Friday, February 4, 2011

WILPF and the blog's beginnings

So here I am...with an active Blogger account (although, I still promote because it is truly amazing and easy-to-use)! For those of you who don't know, I have a website that I use for teaching, a collective journal that my students are working on this semester, a couple of wedding sites I created for my best friends, and now this blog.  I may be everywhere on the interwebs, but had yet to create a blog that encompasses my individual journey with social change...

The true "birth" of this site can be attributed to my acceptance into the 3rd annual student delegate group for the Practicum in Advocacy. I am attending United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), held February 22-March 4. The practicum is supported by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) and the Center for Women's Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University (CWHHR).

My trip is partially funded by WILPF. Here is a little background on WILPF:
WILPF was founded in 1915 during World War I, with Jane Addams as its first president. WILPF works to achieve through peaceful means world disarmament, full rights for women, racial and economic justice, an end to all forms of violence, and to establish those political, social, and psychological conditions which can assure peace, freedom, and justice for all. WILPF works to create an environment of political, economic, social and psychological freedom for all members of the human community, so that true peace can be enjoyed by al
So, what exactly is the CSW and this program I am going through? Well, the following description of the CSW meeting and the purpose of the program are taken from WILPF’s website:

The CSW is dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women. Representatives from member states gather to identify problems and issues affecting women internationally. CSW meetings are typically attended by thousands of women affiliated with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world. Alongside the official discussions and reports, these NGOs sponsor hundreds of ‘side events’ such as panels, workshops and performances addressing local and international issues affecting women.

The 2011 priority theme of the CSW is Access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work. The Commission will also evaluate progress in the implementation of the agreed conclusions from its fifty-first session on The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child.

[Those students selected will] participate as delegates of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and contribute to the official documentation of both official and informal meetings. 

My interest in this opportunity was based on a conversation with a fellow teacher at Gavilan Community College regarding her internship at the UN (sponsored by WILPF in Palo Alto) and how the experience informed her teaching practice. Inspired by her time at the UN and subsequent work with WILPF, I decided to apply.
As a proud EdD candidate in the International and Multicultural Education Program with the nation’s first and only emphasis in Human Rights Education, my coursework demonstrates the profound possibilities for Human Rights Education to initiate social change; specifically, how community colleges serve as the very sites of social change. This spring I am teaching a service-learning course in Social Problems that utilizes a human rights framework I think the opportunity to participate in this year’s practicum will further my understanding of human rights, advocacy, and international women’s issues, while providing ideas and necessary contacts for future research. I hope that participation in this program will not only benefit my research and teaching practice, but my colleagues at the University of San Francisco and her sociology students at Gavilan College

I will keep you all posted :)

Check out the new UN WOMEN logo:

New logo as of January, 2011. "The logo plays off the familiar women’s symbol, but with alterations. The additional horizontal cross bar forms an equal sign, while the round shape of the women’s symbol contains the globe. This hybrid creates a new symbol to convey the message of equality for women worldwide. The two sides of the logo are differentiated by colour to represent men and women, joined by the equal symbol."

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