English in Action’s summer benefit features Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Sanger in conversation with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, it was announced recently.
The event takes place Aug. 8 at the Hotel Jerome beginning with cocktails at 6 p.m.; the program commences at 7 p.m. Tickets: englishinaction.org/events/summerbenefit or 970-963-9200.
Following the cocktail reception featuring a jazz trio from the Aspen Music Festival and School and the sit-down dinner, Sanger and Secretary Albright will reflect on immigration issues and the current state of international affairs.
English In Action is an El Jebel-based nonprofit organization working to empower immigrant and Latino and Latina adults in the Roaring Fork Valley. They match adults who want to improve their English with volunteer tutors one-on-one and in small groups.
The evening’s program will also feature testimonials from tutors and students matched through the English In Action program, illustrating how the program has changed their lives.
“We are thrilled that leaders like Secretary Albright and David Sanger are so moved by our program to volunteer to come and speak at our most important fundraiser,” said Lara Beaulieu, executive director of English In Action. “We especially hope the event will bring much needed attention to the experiences of our students and tutors and the deep friendships they develop at a time when cultural divides are harming many communities.”
The program’s student speaker at the event will be Estela Lopez Gudiño, who has participated in the program since 2007 and was able to start a career as a personal trainer as her English improved. This spring, her home, a trailer in Basalt, burned down. She credits the connection with her tutor, English In Action, and other organizations in the valley with helping her to recover from this personal tragedy.
English In Action was founded 25 years ago to bridge the communication gap in the Roaring Fork Valley. Its mission is “to strengthen the quality of life for everyone in our community by helping adult immigrants learn to read, write and speak English, and by building cross-cultural relationships.”
That is accomplished through one-on-one and small group tutoring and specialized workshops designed to help students overcome obstacles to learning English. The program currently serves nearly 400 adults annually with the help of 300 volunteer tutors and reaches more than 1,000 community members.