"A Day of Words, Wit and Wisdom" with WE CAN

WE CAN's 8th annual celebration of "Words, Wit and Wisdom" provides sponsors and attendees with a unique opportunity to meet and speak with a panel of award-winning authors, as well as Liz Walker, 2012's Woman of the Year. It's also the perfect chance to contribute to the mission of WE CAN, an exceptionally effective Cape non-profit.

The theme of this year's event is "The Power of Community," and will be held Thursday, June 7, from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, at the Wychmere Beach Club, 23 Snow Inn Road in Harwich Port. Reservations are required, and the $150 tickets sell out fast every year.

Anne LeClaire, WE CAN Special Advisor and distinguished author will emcee the event.

This year's featured panelists are internationally acclaimed authors Marianne Leone, Gregory Maguire, and Gail Tsukiyama. The authors, including LeClaire, will be available to sign their books at the event.

WE CAN named Liz Walker, award-winning TV journalist and ordained minister, the 2012 "Woman of the Year," citing her work as an advocate for young people from marginalized communities and women's issues activist. She's being honored in particular for her advocacy and passionate, concrete support of women, girls and their families – locally and globally.

Andi Genser, Executive Director of WE CAN, said, "With a focus on empowering people – especially women and girls – to overcome barriers and challenges in order to contribute their best to their communities and the world, Liz Walker exemplifies the purpose, mission and ideals of WE CAN. Her humanity and generosity stand as an example for all of us in a world badly in need of both."

Walker produces television programming that advocates for young people from marginalized communities who are working to overcome barriers and challenges in order to contribute their best to the world.

She also actively works on international education and women's issues. In response to the atrocities in Sudan, including the region of Darfur, Walker co-founded "My Sister's Keeper," a grass roots initiative that advocates for women and children who are trying to rebuild their country and their lives.

A 2005 graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Reverend Walker is the transitional minister at Roxbury Presbyterian Church on loan from Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamaica Plain, where she works with young people. She is active on numerous community boards and is a spokesperson for people living with HIV-aids, breast cancer survivors, and at-risk youth.

The recipient of two Emmys, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and special recognition from the prestigious Gabriel Awards for her on-air and documentary work, for 20 years, Walker was on air at WBZ TV as Boston's first African American to anchor a major television newscast. She currently hosts a special television magazine series called BETTER LIVING WITH LIZ WALKER on Boston's WCVB TV.

WE CAN named Liz Walker the 2012 “Woman of the Year”
WE CAN named Liz Walker the 2012 "Woman of the Year"

Walker said, "I'm honored – and humbled – to receive this award. I learned from my experiences as co-founder of "My Sister's Keeper" just how small the world really is and how dependent we all are on each other.

WE CAN clearly understands that. The work they do – empowering women to achieve lasting, positive change for themselves, their families, and ultimately the entire Cape Community – is a wonderful example of how it's possible to make a difference "in the spot where you stand."

Marianne Leone is an actress, screenwriter and essayist. She had a recurring role on HBO's "Sopranos" as Joanne Moltisanti, Christopher's (Michael Imperioli's) mother. She has also appeared in films by John Sayles, Nancy Savoca and Martin Scorsese.

Her essays and op-ed pieces on a variety of topics have appeared in The Boston Globe.

She is married to Chris Cooper, an academy-award winning actor, and was Jesse Cooper's mother for seventeen years. After his death in 2005, her essay on grief was published in the Boston Globe ("He Was Our Touchstone".) Her memoir, JESSE: A MOTHER'S STORY grew out of that essay. She lives on the South Shore of Massachusetts with her husband and two rescue dogs, Lucky and Frenchy.

Gregory Maguire is the best-selling author of many books for both children and adults. His newest book is OUT OF OZ, the last in THE WICKED YEARS series of four. WICKED has nearly 5 million copies in print and was the basis for the Tony Award-winning Broadway play of the same name. Mr. Maguire is also the founder and former co-director of Children's Literature New England, a non-profit educational charity established in 1987. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts with his husband and their three children.

Gail Tsukiyama is a poet and author of short stories and six best-selling novels. Her seventh, A HUNDRED FLOWERS is due out in August 2012. She was born in San Francisco, the daughter of a Chinese mother from Hong Kong and a Japanese father from Hawaii.

Her multicultural background is reflected in some of her best-known works, SAMURAI'S GARDEN, DREAMING WATER, and WOMEN OF THE SILK. Her writing is graceful, lyrical and poetic, transporting readers to past eras and different cultures.

Ms. Tsukiyama has taught at San Francisco State University, University of California, Berkeley, and Mills College. She is also a recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award and the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and the Asia Pacific Leadership Award from the Center of the Pacific Rim and the Ricci Institute.

Anne LeClaire is the author of eight best-selling novels, including the acclaimed ENTERING NORMAL, THE LAVENDER HOUR, SIDESHOW, EVERY MOTHER'S SON and LEAVING EDEN. Her work has been published in 24 countries. Her latest book, the non-fiction LISTENING BELOW THE NOISE, is based on her 19-year practice of silence and was named one of the 50 best spiritual books of 2009.

LeClaire is a former reporter, radio news broadcaster, and newspaper columnist whose work has appeared in publications such as Redbook, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times. She teaches and lectures in the United States and abroad on the creative process and on the practice of silence, and has been on the faculty at the Maui Writers Conference. She lives with her husband in Chatham.

WE CAN changes lives. For more than 10 years, WE CAN has been dedicated to empowering Cape Cod women of all ages to successfully navigate challenging life transitions such as career change, job loss, illness, divorce or retirement.

Whether the situation is acute or chronic, WE CAN helps with information and referrals, mentoring, free legal services, training and workshops, empowering women to achieve lasting positive change for themselves, their families and ultimately for the entire community.

For more information, visit
or call 508-430-8111.

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