Sarah Lance, who started Sari Bari in India, will speak with students

September 18, 2017

Sarah Lance, a champion of women’s rights and last year’s winner of the Opus Prize, a humanitarian award that recognizes those working to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, will visit Regis University on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 19 and 20. A reception in Lance’s honor will be held at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the College of Business and Economics (CBE) Gronowski Innovation Incubator Lab in Clarke Hall on Regis’ Northwest Denver Campus. 

Lance’s visit with CBE students and others in the community precedes the 2017 Opus Prize award ceremony hosted by Regis on Oct. 11. One nonprofit will receive $1 million and two each will receive $100,000 awards.

Lance founded Sari Bari, an online home goods company that transforms used cotton saris into bags, blankets, bed covers and more, providing employment for women in Kolkata, India, who are either trapped in the sex trade or vulnerable to being trafficked. Established in 2006, Sari Bari employs 120 women who earn a living wage and receive health care benefits, a pension and tuition assistance for their children. All of the profits from the business benefit employees and their families or are used to create opportunities for freedom for more women, according to Sari Bari’s website.

Lance will talk about the past year of Sari Bari’s work since winning the Opus Prize.

The Opus Prize is given in partnership with a Catholic university each year to faith-based social entrepreneurs from around the world. Laureates may represent any faith tradition. Twelve Opus Prizes have been awarded since 2004.

As the 2017 partner, Regis collected nominations and formed a jury comprising nonprofit and faith leaders who selected the three finalists. Teams of Regis students, faculty members and Opus Prize officials then traveled to the finalists’ communities to confirm the merits of their organizations. Meet this year’s finalists.                     

Regis University is a premier, globally engaged institution of higher learning in the Jesuit tradition that prepares leaders to live productive lives of faith, meaning and service. Regis University has four campus locations in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs with more than 11,000 enrolled students. For more information, visit