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Empowering Young Women and Girls Around the World

Please join us in congratulating Maggie Dunne (MCP candidate '19) on her participation in the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois (October 31st through November 1st). On a panel comprised of young female leaders and activists - facilitated by Michelle Obama's former Chief of Staff, Tina Tchen - Dunne spoke to her experiences empowering women and girls through her nonprofit organization, Lakota Children's Enrichment, Inc. (LCE).

Dunne founded LCE in 2008 to provide resources and opportunities for Lakota youth in education, the arts, mentorship, and leadership on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The rapidly evolving LCE, has shifted from primarily facilitating and organizing supply drives to providing substantive programs such as an annual Writing and Art Challenge, a Youth Advisory Board, youth summits, mentorship opportunities, small educational grants, and serving as the primary sponsor for TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark.

TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark, an individually organized TED event which takes place in Rapid City South Dakota, engages native and non-native youth on a national platform, helping LCE to raise national awareness of Native American history and advocacy.

On the panel, Dunne spoke to the journey of founding LCE, the challenges she has overcome, and what type of investment she has identified as critical for the philanthropic sector to enable startups to bridge funding gap as they grow into a sustainable enterprise. Time and again, across the discussion on the panel, the need for collaborative work, particularly to promote empowering women and children, wove itself into the conversation.

Dunne reflected on her panel discussion, "I believe it is essential that women support one another, despite our geographic differences, I found many similarities between my work and that of my fellow panelists and look forward to collaborating with them and hope to continue to work with the Obama Foundation in the near future."

Image and video credit: The Obama Foundation