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Stanbridge University hosted its inaugural TEDWomen 2020 virtual conference in partnership with TED. With the theme of “Fearlessness,” TEDWomen 2020 is a conference about the power of women to be creators and change-makers.

The virtual discussion included students, faculty, and staff reactions on featured TEDWomen speakers and their impact on global challenges including COVID-19 vaccine testing, gender-based violence during the pandemic, voting, women in leadership, and artificial intelligence.

Spearheading the initiative, Yasith Weerasuriya, President of Stanbridge University, stated, “It is critical that as future healthcare leaders, our students and graduates better understand the challenges that they will face for their employers, patients, and own personal career paths. We hope this will open opportunities for respectful discussions and education to ultimately lead to changes within our community.”

The event featured video recordings from women leaders around the world including women’s health specialist, Dr. Kemi DaSilva Ibru, epidemiologist research fellow at Johns Hopkins, Ms. Sophie Rose, 27th Prime Minister of Australia, Ms. Julia Gillard, and global economist, Ms. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The session was moderated by Dr. Bill Wong, OTR/L, two-time presenter at TEDx and TEDxYouth, member of the Representative Assembly for California in the AOTA, and Stanbridge University Professor. Participants were invited to discuss each video topic to reflect on their experiences and ideas.

In addition to TEDWomen, the initiative has also launched a four-part TED Circles discussion series to address issues of race and diversity brought to the national discourse by Black Lives Matter. The series has hosted its first session for students to discuss the challenges of how society thinks about and reacts to skin color and ethnic identity. Three more sessions will be hosted in early 2021.

The initiative on diversity and women in leadership expands on the Stanbridge University outREACH Community Service program, a series of student fellowships and volunteer projects that place students at the heart of communities in need, allowing them to use their skills and develop as leaders for the greater good.

To learn more about Stanbridge University, please visit www.stanbridge.edu

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