Kennedy Center club aspiring to make a change

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The newly organized International Society Student Association (ISSA) co-hosted a screening of “Girl Rising” March 20 to educate its members and promote positive change.

“Girl Rising” features girls in developing countries who work toward education and fair treatment for girls. The documentary tells the stories of nine girls from Cambodia, India, Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Peru, Sierra Leone, Nepal and Haiti, in each girls’ own words, narrated by celebrities such as Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Selena Gomez and Alica Keys.

“It’s a really powerful movie to connect what we’re learning in class with BYU’s mission statement,” said ISSA’s future co-president, Caroline Black.

The Women’s Studies office co-hosted the film screening at BYU.

A film still shows Suma Tharu Kathmandu, a girl from Nepal who's story of escape from bonded servitude is told in "Girl Rising." The documentary was shown on-campus on March 20 and sponsored by ISSA.
A film still shows Suma Tharu Kathmandu, a girl from Nepal, in “Girl Rising.” The documentary was shown on campus on March 20, and the screening was co-sponsored by ISSA. (Film still courtesy “Girl Rising”)

ISSA was created under the auspices of the Kennedy Center in Fall 2013 “to connect the Kennedy Center to students in a more personal and fun way,” said Emily Jackson, future co-president of ISSA.

The club invites any internationally oriented students to participate in its activities, which focus on career networking and discussing global issues.

In the few months ISSA has been at BYU, the new club has hosted women’s panels, a zombie apocalypse summit for Halloween and a career fair preparation activity.

The club, which has about 250 members, is patterned after the LDS International Society. ISSA is currently accepting applications for club officer positions.

A film still Wadley, a girl who survived an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from "Girl Rising," which had a showing sponsored by ISSA March 20.
A film still shows Wadley, a girl who survived an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from “Girl Rising.” (Film still courtesy Girl Rising)

Jackson said while the Kennedy Center tends to isolate itself because it is so academically specific, ISSA provides a diverse outlet for students to apply and discuss what they are learning in class.

“It’s very broad,” Jackson said. “We’re open to exploring all different ideas.”

The next ISSA activity will be Tuesday, March 25, in the Kennedy Center. Three female faculty members will discuss ways to balance faith, career and womanhood.

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