Women Converge on the UN – You’re Invited! March 1-7, NYC
Few know there is a United Nations Commission on the Status of Women that meets every year for two weeks in early March at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Most likely, then, you’d be surprised to know that 2013 is its 58th session. A broad coalition of women’s NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations a.k.a. nonprofits or charitable organizations) gather at this time each year for a parallel conference surrounding the United Nations’ secure grounds.
The purpose of the parallel conference is to network, to share best practices, and to influence and inform the work of the dignitaries who gather at that time for the CSW. Often there is spontaneous intermingling of dignitaries with lay folk, and registered NGO delegates are issued a UN grounds pass and given a reception and a Consultation Day which briefs them on the ins and outs of this useful relationship. Although those leading the workshops must be registered delegates of NGO’s which have UN Consultative Status, anyone can attend the NGO-sponsored offerings without registering, which range from workshops to film screenings to meditation circles to panel discussions.
The majority of the UN CSW NGO-led events are free and open to the public. You might be surprised to know that many of these are quite progressive and spiritually-based. A coalition of groups who are united around the principles of circle leadership (circles with a sacred center) have been quietly but steadily bringing the spirit and practice of “Nova Earth” to the United Nations for many years.
There is much excitement this year for a couple of key reasons. First, a group of heart-centered grassroots activists, including Pathways to Peace, Millionth Circle, International Public Policy Institute, Gather the Women, We Are Enough, The Heart to Lead, Women of Spirit and Faith, and many more are sensing that a global tipping point for women’s heart-connected leadership is imminent. Jean Shinoda Bolen’s book has just been released, Towards the Millionth Circle. Another is due out in 2013 for which she is writing the foreword, Enough: the Rise of the Feminine and the Birth of the New Story. Sacred circles and circle leadership practices have been part of the UN CSW offerings for over a decade and are growing in visibility and popularity across the globe as a key way to achieving the inner and outer means for peace.
A second reason for excitement is that at last year’s UN CSW, women came closer than we’ve been in seventeen years to gaining United Nations sponsorship of an international conference on women. There have been four overwhelmingly successful UN World Conferences on Women, the last having taken place in Beijing during the Clinton administration and prior to the viable presence of social networking capability in 1995. Incredibly, it has been that long since women have received the focus and respect of the UN they deserve, and there has been a noticeable slowing in progress on women’s issues as a result. Despite all the mounting evidence that money spent on women and girls yield the greatest returns for communities, women are still not routinely included as central as problem-solvers and change agents. This must change. Here’s how you can help.
If you will be in the area or can get to NYC March 1 – 7, 2013, not only are you very welcome, but you would be contributing greatly to the imposing presence of thousands of grassroots women around the United Nations at a critical time, something that is much needed to keep the momentum going towards another world conference. You will be rubbing shoulders with visionaries, dignitaries, authors, and luminaries from all over the world, and it is free. We will be sharing tools, strategies, inspirations and above all sister to sister encouragement to rise to our inherent potential as a leaders of a new, grassroots, egalitarian way based on principles of peace and harmony. (Nova Earth!) This is very exciting. If you feel drawn to come, please do! May I recommend in particular the following events sponsored by the organizations mentioned above whose intentions are beautifully aligned with that of Nova Earth:
United Nations Commission on the Staus of Women 57th Session, 2013: Events in New York City featuring the Wisdom of Circles. Free, open to the public.
Monday, March 4 4-5:00 pm
Meditation/Silent Prayer – Join us in spirit from anywhere as a group of women delegates gather in the belly of the United Nations for silent prayers for peace and for progress wiping out violence against women. We will also be praying for the best possible outcomes for Kenya’s elections which take place on this day. Send your prayers for women and for peace. It will be felt!
Monday, March 4 4:30-6 pm
Religion, Culture and Violence Against Women. Co-hosted by Women of Spirit and Faith and the Women’s Task Force at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.
Guild Hall. Armenian Church. 630 2nd Ave.
Monday, March 4 5:30-7:00 pm
The Heart to Lead Film followed by circle discussion on women’s leadership with producer Cheryl Gould . Co-sponsored by Imagine The Good, Circle Connections, We Are Enough. Quest Book Store, 240 E 53rd Street
Tuesday, March 5 8:30 – 10 am
Women as Spiritual Leaders: Transforming Violence. Circle conversation.
Co-hosted by Women of Spirit and Faith and the Women’s Task Force at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Grumman Room, 8th Floor.Church Center
Tuesday, March 5 8:30 – 10 am
Degradation of the Environment and Violence Against Women and Girls: Panel with Jean Bolen and Donna Goodman. Sponsors: Earthchild Institute, Bioneers, Pathways To Peace, Millionth Circle Initiative, International Public Policy Institute
Church Center, Drew Room, 777 United Nations Plaza
Tuesday, March 5 6:15 – 7:45 pm
Grassroots Activism and a Global Women’s Conference – 5WCW. Zainab Salbi Jean Bolen. Sponsored by Pathways To Peace, Women’s World Summit Foundation, Millionth Circle Initiative, Peace X Peace,Women’s Perspective, and Earth Child Institute. , Armenian Conference Center. 630 2nd Ave.
Wednesday, March 6 8:30 to 10:00 am
We Are Enough: To Stop Violence. Interactive replicable workshop to empower women and girls to organize locally and globally in stopping violence. Sponsors: International Public Policy Institute, Circle Connections, We Are Enough, Gather The Women. Salvation Army Auditorium, 221 East 52nd Street
Wednesday, March 6 10 am – 11:30 am
The Little Banana: Moving the Immigrant Child from the Violence of Cultural Uprooting to the Empowerment of Creative Expression. Panel with Jean Bolen. Sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Church Center 10th floor
Wednesday, March 6 12:30 – 2:00 pm
Time 4 Peace: Ending Violence Against Women and Children. Panel with Ambassador Chowdhury, former UN Under-Sec-General., Jean Bolen, Dean Peacock. Sponsors: Pathways to Peace, Intl Public Policy Inst., Circle Connections, Millionth Circle Initiative. V-Hall, Armenian Center, 630 2nd at 35th
Wednesday, March 6 7:00- 9:00 pm
Women’s Sacred Circle: Dreaming Together. Sharing dreams for a global women’s conference and beyond. Co-hosted by Circle Connections, Women of Spirit and Faith, Millionth Circle, Gather The Women, We Are Enoughand Anglican Women’s Empowerment and International Public Policy Institute. Episcopal Church Center, 815 2nd Ave, Between 43th -44th.
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