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                LIFE-CHANGING WORKSHOPS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

                            for adults, adolescents, children

                                    for your organization, class, conference,

                                            panel, symposium, faith community,

                                                    youth group, women's group, discussion group, etc.

 

SAMPLE SPEAKING & WORKSHOP TOPICS:

 

--EXTREME BODY IMAGE MAKEOVER; HEALING FROM APPEARANCE-BASED JUDGMENTS OF YOURSELF AND OTHERS

Become inspired to rejoice in your body, as-is!  Be moved to change the world, instead of your wrinkles (adapted for younger audiences).  You will never view your own appearance, or that of another, the same again.  This workshop is of great interest to teen audiences, (boys as well as girls), to those who struggle with body obsession and eating disorders, and to anyone who is caught up in our cultural mania of equating worth with appearance.

--CHANGE THE WORLD INSTEAD OF YOUR WRINKLES (adapted for younger audiences)

For today's troubling climate: 

--DO GOOD GUYS WEAR WHITE HATS?   DO THEY EVER WEAR TURBANS? 
This presentation becomes more crucial every day, in this time of extreme and polarizing characterizations of Muslims in the media, on the internet, and even by civic and religious leaders, elected officials, etc. Is it reasonable to fear and suspect all Muslims at this time? How extensive is current stereotyping and hatred? A single example: bumper stickers that proclaim, “It’s time to play Cowboys and Muslims”.   Is marginalizing and negative characterizing of whole groups at all effective in counteracting violence, terror and war?

The title of this presentation is shorthand for an invitation to reflect deeply on the ways that Muslims, in particular, are now routinely characterized. In our country, in fact, most Muslim males do not wear turbans, although Sikhs, who do, have been brutally attacked, even murdered in the wake of 9/11. I became deeply involved with Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim families whose innocent loved ones were attacked in recent years. The information and perspective I share on this issue are surprising and moving. (See the Media & Links page for more discussion of this topic.)

 

--WHAT IS THIS JEWISH WOMAN DOING, BECOMING AN ALLY TO SIKHS, HINDUS, MUSLIMS?

This talk is of particular interest to Jewish organizations, congregations, campus groups, youth groups, etc., in this time of extreme and polarizing characterizations of Muslims.

 

I became deeply involved with Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim families whose innocent loved ones were brutally murdered in the hate-backlash following 9/11.  Having read Anne Frank as a teen, and having asked myself, “What would I have done if I had lived then”, I knew that, as a Jewish woman, and, as someone who understood oppression based on appearance, I had to stand as an ally to anyone being devalued on this basis. It was certainly not OK with me that innocent people were being attacked because someone irrationally associated their appearance with terrorists, or linked the wearing of turbans (as Sikhs do in their religious practice) with a stereotype.

 

The story of how I came to this journey is always of great interest to audiences.  I share a wealth of information, not commonly in the news, about the terrible threats of polarization and intolerance, in these challenging times.  Listeners find this narration profoundly moving, inspiring, and galvanizing...in an unexpected way.  Please see the Media & Links, and Anya & Contact, pages.

 

--IS 'RACE' AN OPEN AND SHUT CASE?  

For kids & adults.  Literally, turns the issue of 'race' upside-down.  Creates a new framework with which to tackle this challenging issue.  A place to begin this important conversation with young people, and a way to unravel preconceptions in those who think they already know what 'race' is.  Includes a reading of RACE: AN OPEN and SHUT CASE and an unforgettable discussion.

 

--IN SEARCH OF COLLATERAL COMPASSION; AN UNTOLD SEPTEMBER 11th STORY

Please see the Book & CD, and Anya & Contact, pages, for more information.

 

--HOW TO FIND YOUR VOICE TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST HATE, INTOLERANCE, VIOLENCE, WAR

How do specific groups get designated as ‘Other’ and what can we do about it? What is ‘collateral damage’ and how is it a requisite for war, during which we casually sanction, justify or excuse harm to those we no longer deem innocent, simply because they are members of the now wholly suspect group? How does standing against hate, intolerance, injustice and war heal the way we view ourselves? On a practical level, what are effective means of working against violence, terror and war? How deep and wide can our collateral compassion extend and what is it good for? Where do we begin?

...........................................................................................................................

These are just a few topics I bring my unique passion to.  Speaking engagements and workshops can be adapted to particular audiences and interests. 

If you flip through the pages of my website, you will get a feel for the energy and the issues I bring to lectures, panel discussions, and workshops.  You can hear an interview with me, by clicking here.  (You must scroll down to the feature for September 9, 2004, the Global Activism story on the Campaign for Collateral Compassion, Anya Cordell interview.)  You can read about some of my work, in an article that appeared on the front page of The Washington Post, by clicking here. 

I have spoken and led workshops for children and adults, for students from elementary school to graduate school, and for groups and organizations in a wide variety of settings, from intimate living rooms to public presentations to over 2000 participants.

A few comments from participants:

“Your work is awesome and commendable. You should be cloned.”—An adult participant

"You inspired me to change my first impression of people."--An eighth grade student

"My first impression was that the conversation and the book would be boring and I would fall asleep, but then I started to get interested...I thought it was a good message."--A seventh grade student

FROM A UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR:

 
I am writing to recommend Anya Cordell in the highest possible terms.  
She supports tirelessly the rights and dignity of our fellow human beings, 
and she communicates passionately.  
 
She single-handedly launched the Campaign for Collateral Compassion in fall 2001, 
in response to the hate-backlash of 9/11.  I have never seen a concept transformed 
so effectively into a movement.  Ms. Cordell has devoted herself wholeheartedly to 
seeing justice done.

I attended a press conference Ms. Cordell gave in 2002 for Arab and Muslim News Media.
She spoke so powerfully about her mission that many in the audience were mystified, 
as well as grateful.  How could she dedicate herself so completely to a demographic 
group of which she was not a member?

In her mind's eye, Anya sees, what she calls, (quoting Anya), 
 
"the bottom rung of a ladder, one common step, upon which just about everyone can agree: 
Innocent people ought not to become 'collateral damage' for someone's 'cause'.  If they 
are victimized, they deserve compassion, practical help, and support.  If everyone stood 
together on this first rung, how high could we climb toward a world at peace?  If we worked 
to relieve--indeed to prevent--the hurt of anyone caught in any crossfire, what else would 
change?  Imagine if, whatever side we supported, we insisted that our 'own' group not kill
'collaterally'."  If we all committed to this principle, calling our leaders to comply, the 
world would be freed of much conflict and tragedy.  
 
Ms. Cordell is setting a good example for all of us, 
and our lives become richer when she shares her vision with others. 

To book a workshop or speaking engagement, or for further information, contact:

info@anyacordell.com or 847-331-6022

 

Also visit http://www.appearance-ism.com