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Maya Angelou to Keynote Olivia’s Equality and Leadership Summit

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Friday Sep 13, 2013
Dr. Maya Angelou will be the keynote speaker at Olivia Travel’s Equality and Leadership Summit
Dr. Maya Angelou will be the keynote speaker at Olivia Travel’s Equality and Leadership Summit  (Source:Dwight Carter)

Olivia Travel, the world's largest lesbian charter company, has announced that Dr. Maya Angelou will be the keynote speaker for their Equality and Leadership Summit, to be held on Olivia's eastern Caribbean cruise next February. Additionally, record-breaking swimmer Diana Nyad will join the company's all-inclusive Club Med Resort in Ixtapa, Mexico, this November.

"By having Dr. Angelou lead the summit as our keynote speaker, followed by messages of strength from our other invited guests, we are expecting that the 1900 women who will be taking part in the cruise will leave invigorated and inspired to take on the world in new ways," said Judy Dlugacz, founder and president of Olivia Travel.

A celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker and civil rights activist, Dr. Angelou is hailed as a Global Renaissance woman. From her legendary work with Malcolm X and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to her heartfelt memoirs, she has left her mark on history. Dr. Angelou has been awarded more than 30 honorary degrees, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Presidential Medal of Arts, and 2008 Lincoln Medal and has received three Grammy awards.

The Indigo Girls will perform on the eastern Caribbean cruise  (Source:Olivia Travel)

Joining Dr. Angelou on the Caribbean cruise will be civil rights pioneer Edie Windsor, Florida Congresswoman and Chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Kate Kendell. Other famous guests include Elizabeth Birth, former head of the HRC, and education pioneers Kris Perry and Sandy Stier. Entertainers include Grammy-winning Indigo Girls and comedians Judy Gold, Karen Williams, Suzanne Westenhoefer, Gina Yashere, the band Antigone Rising and performance poet C.C. Carter. From politics to pop music, all are influential women in their own right.

"This year we have already seen groundbreaking progress for LGBT rights and equality and we felt the time was right to hold a gathering with influential women whose words and actions carry a powerful message of leadership and success," said Dlugacz.

Although the summit will not be held until next February, women booked on the company’s all-inclusive getaway to Club Med in Ixtapa, Mexico from Nov. 2-9 can enjoy the company of long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, who will talk about her record-breaking Cuba-to-Florida swim and share the challenges and determination she experienced before, during and following her victory.

"Diana truly represents the core of the Olivia Travel brand: believe and persevere," said Dlugacz. "Not only are we thrilled for her victory, but honored that she has chosen to join us for some much needed R&R. Our guests will certainly be inspired by hearing about her experience, both the ups and downs, and leave fully rejuvenated and ready to put their own dreams into action."

The eight-day and seven-night getaway will be held at the newly renovated Club Med Ixtapa which, following a $20 million upgrade, showcases breathtaking ocean views, beautifully refurbished rooms, three resort-exclusive restaurants and a luxurious new spa. Daily resort activities will include sailing, snorkeling, fitness classes, circus school, tennis, water aerobics, solo mixers, dance lessons, Olivia Olympics and more.

For more information, visit www.olivia.com

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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