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Community Group to Discuss Ending Sexism in the Media and Empowering Women, March 29

University professors will speak on panel as a film exposes the under-representation of women in positions of influence in America on Saturday, March 29, 2014, at the Indiana Theater from 7:00-9:30 p.m.

The Center for Community Growth will host a panel and screening of the new film, Miss Representation, at the Indiana Theater. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film challenges the media's limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful.

Miss Representation includes stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists, and academics like Condoleezza Rice, Lisa Ling, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Rosario Dawson, Jackson Katz, Jean Kilbourne, and Gloria Steinem. The film offers startling facts and statistics that will leave audiences shaken and armed with a new perspective.

The event will include a panel to precede the film, and a question and answer session featuring local experts on gender, prominent women in our region, and university students. Panelists will include Dr. Susan Comfort of the English Department, Melinda Levis of the Center for Health and Well-Being, and Dr. Pat Heilman of the Journalism Department, among other community members.

“This film and topic is exactly the kind of empowering movement that the Center For Community Growth supports. It’s important to question the status quo, particularly when we see such gender inequality in our community,” said Tina Palmer, board member of the Center.

This is the third in the film series: “Forging Connections For Change” hosted by the Center for Community Growth. The Center is a citizen-based organization in Indiana County promoting a healthy environment, a sustainable local economy and social justice projects. The Center’s film festival at the Indiana Theater features a 7:30 p.m. film and panel discussion at the end of each month through June. Find more information at

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