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Young Champions for Change Spring Luncheon

April 9 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Luncheon Chair Yaël Ksander invites you to

Middle Way House’s 2020 Spring Luncheon

Young Champions for Change:  A Body-Positive Banquet

Thursday, April 9th, 11:30 am to 1 pm

Alpha Chi Omega, 1000 North Jordan, Bloomington


Enjoy speeches by these Young Champions for Change:


Solveig Ksander Hicks

Solveig Ksander Hicks is a junior at Bloomington High School North who has long participated in the fight for gender equality. Solveig is the President of BHSN Young Democrats, the President and Club Founder of the BHSN Chapter of National Organization for Women, and the Secretary of BHSN Student Council. She is the Communications Director for Indiana High School Democrats and in spring of 2019 was an intern on Mayor John Hamilton’s re-election campaign. In addition to her dress code protest, Solveig organized a June 2019 rally in support of reproductive rights. When not advocating for social change, she enjoys running cross country for North and spending time with friends and family in downtown Bloomington. Solveig would like to study political science and international relations in college, and potentially pursue a career with the State Department as a diplomat or with an NGO as a human rights attorney.

Joelle Jackson   

Joelle Jackson is a senior at Bloomington High School North. Since 2017, she has been running Project Middle Way, student-led organization serving Middle Way House through prevention, advocacy, and fundraising work. One of Project Middle Way’s largest initiatives is an annual benefit fashion show, fundraising for MWH while focusing on empowerment and inclusion, using fashion as a celebration of self-expression. In her time as President, Joelle has expanded Project Middle Way to become a year-round student organization, adding various programs and workshops. She has also doubled annual fundraising for MWH, and has built an even greater throughline of social justice into the fashion show event. Additionally, Joelle is passionate about theatre, and hopes to double major in theatre and anthropology in college next year.

Ellise Smith

Ellise Antoinette Smith is a doctoral student at Indiana University studying Urban Education from Detroit, MI with a research focus on the experiences of bodies that identify as fat. With an interdisciplinary focus, Smith uses photography (#VisualActivism), podcasting, spoken word poetry, hip-hop culture, freestyle lyricism and social media as a catalyst to center the narratives of fat bodies. As an emerging artist and scholar, Smith has dedicated her life to creating celebratory spaces for marginalized identities that she also holds using frameworks such as Black Feminist Thought and Critical Race Theory to ensure the work and narratives around bigger bodies are included in academia and challenging the dominant narrative around body image acceptance.

Our Luncheon Chair

Yaël Ksander

Yaël is the mother of the remarkable teenagers Solveig and Jarno, Communications Director for the City of Bloomington, and co-host of the long-running public radio program and podcast A Moment of Science.  A longtime producer and arts desk editor for Bloomington’s NPR station WFIU,  Yaël writes cultural criticism for Limestone Post and The Ryder magazine, and helps hosts several Bloomington’s favorite happenings, including the Trashion-Refashion Show and the Lotus Festival.  Having studied painting at IU (M.F.A.), art history at Columbia University (M.A., M.Phil), and languages and literature at U.Va. (B.A.), Yaël is passionate about human rights and environmental sustainability, and the role that paintings, movies, songs, and novels can play in expanding both.

We will also

Hold a 50/50 raffle
Offer Middle Way House shirts and aprons for sale
Take orders for ferns to be delivered before Mother’s Day

Get your tickets today!




April 9
11:30 am - 1:00 pm