Monday, March 14, 2016

Meet Ann Smith and come to listen to her story on March 16. at the UNCSW Info below

I have devoted my life to work with women for women’s empowerment and global gender parity.  With more than thirty years of experience working globally, I have found that women have much more in common than they realized and when in a safe and loving circle setting, quickly form bonds of sisterhood.  In an egalitarian circle, everyone is equally valued and equally shares the information, resources and power.  In every chair is a leader, and the collective intelligence and wisdom is harvested leading to positive and sustainable actions locally and globally.  Too often women have not believed in themselves as capable of being a leader, but when their individual and collective leadership is affirmed and nurtured, they become transformational leaders in sustainable development, peace and justice.        
I served as founder and director of Women’s Work where I partnered with the building trade unions in giving job readiness training for women.  I served as director of Women in Mission and Ministry, Episcopal Church USA, for seventeen years where I was privileged to work with women around the world for women’s empowerment and advocacy.  I served as director of Global Education Associates co-creating Indigenous Women’s Pathways leadership program, African and US AIDS Prevention Coalition, Millionth Circle Initiative and Earth Child Institute.  I am co-founder and director of Circle Connections, co-author of Stories from the Circle, Women Prints, Women’s Uncommon Prayer and Women’s Round Calendar.
I am currently working on a women’s Spiritual Leadership resource and training of facilitators program for the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross and the Mother Earth’s 2017 Round Calendar, Healthy People, Healthy Planet.  This whimsical and meaningful one-of-a-kind calendar with a reflection guide connects people of all ages to nature. 
 I live in Naples, Florida, with husband and two cats.     
Ann Landaas Smith, SCHC
Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Meet Jackie Ogega and come to listen to her story on March 16. at the UNCSW Info below

Jackie Ogega, Ph.D, has over 20 years of experience in managing international development projects on women’s empowerment, child safeguarding, protection, education, training and policy development. She is the co-founder and president of Mpanzi empowering women and girls ( ). Jackie has worked for various humanitarian organizations including World Learning, Catholic Relief Services, Religions for Peace, Caritas and the University of Nairobi. She has over 30 years’ of experience living and/or working in a developing country, and has travelled to over 34 countries. A survivor of violence, jackie uses her personal narrative as a lens for her work. Jackie has a doctorate in peace research, a masters in gender and development studies, a bachelors in education and various advanced training. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Meet Paula Nesbitt and come to listen to her story on March 16. at the UNCSW Info below

Paula believes that, "In mutual conversation across contexts, women have the potential to rethink prevailing economic models and implement others that are relational, mutually supportive, and sustainable."

We hope to have that kind of conversation on March 16, please join us. 

Paula Nesbitt

Maria and I sat in the sand, talking in our limited Spanish--a second language for both of us. The experience would soon transform my scholarship and worldview. I had gone to Mexico for some rest, but was bored with the resort life. Nearby, an indigenous group from the mountainous region to the southeast had its headquarters for beach vending, and I wandered over to learn more. Several said that I needed to talk with Maria, whom they respected as smart and wise.
A few years younger than me, Maria wanted to know about my education and what I did. She had wanted an education but never went to school, because at age five she had to care for her younger siblings when her mother died. I was an assistant professor with a Harvard PhD in sociology and an Episcopal priest. But when she heard that I was single and had no children, she was deeply saddened on my behalf. We sat together as equals, realizing how much we needed to learn from our varying contexts about how differently women are empowered or not.

Since then, through global feminist movements I’ve sought a way forward in my university teaching and scholarship, past the dominance-marginalization and identity-politics discourses to those that seek to understand one another’s differences and find places of common ground for mutual support. As part of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council Committee on the Status of Women, 2009-15, we collaborated on resolutions cutting across culture and status, such as maternal health, violence against women and fighting human trafficking, as well as empowerment for both lay and clergywomen. Researching the Anglican Communion’s indaba process during that time, I encountered how empowering cross-cultural women’s constituency groups can be, and the varied ways they’ve sought to improve the status of women. In mutual conversation across contexts, women have the potential to rethink prevailing economic models and implement others that are relational, mutually supportive, and sustainable.