Giving Rise to Hope

Social entrepreneur Amanda Nguyen talks “Hopeanomics” in virtual, free event for UCSB Arts & Lectures

Harvard graduate in 2013, bona fide social entrepreneur by 2014, Nobel Peace Prize nominee in 2019. That’s Amanda Nguyen, and that’s just a sampling of her achievements as a civil rights activist.

The CEO and founder, in 2014, of Rise, a social movement accelerator that teaches grassroots organizing, Nguyen also helped draft the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights. Her 2021 viral video ignited worldwide coverage on anti-Asian hate crimes and is credited as a pivotal moment for the Stop Asian Hate movement.

She will discuss all these things and more at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, in “‘Hopeanomics’ and How Social Entrepreneurs are Transforming Grassroots Activism.” The event is being offered for free as part of UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures’s Thematic Learning Initiative. Registration is required to attend.

Nguyen’s virtual appearance replaces the postponed in-person event originally scheduled for Jan. 12. It is Arts & Lectures’s single solely virtual event this winter — although 90% of the programmer’s current slate of in-person offerings include a watch-at-home option. For guests attending in person, A&L has updated its health and safety protocols to require proof of vaccination for those ages 5 and up, including boosters for all who are eligible, and masking indoors regardless of vaccination status.

“Thank you, Santa Barbara, for sticking with us through these challenges,” said Celesta M. Billeci, Miller McCune Executive Director of Arts & Lectures. “We’ve pivoted many times over the last two years, and we remain committed to being a cultural resource and a source of awe and enlightenment for our community. We had a vibrant return to the stage this past fall, and we’re looking forward to many more opportunities to gather this season. And while we must continue to adapt, we will also continue to create hope, you can count on it!”

The “Hopeanomics Guide” developed by Rise and Nguyen is an organizing curriculum that serves as a blueprint to drive democracy and scale hope that can easily be applied to other social issues, empowering ordinary citizens to pen their own civil rights into existence.

Rise is a millennial-driven social change incubator for citizen lawmaking. Rise drafted and helped pass groundbreaking federal legislation that created the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights which was signed into law by President Obama in October 2016. It was one of only 21 substantive bills in modern U.S. history, since 1980, to have unanimously passed into law.

Recognized on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and Time magazine’s 100 Next lists, Nguyen also was named one of InStyle’s 50 Badass Women of 2020 and Foreign Policy’s leading global thinkers of 2016.

Nguyen’s “Hopeanomics” event for A&L is presented in association with the UCSB Feminist Futures Initiative, the UCSB Division of Student Affairs and Standing Together to End Sexual Assault.

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