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Mackin-Mailander Lecture to Feature Tworkowski

By Clarke News  |  September 3, 2013

The Clarke University Mackin-Mailander lecture series will present Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), during Homecoming activities on Sunday, Oct. 13, in the Robert and Ruth Kehl Center on the Clarke campus.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

The program begins at 4 p.m. with a performance by Noah Gundersen, lead singer of the band The Courage. That will be followed by Tworkowski’s presentation.

TWLOHA is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.

Tworkowski will speak at Clarke a week following the drama department’s production of “Next to Normal,” a rock musical that explores the story of a mother’s struggle with bipolar disorder and the ethics in modern psychiatry.

TWLOHA began in 2006 as Tworkowski’s attempt to help a friend and tell a story. He posted a blog on MySpace and began selling t-shirts as a way to pay for his friend’s treatment. Sparked by the support of bands such as Switchfoot, Anberlin and Paramore, the t-shirts quickly became something of a phenomenon within the music realm. TWLOHA now has the largest online audience of any non-profit on MySpace and Facebook. The TWLOHA team has responded to more than 160,000 messages from more than 100 countries, in addition to investing more than $850,000 directly to treatment and recovery.

Tworkowski has been interviewed by the NBC Nightly News, CNN, MTV, Rolling Stone, and SPIN Magazine. A film based on the life story of Renee Yohe, the inspiration for TWLOHA, was released in 2012. “Renee,” the movie, chronicles Yohe’s journey from addiction to redemption and reveals the key role played by Tworkowski and TWLOHA in her quest for recovery. Tworkowski speaks frequently, bringing a message of hope and community to audiences at universities and concerts throughout the U.S. and as far away as Australia and the United Kingdom.

The Clarke University Mackin-Mailander Lecture Series was established in 1997 after Clarke received gifts from two alumnae, Mary Mackin ’34 and Verna Slattery-Mailander ’20, to establish an endowed lecture series. The annual series consists of three lectures, including a prominent outside speaker, a faculty lecture and an alumni lecture.