Local to be featured in PBS documentary about women

Sue Guinn Legg • Feb 23, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Layla Wright, co-founder of the local Red Legacy Recovery organization, will be featured in the premiere of “East Tennessee MAKERS,” a regional production of the Public Broadcast System to air Tuesday evening at 7:30 in advance of the premiere of the national PBS production “MAKERS, Women who Make America.”

Produced in partnership with AOL Digital Media, “MAKERS” is an multi-platform video broadcast that PBS believes is destined to become “the largest and the most dynamic collection of women’s stories ever assembled.”

According to PBS, “MAKERS” was initiated on the “clear premise that over the last half century, the work of millions of women has altered virtually every aspect of American culture.”

The video stories of the many women to be featured are already available online at MAKERS.com and include such women as children’s author Judy Blume, comic actresses Carol Burnett and Ellen DeGeneres, newswomen Barbara Walters and Katie Couric, newsmakers Billie Jean King and Gloria Steinem and Secretaries of State Madeliene Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.

In addition to Wright, the half-hour East Tennessee MAKERS premier will feature Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero; Margo Miller, executive director of the Appalachian Community Fund; and Patricia Robledo, business liaison for the city of Knoxville.

A private screening of the “East Tennessee MAKERS” premiere and panel discussion was held last week at the East Tennessee PBS Studio in Knoxville. By luck, Wright was randomly selected through a social media drawing to attend a private screening of the premiere of “MAKERS: Women Who Make America,” held Feb. 6 at New York’s Lincoln Center. “Walking the red carpet with the most influential women in the women’s movement was an opportunity of a lifetime,” she said.

Wright is a co-founder and co-president of Red Legacy Recovery, an organization that helps local women in recovery from substance abuse become self-sufficient. She is also a project leader for Appalachia Recovery Houses, which last year opened Oxford House of Washington County, the region’s first self-sustaining transitional home for women in recovery.

She is also the founder and director of the Appalachian Social Advancement Project, a grass-roots organization that orchestrates civic- engagement activities to advance political activism and raise awareness in Appalachia.

In December, Wright served as a delegate to a fiscal cliff roundtable discussion hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement in Washington. In 2011, she served as a delegate to a White House roundtable discussion in Memphis.

She previously worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA field organizer for Tennessee Conservation Voters and did networking support for the ban on mountaintop removal coal mining in Tennessee. She also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA delegate to Your Future Your Solutions, an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act summer youth program implemented by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Wright received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood development and master’s of education degree from East Tennessee State University, where she produced Recovery Monologues, a campus initiative to raise awareness of recovery from alcoholism.

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