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Kohl Crecelius: Employment and Empowerment for those In Need

KohlFebruary 23, 2016: Kohl Crecelius will discuss Krochet Kids’ impact on sustainable employment and empowerment when he presents the Mackin-Mailander Featured Lecture at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 13, in Jansen Music Hall on the Clarke University campus.

General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at, or by phone at (563)588-6377.

Crecelius is the CEO of Krochet Kids, Intl., a non-profit company that sells hats and other goods in Peru and Uganda. His mission has always been to create business while also doing good in the world.

Based out of California, KKi employs more than 100 people in northern Uganda through the production of their handmade headwear and fashion accessories and have recently started a new program in Peru. Now spanning three continents, their work connects the producer with the customer through a hand-signed label that accompanies every product.

Crecelius' older brother taught him how to crochet in high school, and soon, he began teaching his friends to make hats. Dubbed the "Krochet Kids" by their local newspaper in Spokane, Wash., he and two friends began selling hats in their hometown for a little spending money.

Inspired by one friend’s summer trip to Uganda during college, the trio decided to teach the simple skill of crocheting to displaced Ugandan women. Crecelius and friends envisioned that the women could sell hats they made to provide for themselves, releasing them from the bondage of government camps and history of rebel rule in their country. Today, through this simple skill, the women can provide for their families, and ultimately, through micro-financing opportunities enabled by KKi, they can gain economic independence.

KKi’s mission is to provide quality, handmade products that not only bring comfort and style, but serve as a vehicle for social change. Believing actions rooted in love produce powerful and lasting change, they strive to help people improve their lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Their slogan of, "Buy a hat. Change a Life," embodies the difference we can all make through a simple act.

Clarke University is a Catholic, liberal arts and sciences university dedicated to preparing students who positively impact their workplace, family and community.

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