Rwanda's First Lady Madame Jeanette Kagame, Author Sarah Chayes, Playwright Eve Ensler, Activist Zainab Salbi, Mrs. Kay Warren and USMC Col. Adele Hodges Join CNN's Inspire Summit

Performances by Grammy(R)-winning A Capella group "Sweet Honey in The Rock"

Sep 28, 2006, 01:00 ET from CNN

    NEW YORK, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The CNN Inspire Summit on Tuesday,
 October 10, set before a live audience, will welcome the First Lady of
 Rwanda Madame Jeanette Kagame; Author and Afghanistan Activist Sarah
 Chayes; renowned author, playwright and activist Eve Ensler; global
 humanitarian Zainab Salbi and Mrs. Kay Warren, the noted Christian AIDS
 advocate, as well as U.S. Marine Corps Col. Adele Hodges, the first female
 commanding officer of Camp Lejeune.
     The CNN Inspire Summit will be held at New York's Time Warner Center
 and is produced by CNN Special Projects and hosted by CNN Ad Sales.
     Following opening remarks from CNN Anchor Paula Zahn, CNN International
 Correspondent Zain Verjee, who recently landed an exclusive interview with
 the former President of Iran Mohammed Khatami, will moderate the evening.
 The event will pay tribute to women whose impact has been felt through
 their political, social and humanitarian efforts, and whose achievements
 have inspired others to get involved. Issues discussed during the program
 will range from religious and government sanctioned violence against women,
 the women's movements taking shape in the Middle East and Asia, the AIDS
 pandemic and the role of women in sustaining national security.
     Also featured during the program will be pre-produced profiles
 including breast-cancer survivor and author Elizabeth Edwards, and the
 Honorable President of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first woman
 democratically elected on the African continent. The event will also
 feature performances by "Sweet Honey in The Rock," the world-renowned,
 Grammy(R)-winning a cappella group whose stirring vocals range from
 spirituals and hymns to songs of outright protest.
     As First Lady of Rwanda, Madame Jeannette Kagame has seen first hand
 the insurmountable horrors of genocide and has dedicated herself to
 organizations that champion the rights of the survivors left widowed or
 orphaned by the conflict. She also uses her position to fight for families
 affected by HIV/AIDS -- marshalling resources at the national and
 international level to support prevention and economic empowerment for
 vulnerable groups. She hosted the first "African First Ladies' Summit on
 Children and HIV/Aids Prevention" in Kigali, founded the "PACFA Rwanda"
 project and co-founded the 40-member "Organization of African First Ladies
 against HIV/AIDS," serving as its President from 2004-2006. In 2003 she was
 recognized by the International AIDS Trust in Washington, D.C., with an
 award presented by former U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
     Sarah Chayes is an award-winning foreign war correspondent who reported
 on the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East for National Public Radio
 from 1997 until 2002. She left journalism at the invitation of the Karzai
 family to lead Afghans for Civil Society, an organization based in
 Kandahar, which attempted to reconstruct Afghanistan after the initial fall
 of the Taliban. Today she runs Arghand, also a Kandahar-based non-profit
 organization which produces and exports hand-crafted soap made of raw
 materials native to the country. Arghand's goal is to expand alternatives
 to Afghanistan's No. 1 industry-opium. Her recently released book is called
 The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban.
     Eve Ensler, who will be appearing via satellite, is the award-winning
 author of The Vagina Monologues -- a one-woman show that is based on her
 interviews with over 200 women. An international sensation, The Vagina
 Monologues, has been translated into 45 languages. Her experience writing
 and performing in the play, led Ms. Ensler to devote her life to ending
 violence against women, and in 1998, she founded V-day, a global movement
 that has raised over $35 million to support anti-violence organizations
 throughout the world and which helps draw public attention to the cause.
 Ensler's new book is titled Insecure at Last: Losing it in Our Security
 Obsessed World.
     A native of Iraq whose father served Saddam Hussein, Zainab Salbi
 created Women for Women International in 1993 to strengthen and support
 women survivors of war and civil strife through social entrepreneurship and
 rights education. To date, more than 70,000 women have received support. In
 September, Salbi and the highly lauded organization received the world's
 largest humanitarian award-the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. This
 month, Salbi releases her second book, National Geographic's The Other Side
 of War: Women's Stories of Survival and Hope, a series of portraits and
 stories of women war survivors. In 2005, Salbi published her memoirs,
 Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing up in the Shadow of Saddam
     Mrs. Kay Warren is an award-winning writer and the executive director
 of the Saddleback HIV/AIDS initiative for the California-based Saddleback
 Church which she founded, along with her husband Pastor Rick Warren, author
 of the best-selling book The Purpose-Driven Life. A breast-cancer survivor,
 Mrs. Warren has traveled globally to speak and learn about the AIDS
 Pandemic -- most recently speaking at the 2006 Ecumenical and Interfaith
 Pre-Conferences held during the International AIDS Conference in Toronto,
 one of the largest gatherings on the HIV/AIDS issue in the world. In
 November, Saddleback Church will host its second conference on AIDS
 awareness, to mobilize the church and faith-based organizations to become
 involved in the care of those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS."
     After 27 years of dedicated military service, Colonel Adele Hodges was
 appointed in 2006 as the first female commander in Camp Lejeune's
 six-decade history. The U.S. marine base, located in North Carolina, is one
 of the largest Marine Corps. bases on the East Coast. She holds masters
 degrees in business administration, military art and science and strategic
 military studies. As an African-American, Col. Hodges has spoken on
 diversity and women's roles in the military. Prior to her post at Lejeune,
 Col. Hodges served at the NATO Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway.
 She's also served in Hawaii and Okinawa, and in 1991, she deployed with the
 2nd Marine Division to Operation Desert Storm.
     Following the summit, Carol J. Hamilton, President of L'Oreal Paris,
 which is sponsoring the event, will announce the recipients of the "Women
 of Worth" award -- a grassroots award program, currently in its first year
 that recognizes women who have made a difference in their communities.
     The L'Oreal Paris Brand Division of L'Oreal USA, Inc. is a total beauty
 care company that combines the latest in technology with the highest in
 quality for the ultimate in luxury beauty at mass. The L'Oreal Paris
 product family includes Preference, Excellence, Natural Match, Feria, and
 Couleur Experte haircolors; VIVE Pro, Studio Line, and L'Oreal Kids hair
 care; Dermo- Expertise skin care, including Revitalift, Wrinkle De-Crease,
 Age Perfect, Men's Expert, Sublime Slim and Sublime Bronze; and L'Oreal
 Paris Cosmetics, including Colour Riche lip colors, True Match Foundations,
 Wear Infinite Eyeshadows, Voluminous, Double Extend, Lash Out, and Volume
 Shocking mascaras, among many others, and the HIP High Intensity Pigments
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 Warner Company, is one of the world's most respected and trusted sources
 for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite
 television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks;
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 provider of programming for the television industry.