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What can women do to engage a distracted, digital culture with a message of hope?  Better yet, how can they overcome the obstacles, bondage, and chains that are holding them back?

This year’s conference theme is “Forever Free,” which is why Congresswoman Michele Bachmann will be this year’s keynote speaker.  She exemplifies the pursuit of freedom in her work as a congresswoman as well as her personal life, having raised 5 children of her own and 23 foster children. In 2006, Michele became the first Republican woman elected to represent Minnesota in the United States House of Representatives and in 2011 was listed in TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” and Forbes Magazine’s “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” Prior to serving in Congress, Bachmann served in the Minnesota State Senate from 2000-2006 and worked on hundreds of civil and criminal cases as a federal tax litigation attorney.

Speaking along with Congresswoman Bachmann will be Isik Abla, an ex-Muslim, ordained minister and international ministry speaker who was raised­ in a Muslim home in Turkey. She was physically abused and escaped from that environment into an even more abusive situation with a Muslim extremist husband. At 25, she fled for her life to America, and after years of struggling and failing in many areas, Isik entered into intense depression. She had a personal encounter with God on the day she was planning her suicide.  After several years in a business career Isik obeyed God’s call to full time ministry, and today she hosts an international television program distributed in five languages.

Returning speakers will be Brenda Epperson-Moore, Motivational Speaker and TV actress best-known for her role as Ashley Abbott in the soap opera “The Young and Restless,” and Kathleen Cooke, Actress, Blogger, Speaker and Co-Founder of Cooke Pictures in Los Angeles.

There will also be a featured panel of Hollywood actresses and professionals including Edwina Findley-Dickerson, known for her work on the HBO series Treme and The Wire, and staring in the upcoming feature film Get Hard with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart; LynnMarie Rink, five-time Grammy nominated performing Squeezebox artist and actress in the Off-Broadway production of her own life story, “Wrap Your Heart Around It;” Susan Isaacs, actress, comedian, alumni member of the Groundlings Theater and best-selling author of the book “Angry Conversations with God,” and Grammy nominated Latin musical artist Priscilla Chessher.

Musical guests include Linda McCrary-Fisher, singer, worship leader, who has toured with artists such as gospel great Andre Crouch, Tommy Walker, and Billy and Franklin Graham; and Christy Ebenhoch, singer/songwriter, recording artist and worship leader.  Also joining the stage will be brilliant artist Robyn Hanley whose paintings are sought after by collectors and displayed in the White House and Pentagon Chapel.

This year, the focus of the conference is  “Forever FREE, What’s the Battle You’re Ready to Win?”  The event is being held at Ambassador Auditorium, 131 S. St John Ave. Pasadena, CA 91123.   For more information and to register for the conference please visit: AscendConference.org.