“Star Trek” actor Sir Patrick Stewart will be the keynote speaker in November at the Business and Professional Women’s Club regional congress conference in Cayman.
The four-day event, to be held Nov. 5-8 at the Westin Resort and Spa and which is open to the public, will include “A Conversation with Sir Patrick Stewart Gala Dinner.” The conference aims to address a number of issues affecting women.
Mr. Stewart, 75, widely known for his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the TV and film series “Star Trek,” and as Professor Charles Xavier in the “X-Men” movies, and who is also a noted Shakespearian actor, is a long-time advocate of combating domestic violence.
Having grown up in a home with a violent father who regularly struck his mother, Mr. Stewart has often spoken out against domestic abuse and is one of the lead front-men for the “HeForShe” campaign.
In an article he wrote in U.K.’s The Guardian newspaper in 2009, in which he described the domestic violence he experienced in his childhood home, Mr. Stewart urged others to speak out against abuse, saying: “More women and children, just like my mother and me, will continue to experience domestic violence unless we all speak out against it.”
Nancy Harrison, communications officer of the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Grand Cayman, said the club was looking forward to Mr. Stewart’s appearance at the conference, describing him as an “incredible human being.”
“Stewart’s dedication to the cause of stopping domestic violence is widely known as he often takes the opportunity to speak about his own experiences growing up,” she said.
“It is undeniable that there are domestic violence issues in Cayman. We are looking to have Patrick Stewart raise the issue and in turn, make it a conversation that inspires people to act,” she added.
Organizers of the conference say this is the first time the Business and Professional Women’s Club will hold the regional congress meeting in Cayman.
The club’s president Andrea Williams said the conference would showcase the Cayman Islands on an international scale as it welcomes female business professionals from across North America, Caribbean, Mexico and Europe.
“It will allow for the sharing of ideas and provide opportunities to learn more about issues affecting women,” Ms. Williams said.
Organizers say the conference will include discussions on gender issues with a focus on women’s empowerment principles, which offer guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
According to the Business and Professional Women’s Club, teaming with Mr. Stewart and Celebrations Ltd., the conference will bring attention to the “HeForShe” global solidarity movement on gender equality. Celebrations spearheads the local “HeForShe” campaign. The campaign was developed by UN Women to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights.