Tampa – UT Professor Rebecca White, director of the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, will be a panelist in a discussion following the Tampa screening of the documentary “Mama Rwanda” at the Jaeb Theater at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.
The documentary will be shown on Tuesday, Nov. 29. A VIP reception will be held at 6 p.m. and the screening – followed by a panel discussion — begins at 7 p.m.
Tampa joins New York, Boston, and Washington D.C. as the sites for the first showings of the documentary about the country of Rwanda’s path to reconciliation after decades of violence. The Akilah Institute for Women is hosting the event.
“Mama Rwanda” follows two Rwandan women and highlights the roles of education and access to capital in empowering women to overcome poverty through entrepreneurship.
“The film’s message of the application of an entrepreneurial mindset to solve significant problems and improve the quality of life for a family, a community or even a nation or is powerful,” says White. “This impact is exactly why teaching and supporting young entrepreneurs is so important to our future.”
In addition to White, panelists include Laura Harris, ABC Action News anchor; Laura Waters Hinson, the film’s director; Maya Smallwood, principal of People Advisory Service, Ernest & Young; Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes, Akilah Institute CEO and co-founder; and Aline Kabanda, country director, Akilah Institute.
“In 2009, the Tampa community rallied around an idea I had to build a school to empower and educate women and girls in Rwanda; to be a part of the country’s rebirth and to provide students with the knowledge and skills to launch their careers and achieve leadership roles,” says Hughes, a Tampa native turned CEO.
Three-quarters of students at the Akilah Institute’s Rwandan location are unemployed before enrolling. After graduating, they earn, on average, 12x the national median income. Graduates then support family and community members, start businesses, or invest in their own professional careers.
Tickets for the premiere will be available at the door of the Straz Center for $20. To watch the trailer, go to www.akilahinstitute.org/mama-rwanda, or for more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.