Laura Bush

Former First Lady Laura Bush (right) poses for a photo with Joni Carswell, Texan by Nature executive director.

AP

Former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush, an advocate for literacy, education and women’s rights, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at Southeast Missouri State University.

Tickets are required for “An Evening with Laura Bush” and are on sale now. General admission tickets can be purchased at www.showmecenter.biz/ or the Show Me Center Box Office. Current SEMO faculty, staff and students can use a Redhawks ID to pick up a free ticket in the Center for Student Involvement (University Center Room 204) or the Show Me Center Box Office.

After leaving the White House, President and Mrs. Bush founded the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The Center is home to the Bush Presidential Library & Museum and the George W. Bush Institute, a public policy center established to solve today’s most pressing challenges by developing leaders, advancing policy and taking action.

As chair of the Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative, Bush is passionate about access to education, healthcare and economic opportunity for women and girls around the world. The Bush Institute prepares and empowers the next generation of women leaders in North Africa and the Middle East, works to ensure the expansion and protection of women’s rights in Afghanistan, and engages and supports First Ladies from around the world so they can effectively use their unique platforms to advance issues for women and girls in their countries.

Bush has been a leading voice for spreading freedom and promoting human rights across the globe. For more than a decade, she has led efforts through the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council to protect the hard-earned rights of women in that country. She also has been a longtime supporter of the people of Burma.

As First Lady, Bush advocated for the importance of literacy and education to advance opportunity for America’s young people and to foster healthy families and communities. She highlighted the importance of preparing children to become lifelong learners, convening a White House Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development in 2001. Mrs. Bush has visited schools around the world and met with students in nations from Afghanistan to Zambia, with a particular focus on the education of girls and women.

Bush is the author of the bestselling memoir, “Spoken From the Heart,” and bestselling children’s book, “Our Great Big Backyard.” She serves on many boards, including the National Advisory Board for the Salvation Army, the Council for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Board of Trustees for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Southern Methodist University Board of Trustees.

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