News
August 26, 2009
Lees-McRae Global Community Series: The Power of Compassion begins Sept. 14

The Global Community Center at Lees-McRae College will host its annual Global Community Series this fall on the theme: The Power of Compassion: Crossing Barriers and Bringing Hope. According to Center director Scott Crawford, the series will see a host of speakers and events focused on "people who cross boundaries of faith and culture to show compassion for others."

In this spirit, guest speakers include Norm Conard on Sept. 14, a member of the National Teacher Hall of Fame, whose high school students in rural Kansas uncovered the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic who risked her life to save thousands of Jewish children from Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Mr. Conard's students went on to write a play called "Life in a Jar" about Ms. Sendler's life, which recently inspired the making of a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, starring Oscar-winning actresses Anna Paquin and Marcia Gay Harden. The movie will be shown on Sept. 10 on Lees-McRae's campus in preparation for Mr. Conard's visit.

Another powerful guest speaker will be Rabbi Brad Hirschfield on Sept. 15, a former West Bank activist now devoted to teaching inclusiveness, celebrating diversity, and promoting acceptance. Rabbi Hirschfield is host of the weekly radio show "Hirschfield and Kula," has appeared on CNN, MTV, PBS and NPR, and has been voted one of America's Top 50 Rabbis two years in a row by Newsweek. Besides addressing the High Country community, Rabbi Hirschfield will do a book signing for his book, You Don't Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right, which will be available for sale at the event.

The Global Community Series will conclude on an exciting note with an original play, The Risks of Heroes: A Drama with Music and Dance, written by Dr. Janet Barton Speer, Distinguished Professor and Virginia McKenzie Reeves Endowed Chair of Performing Arts and Artistic Director of Lees-McRae's Summer Theater, which just celebrated its 25th
season. Dr. Speer's newest play, sponsored by the Joseph and Frieda Ross Foundation, is a chronicle of exciting and heartwarming events where ordinary people rise to accomplish extraordinary tasks. The Risks of Heroes highlights individuals, like Irena Sendler, translators in Darfur, school girls in Afghanistan, and others who have risked their lives to save people in need. The play runs from Sept. 30-Oct. 4.

All events are open to the community and will take place on Lees-McRae's campus in Banner Elk. Please refer to the schedule below for times, locations and other details for each event. For more information, contact Global Community Center director Scott Crawford at crawfords@lmc.edu or 828-898-8788.

Sept. 10 Movie Night: The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler

7:00 pm, Evans Auditorium, Cannon Student Center

Admission is free

Sept. 14 Norm Conard speaks on "Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project"

7:00 pm, Evans Auditorium, Cannon Student Center

Light dessert and coffee reception to follow

Admission is free

Sept. 15 Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, author of "You Don't Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right"

7:00 pm, Evans Auditorium, Cannon Student Center

Light dessert and coffee reception to follow

Admission is free

Sept. 30-Oct. 4 The Risks of Heroes: A Drama with Music and Dance by Dr. Janet Barton Speer

Sept 30, Oct 1, 2 and 3 at 7:30 pm, Oct. 4 at 2:00 pm, Hayes Auditorium

Ticket price: $12.00 Adults, $5.00 Students

Media Contact:

Megan Hall  |  Director of Communications
Tel: 828.898.8729  |  Email: hallm@lmc.edu