Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice Provides Support for Women Veterans

A four-page spread in Coast magazine highlighted the commitment of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice (GCWJ) to provide a network for women veterans to connect and reintegrate into society upon their return from deployment.

Recognizing that transitioning back into civilian life and employment can be a difficult process; the GCWJ saw need for more aid focused on the unique challenges that women veterans face.  In response, the GCWJ created The Orange County Women Veterans Network (OCWVN) using a grant provided by the Employees Community Fund of Boeing California.

The network is an opportunity to connect the 9,600 women veterans in Orange County. Opening these lines of communication will allow women veterans to encourage one another with their stories and shared experiences.

With March being Women’s History Month, the GCWJ wants to honor women veterans by holding a gathering for them to share their stories and begin the process of coming together in their time of transition. The GCWJ will hold their annual Women in History program on March 25 from 4-6 p.m. in Needham Chapel, followed by a reception at Vanguard’s Veterans Courtyard of Honor. Everyone is invited to join the OCWVN for this special event. To RSVP, contact Alexis Miller by March 20.

Vanguard University’s Director and Professor of Nursing Dr. Mary Wickman, seen in the photo, will speak at the event. Now a retired U.S. Navy Captain, Dr. Wickman will share about her experience as a woman serving in the military. She is one of the featured service women in Coast magazine’s G.I. Janes spread.

To learn more about the Women’s History Month event, click here.

To view the online version of the women veterans spread in Coast magazine, click here. To learn more about Vanguard University’s veterans program, visit vanguard.edu/veterans

The Global Center for Women and Justice’s 2013 Ensure Justice “Cyber Exploitation” Conference Informed and Called Attendees to Action

On March 8-9, Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women & Justice (GCWJ) hosted the Ensure Justice “Cyber Exploitation” Conference to address the issue of internet and social media being used as tools for human sex trafficking.

Sandra Morgan, director of the GCWJ, said she was thrilled seeing the community and law enforcement come together to learn and share about the issues. Attendees learned about the online tactics used by predators, the indicators of human trafficking shown by victims and the strategies used to stop this modern-day form of slavery.

The conference’s speakers included: Ernie Allen, the president and CEO of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC); Dr. Laura Lederer, the president of Global Centurion and former senior advisor on human trafficking at the U.S. State Department; and Lisa Thompson, the director of the Initiative Against Sexual Trafficking for the Salvation Army.

At the start of the conference, Allen said: “Our challenge is to mobilize our communities, become indignant about what is happening to women and children in California, in America, and around the world, and to turn our indignation into action.” The conference focused on bringing awareness to the reality of these heinous crimes and their occurrence in attendee’s communities, not just in foreign countries.

There is a need to “break the myth of human trafficking as people in handcuffs and chains,” Morgan said, when detailing the immediacy of the issue arising in homes across America. “It happens to average kids and kids in socioeconomically low situations.”

Describing the issue in terms that all parents could understand, Morgan said that cyber exploitation “is the new highway” that parents must warn their children not to run into, and the worst part is “now the street is in your house.”

The conference called for parents to engage with their children and teach them the importance of being careful online.  “Facebook doesn’t have a stranger button,” Morgan said. Using the analogy of a mother asking her daughter daily if she has brushed her teeth, Morgan said repetition and engagement is needed to create safe internet and social media use in children as it continues to be more prevalent in society.

At the event, some free online videos from netsmartz.org, created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, were used to educate attendees on the issues of cyber exploitation. Morgan encourages everyone to make use of this free resource.

Morgan is already preparing for next year’s event taking place March 7-8, 2014. The topic will be “Why is She a Slave?” covering the gender issues that contribute to human sex trafficking.

To learn more about this year’s event and connect to speaker bios, click here.

Vanguard’s Department of Music to Send Out Groups for Spring Tours

Carrying the good news on musical chords, the Vanguard University’s Department of Music student ensembles will travel to various cities across the U.S. carrying the light of Christ with them this spring break.

Vanguard’s concert choir, concert orchestra and women’s chorus begin their spring tours on March 16. These tours are an opportunity for students to take the skills they have acquired from a semester of practice and use them to bless communities inside and outside California, including Nevada and Arizona. Students perform one to two concerts a day, do community events and share their hearts of service.

The jazz ensemble will have their spring tour April 25-28 at the University of Nevada, Reno to compete in the Reno Jazz Festival. The ensemble consists of 26 students.

Spring tours are a time for bonding, building relationships that will last past graduation, working as a team and “sharing about Jesus through music,” the Coordinator of Music Events and Concert Operations, Luke Baumgartner, said.  “It’s our students being a light in these communities,” he added.

The groups consist of students with a love for music from multiple majors. “It’s not often that you get a bunch of students who are willing to give up a spring break to do ministry,” Baumgartner said. “The churches just love to see our students who are just honest, raw, real people who love Jesus,” Baumgartner continued, noting student’s priority to minister rather than just put on a performance.

Traveling as one unit, 105 students, 80 from the concert choir and 25 from the concert orchestra will make their way around central and northern California. Meanwhile, the 42 students who make up the women’s chorus will perform and minister in areas of Nevada and Arizona.

To look at the spring tour schedule, click here.

Vanguard’s Lewis Wilson Institute Hosted “Hispanic Pentecostalism in the 21st Century” Event on March 1

Focusing on the theme of “Hispanic Pentecostalism in the 21st Century”, Vanguard’s Lewis Wilson Institute hosted its 4th annual Pentecostal Leaders Series at Newport Mesa Church on Friday, March 1.

Several speakers of Hispanic descent shared their knowledge, thoughts and opinions concerning the Hispanic Pentecostal movement. Speakers included the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Dr. Jesse Miranda, Dr. Isaac Canales, Dr. Gastón Espinosa and the Rev. Fernando Tamara.

As the Director of The Jesse Miranda Center for Hispanic Leadership, Tamara partnered with Dr. Derrick Rosenior, the director of the Lewis Wilson Institute, to put on this event. It was a partnership furthering the two organizations goals: The Jesse Miranda Center’s desire to serve the Hispanic community and the Lewis Wilson Institute’s desire to increase the study of Pentecostal heritage.

Named in honor of Dr. Lewis Wilson, a former history professor and retired dean of the college, the Lewis Wilson Institute strives to “highlight Vanguard’s Pentecostal heritage and identity,” Dr. Rosenior said. Looking back on the event, Dr. Rosenior noted the good discussions during the Q&A session, and that the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez “preached a powerful message.”

Tamara detailed the entire day’s setup as a success and a great time of fellowship, acquiring knowledge and empowering Hispanics in the Pentecostal movement to take up and carry the legacy passed on to them. Having the opportunity to hear theologians speak on the topic of Hispanic Pentecostalism and to see attendees be responsive in the Q&A session “deeply enriched” the event, Tamara said.

Speakers and attendees discussed the messages within the books: The Silent Pentecostals and Silent No More. These books address the Hispanic legacy and leadership in American Pentecostalism. “Even if we don’t have leaders who can advocate for Latinos, we’re still working and we’re still here,” Tamara said in reference to all of the Latino individuals attending the conference.

Looking to the future, Tamara said he would love to see a more diverse group in attendance, including pastors from local churches outside of the Latino community.  Speaking of The Jesse Miranda Center, Tamara said: “We want to be a center that promotes racial recognition.” With this goal in mind, Tamara plans for future events to educate a wider audience.

“The event was extraordinary,” Tamara said. Attendees walked away knowing more about how Pentecostalism emerged, disseminated and spread the Gospel message.

For more information on the Lewis Wilson Institute and its events, click here.

Vanguard Student Works to Revive Veterans Post in Costa Mesa

Featured in the Orange County Register, one Vanguard University student aims to revive a dying American Legionnaire Post in Costa Mesa.

Studying full time for a degree in kinesiology at Vanguard University, and being the newly elected post commander for Costa Mesa Post 455, Gabriel Corona knows what it means to work hard. He plans to revive the declining Post 455 through inviting older veterans back and recruiting new veterans from Orange Coast College and Vanguard.

As the founder and former president of the Vanguard Student Veterans Club, Corona’s mission has always been to help veterans through leadership and providing community. Corona wants to keep veterans from falling into isolation and depression by providing a group that does more than gather for drinks and reminiscing. He wants a group that plays sports, works out, cycles, runs obstacle courses and comes alongside the community, together.

Currently, the Costa Mesa Post has a below average number of members and no building to call their own. After the Costa Mesa American Legion Hall was demolished in 1989, members have held meetings in various buildings around Costa Mesa. Today, they use the Costa Mesa Community Center, but Corona’s hope is to have a place where they can keep their doors “open constantly.”

To read the full article, click here.