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UNI to host founder of 'Beyond the 11th'

October 11, 2011

Gerri Perreault, associate professor and director, leadership studies, 319-273-6898,

Stacey Christensen, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Susan Retik, president and co-founder of "Beyond the 11th," will present "The Afghanistan Widows Project: A Constructive Response to 9/11," from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

"Beyond the 11th" is a nonprofit organization that provides support to widows in Afghanistan who have been afflicted by war, terrorism and oppression. Retik's commitment to Afghan widows was born from her own journey into widowhood, which began on Sept. 11, 2001, when her husband David was killed on American Airlines Flight 11. Retik and co-founder Patricia Quigley, another Sept. 11 widow, turned tragedy into triumph with "Beyond the 11th" by reaching out to help others as they overcame their own grief.

"You can't always choose the roles you play in life, but you can choose the way in which you play them," said Retik. "We didn't choose to be 9/11 widows, but with that title comes a voice."

Excerpts from "Beyond Belief," an award-winning documentary about Retik's work with the widows of Afghanistan, will be shown during the presentation.

UNI's Reaching for Higher Ground series and the Community Foundation are sponsoring the event. For more information, contact Gerri Perreault, associate professor and director in leadership studies, at 319-273-6898 or