GOLD Program | Brenau University Miller Institute for Global Education

GOLD Speaker Series welcomes equity, environmental activist

Sep 15, 2022
Alyson Shields

A Costa Rican activist for equity and the environment will talk about “Unlocking Our Unseen Power” this month as part of Brenau University Women’s College GOLD Program “D Year,” which focuses on diversity and global perspectives.

Pamela Castillo Barahona will address students, faculty and staff at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, in Hosch Theatre on Brenau’s historic Gainesville campus. Castillo Barahona has worked within the Costa Rican government to link gender equity and environmental agendas, and is an expert in women’s economic empowerment. 

The event is a partnership between The Women’s College and the Miller Institute for Global Education. Rosi Ponce, who is the executive director of the institute, called Castillo Barahona an empowering female leader.

“Castillo Barahona sets a positive example for our students,” Ponce said. “She has dedicated her life to gender equality and environmental responsibility, and reached thousands through her initiatives. I am thrilled that she is able to share her wisdom with the Brenau community.”

Castillo Barahona currently is head of the technical secretariat of the Gender Parity Initiative of Costa Rica, which aims to reduce economic gender gaps. While serving as vice minister of environment from 2018-20, she established the first ministerial directive for closing the gender gaps in the forest, water and biodiversity sectors in the country. 

She also created the “+Women +Nature Program,” a public-private initiative that mobilizes resources for rural women to support their sustainable business endeavors. She designed the ecosystem restoration campaign “Footprint for the Future,” which is led by women associations in northern Costa Rica. She has served in several other international environmental roles.

The GOLD Speaker Series features highly accomplished and trailblazing women and is an ongoing component of The Women’s College’s GOLD Program.

“As we enter the ‘D’ year of our GOLD program, which represents diversity and global perspectives, we can learn so much from the international leaders of our increasingly global society,” said Dobkins. “By learning about our different strengths, we become stronger as a whole.” 

The Miller Institute was established in 2022 thanks to an endowment gift by longtime Brenau Trustee Pete Miller and his wife, Cathy, to support and encourage the global education of Brenau students, as well as provide international learning opportunities in the Brenau community. The Millers have been supporting global education at Brenau since 2006. 

More information about the GOLD Speaker Series can be found here.