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The last two evenings, I felt privileged to spend time listening to Dr. Nina Smart at MSU. Nina Smart is not only a beautiful human being; her story and her wisdom is amazing.  Tuesday night (above), she talked about her newly released memoir, Wild Flower, which is her story of escaping being “caught” and “initiated” in Sierra Leone. In actuality, what she escaped was being victim to the traditional practice of female genital mutilation.

Last night (Wednesday), I listened to her lecture on FGM as part of the Social Justice Series at MSU. She gave us specific information about FGM, and urged us to join the international fight to eradicate the practice from the world.

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Nina Smart lives up to her name. She’s brilliant and she shines with passion and compassion. She’s inspiring–for all of us to live passionately and to believe that each of us can affect our world. I felt instantly connected to her. I bought her book, and I hope that I can stay in touch with her.

Normandale has adopted her book for their common read next school year, so she’s coming to visit Normandale. I’m going to try to introduce that idea at South Central College. If we timed it correctly, we could invite her to visit SCC at the same time; we could probably save a lot of money and have a valuable program at SCC.

At any rate, giant thanks to Dr. Nina Smart for visiting Mankato and for being who you are in the world!

Becky Avatar

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