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October 8, 2012
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PBS producer of 'Half The Sky' to speak in Vail

VAIL - Mikaela Beardsley, executive producer of the PBS documentary "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide," which aired earlier this month, will serve as one of the keynote speakers for Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder's upcoming Global Solutions Forum to be held at the Vail Mountain School Oct. 27-30.

"Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" is a four-hour PBS primetime documentary film and nationally broadcast event inspired by the widely acclaimed book of the same name by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

Filmed in 10 countries, the series follows Kristof and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe oppression is being confronted, and real meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education and economic empowerment for women and girls.

The linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality - which needlessly claim one woman every 90 seconds - present to us the single most vital opportunity of our time: the opportunity to make a change. All over the world women are seizing this opportunity.

Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder, the host of the Global Solutions Forum, partners with non-profits in six countries on four continents. Each course is designed to actively address the root causes of poverty such as the oppression of women. During the four-day forum, several non profit partners will give presentations on how they are working to solve compelling global issues. Beardsley will share her personal journey from film making to activism.

Beardsley has over 15 years of experience producing award-winning, critically acclaimed and socially engaged documentary television. She most recently produced "Reporter: A Film" with Kristof, which premiered at Sundance in 2009, aired on HBO in 2010, and was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Programming - Long Form. She has worked in film and television production since 1993, producing primarily for HBO and PBS, and has made films with Alex Gibney, Martin Scorsese and Wim Wenders. Beardsley began her television career at WGBH in Boston, and holds a bachelors degree in comparative literature from Princeton University.

The series is part of the Women and Girls Lead initiative, in partnership with CPB and PBS.

For more information on "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" visit www.halftheskymovement.org. For more information on Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder and the Global Solutions Forum, visit website at www.shouldertoshoulder.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Oct 8, 2012 09:56AM Published Oct 8, 2012 09:50AM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.