Democracy advocate joins Penticton cafe series

Susan Stignant, who helped draft the constitution for South Sudan, will speak at the Philosopher's Cafe on Sunday

This weekend, a former Pentictonite is returning to her hometown to share her experiences working to strengthen democracy around the world.

This calling has had her working with civic and political leaders in places such as Libya, Morocco, Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan to help them review and develop their constitutions — at one point, even drafting the constitution of one of the newest countries in the world, South Sudan, by candlelight.

Susan Stigant will be in Penticton this weekend, first for the Rotary District Conference, and following that, she will be the guest speaker at the Penticton Philosopher’s Cafe.

The Philosopher’s Cafes are put on by Brian Hughes to share amazing ideas and stories with the people of Penticton. This year his theme, which he is calling his Living Portraits series, is based on amazing people that are in or from Penticton.

“It’s just a way for people to broaden their horizons and learn some amazing things from these people,” he said. “A lot of times they live right next to you, and you don’t know them and they’ve got some amazing stories to tell.”

When it comes to amazing stories to tell, Stigant certainly won’t be found wanting.

“This girl actually was writing the constitution for (South) Sudan in a tent by candlelight. She’s one of Penticton’s own, and she’s writing the constitution for the newest country in the world. A hugely important person, and she’s from our town,” said Hughes.

The cafe will be held Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the Shatford Centre. Admission to the event is $5, and students are admitted free.