Sunday, December 8, 2013
A Note on My Topic
I was 13, a freshman in high school and on my very first Ophelia retreat. Ophelia was a community organization dedicated to empowering young women, raising self- awareness, and eliminating gender issues. My best friend’s older sister in-law ran the program and insisted that we join. On the night of that retreat, I was introduced for the first time to the notion of gender binaries. I remember sitting in a large circle, maybe there were fifty of us girls . We were all chatty high-schoolers and you had to do the “Clap once if you hear my voice” kind of thing for get us to listen. However, as our facilitators started into the workshop, listen and share was all we could do. On the large white sheets of butcher paper in front of us, we went around sharing the expectations that our world holds for men and then those it holds for women.
I’m not the type of person to say that any one moment changed my life, but if I were , this night would fall on the list of those most eligible. Hardly past my pre-teen years, I began in my own ability to articulate that inequality and personal hardship are sometimes linked to greater systematic injustices. My mind was opened to a wealth of knowledge and a framework for understanding that lead me to deep concern for issues of human and social rights, especially those of women.
Since 13, I loved being young and engaged. I sought out more and more community programs that educated me about creating vision for change and to identify issues of importance in our societies. And this is why I am so excited to be a WomenNC 2014 Fellow. It is a joy to be cultivated in a program committed to making one of my goals come true: to be part of a generation that will honor women’s human rights. Furthermore, it came as no surprise that as I browsed the list of possible topics that I would be exploring for the United Nations Committee on the Status of Women, I decided to take on the importance of Youth involvement in social justice.
Sappy and Excited!