Laguna Hills Branch sponsored a Coffee that featured Miriam Matthews, a doctoral candidate in the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University. She spoke about “Perceptions of Prejudice”, examining the motivations and emotions that stimulate prejudice and discrimination against people of the Muslim world.
The Sunnyvale/Cupertino branch November program was entitled “Mercy Beyond Borders“. Sister Marilyn Lacey, RSM, a member of the Sisters of Mercy order, spoke about her work in Africa.
The Chico branch enjoyed Gayle Kimball talking about the status of women and girl globally. Former Tech Trekker Oya Ross-Walcott shared her experiences in Mexico working with women and girls in impoverished areas. This was part of her education for a full semester.
The San Mateo branch’s “International Womens’ Issues” committee sponsored an outdoor film screening of Hassan Zee’s Bicycle Bride, a comedic film about an Indian girl in San Francisco who decides to challenge her cultural and religious beliefs of arranged marriages by seeking a life-partner on her own. Featuring the “Burlingame Bollywood Dancers” before the film screening gained community awareness and involvement. Homemade cookies and sodas were sold for 77 cents for women, $1.00 for men, bringing attention to pay equity. Proceeds went to the Virginia Gildersleeve International Funds. Two members of another branch joined San Mateo because of the uniqueness of the event, and three other women who attended joined the branch.
Branches interested in screening Bicycle Bride can contact [email protected] for more information. Other suggestions for international advocacy films are CARE’s documentary Half the Sky, or Tapestries of Hope.
The Santa Maria branch’s November program entitled “Our Changing World” (Looking at Women’s Issues and Cultural Diversity) featured Adelina Alva Padilla, the Spiritual Leader and Cultural Advisor for the San Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. Ms. Alva-Padilla is known throughout the world for her knowledge and ability to share her perspective of our changing world in a friendly and understandable manner. Just one of her many accomplishments was serving on the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in South Africa with Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Rigoberta Manchu.
The Sonora branch sponsored a Half the Sky panel discussion that included Pat Atkins of the “Emancipation Network”, Lauren Saunders with “Center for a Non-Violent Community”, Linda Trindell of “:Courage to be You”, and Liz Sewell, Executive Director of the Center for a Non-Violent Community. These women talked about the aspects of the book – human trafficking, education for women and girls, maternal health and gender inequality.
The Berkeley branch had the honor of hosting Dr. Auma Obama, Technical Advisor for CARE’s Sport for Social Change. The program was entitled “Power Within: Empowering Girls to Learn and Lead”. Dr. Obama led a discussion on how CARE is empowering girls, particularly in Africa by using sport as a tool for social change.
The Amador branch held an event to assist the women of Uganda through sales of the homemade beads BEAD FOR LIFE. The monies garnered went towards improving the lives of the Ugandan women and their families.