligan' (Triple H) teams to perform The Otesha Morning Choices Play in their communities. Jennifer also runs an award-winning company, Ghetto Couture, where she is the sole designer and creator of her unique reconstructed clothing. Sharing her experiences as a young leader, entrepreneur and activist, Jen will share the hopeful philosophy behind The Otesha Project, and inspire audiences to reflect the on the impact they can, and do have on the world around them.

Jennifer will be joined by one of The Otesha Project’s “Triple H” teams who will give you a live demonstration of the sort of work they do all over the country. You will also have the opportunity to learn how you can become a part of one of Otesha’s cycling and performing tours!

Everyone is welcome on Wednesday night to hear the story of how one group of young people are aiming to change the world, and the way we see our role within it!

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