At last, a posting here on my blog from this busy gal: Within a mere 11 days, I attended 5 fabulous events that illuminated how many, many good people are working on many, many *good goals*.
Three was women’s events and the other two were about educating ‘locals’ on pertinent issues and what we citizens need to do to hold politicians accountable to serving us/their constituents as best they can.
Saturday, March 11: Iranian Circle of the Women’s Intercultural Network, Long Beach.
The first event in this wonderful week was the Iranian Circle of the Women’s Intercultural Network held on Saturday, March 11, in Long Beach. The speakers highlighted a multitude of discouraging situations that women around *our* world are facing e.g. gender inequality. All those discouraging statistics illustrate how we women need to continue working together to get more women in leadership positions in businesses and community orgs as well as elect more women into political positions.
The next event, which I am referring to as *the big one in the middle* was the NGO-CSW, Commission on the Status of Women for Empowerment and Gender Equality of Women in New York City! So I traveled from sunny Southern California to NYC with a coat I purchased the day before (it was nearly 90 that day) so I could use it for a mere 5 days! I arrived on Monday, March 13, in NYC at JFK right in front of the big blizzard which caused all the schools in NYC to be cancelled Monday evening for the next day… even before the first snowflake fell!
How the blizzard affected the conference I had flown to NYC to attend was it shut down the entire conference on Tuesday! Bummer! So sad I was! So I spent the day meeting with leaders of WFWP, like Angelika Selle, president of WFWP-US who had invited me to their 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner at the OneUN hotel, and many others in their NYC office.
On Wednesday, March 15, I hustled back and forth in the blizzardy weather all day..rushing from the Community Center of the UN to the Armenian Center to the Church of New York to attend as many workshops as possible. Wednesday evening, I attended the gala dinner of WFWP to celebrate their 25th Anniversary.
At that event, I met many of the leaders of WFWP at the international level like Yeon Ah Moon, President of WFWP-International, along with women from Russia, Ukraine, Australia, Note: WFWP has a presence in many, many countries…. I searched for, but couldn’t find the exact count.. over 50???
On Thursday and Friday, I hustled back and forth as fast as possible to attend as many workshops as possible for two reasons: First, learn about the topic of each the workshops, but, more important, meet as many women around our world as possible. And that I did! To the tune of more than 125 women from probably over 50 countries. Haven’t counted all the biz cards yet I accumulated yet,much less followed up with all of them yet, but will be doing so soon.
As I was leaving my hotel, The New Yorker, which is near Madison Square Gardens, on Friday afternoon around 4pm, traffic was at another standstill. This time, it wasn’t because of the blizzard, but because of the St. Patrick’s Day partiers on Fifth Avenue who were just beginning to drink their green beers and hop from bar to bar till ‘dark thirty’.
Saturday, March 18: Great American Write-In, hosted by Women of Orange County .
After arriving home at LAX in the wee hours of Saturday morning, March 18, I woke up and rushed to the Great American Write-in Orange County. It was hosted by Women for Orange County, an advocacy group for women’s rights. The event gave the 50+ activist groups represented that day an opportunity to educate visitors about their specific cause from advancing human & civil rights, promoting peace & justice and seek each visitor for his/her signatures on pre-printed letters that will be sent to each visitor’s designated elected official in support for each org’s cause.
Sunday, March 19 : Gloria Pryne hosted a Citizen’s Awareness at her church in Fountain Valley
The next day, Sunday night, I attended a citizen’s advocacy meeting in Orange County to learn about issues in which our constitutional rights are being discretely snuffed away from us. At this event, five leaders in the community shared how they courageously stood up for their free speech and constitutional rights in various situations at work, at their colleges, etc. Their courage and the shocking reactions they encountered was heartbreaking and illustrated the need that if we citizens who take our freedoms for granted don’t defend our rights, they WILL be taken away from us. Contact me for more info re this if you are interested.
Tuesday, March 21:WFWP Info Night at the Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Sunday and Monday: Normal, busy work days for mawah; then, Tuesday morning, I left for Vegas to help some dear friends and fellow WFWP members, Aimmee Kodachian and Mary Hida, host a wonderful event at the Conference Center in Vegas.
As the main speaker, Aimmee shared how her brother, Robert, inspired her when she was so young and facing many challenges. He taught her how to push through them with courage and compassion so she could, eventually, overcome any struggle she encountered, first, in Lebanon, her native country; then, here in America. Her message to all was to create heaven on earth through giving, forgiving, and creating peace in our daily lives.
Wrap Up/Why All This Info/What’s Next
From the first event of the Women Intercultural Network to the last WFWP event up in Vegas but, most of all, in New York City where I met 100s of women from all around the world….all working busily on their own cause, meeting and greeting one another at or in-between the many workshops, exchanging cards quickly, creating a connection quickly.
All good women! All awesome activists! But, from a process improvement strategist perspective, not united! While many talked about uniting, no one has taken it to the next step of actually creating a way for we women to unite!
Given all the crimes and tragedies that happen around our world every day to not only women, but countless innocent victims of a crime, I continue to hope that, soon, all these wonderful groups will be working together across groups to proactively prevent events that cause pain vs respond to/deal with the crimes afterwards in which women have been hurt or harmed.
While we salute the flag of the United States of America verbally with “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the…. “, what I see missing – from a spiritual perspective – is a baseline commitment to ‘Do No Harm’ to one another. How can we change/improve that.. you ask? What if we came up with something simple that everyone could use?
Have you ever wondered: Why does only one profession [doctors] have to commit to ‘Do No Harm’ before they can begin their career? Why don’t all professions require the commitment from its new members to ‘Do NO Harm’ which, currently, is limited to doctors? Hum? Puzzling to you too?
I’ll address this more in my next blog. For now, I’m simply going to bring this blog to a close by asking you one simple request: Please think – each day – of 3-5 ways – each day – that you can show kindness to others wherever possible by your choices…. so, said another way, let’s increase our commitment to create peace one choice at a time, Yes?