ATLANTA — Karen Sugar, founder and director of Women’s Global Empowerment Fund (WGEF), will deliver the keynote speech for this year’s Honors College Founders Lecture.
Sugar’s speech, entitled “The Paradox of Empowerment,” will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, in the Centennial Hall auditorium.
The mission of WGEF is to support women through economic, social and political programs. The organization seeks to create opportunities while addressing inequalities and strengthening families and communities.
Sugar took lessons from her previous work with homeless women and families in Atlanta and experience as a community organizer for reproductive healthcare in Colorado, along with her interest in gender studies and microenterprise, when creating WGEF.
Women’s Global Empowerment Fund utilizes a model called Credit Plus, which provides women with microloans and business training paired with programs focused on literacy, leadership development and health initiatives.
Between April 2008 and May 2022, WGEF issued more than 27,000 microloans. The organization has also branched out by developing the Healthy Periods Initiative, establishing the Gulu Women’s Resource Center and holding an annual drama festival that elevates women’s voices through storytelling.
Sugar has dedicated her life to addressing social justice issues, strongly emphasizing her commitment to gender equality.
This year’s lecture is in memory of Lauren B. Adamson, Regents’ Professor Emerita of Psychology and former dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.
“Dr. Adamson was an inspiring developmental psychologist and mentor to many faculty and staff in the college,” said Honors College Dean Sarah Cook. “She was invested in empowering women to develop professionally and advance their careers. It is fitting to honor her memory with a lecture on women’s empowerment.”
The lecture is free and open to the public.