The Office of Service-Learning, a public service and outreach unit, will launch its Innovators lecture series Jan. 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel. The inaugural lecture will be given by Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest and founder of Magdalene, a residential community of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction.
During the lecture, which is open free to the public, Stevens will discuss the history and model of Thistle Farms (thistlefarms.org). Founded by Stevens in 2001, Thistle Farms is a social enterprise in Nashville that currently employs nearly 50 residents and graduates of Magdalene and supports a natural body care line, paper and sewing studio and the Thistle Stop Cafe. While working at Thistle Farms, women learn about manufacturing, packaging, marketing, sales and administration to acquire the skills they need to earn a living wage and become independent.
On Jan. 28, a community workshop with Stevens will be held at 12:15 p.m. at the Presbyterian Student Center, at 1250 S. Lumpkin St. Lunch will be provided.