Thursday, March 12, 2015
Day 5 - Josh
Today was the big day, the one we’ve been working towards steadily over these last five months: our presentations and WomenNC panel! We met in front of the UN for pictures at 11:30, and then journeyed over to Pazzo Pizza (my new favorite eatery in New York) for pizza and pasta shortly afterwards. It was around this time that the butterflies began setting in – this was it, the culmination of our months of research and writing and rehearsing and learning. After stopping for coffee and making sure our blogs were in order, the other fellows and I walked over to the Church Center with Isabella around 2:00 to set up.
And then it happened. People slowly trickled into until the room was at capacity while we watched from a table set up at the front of the room. At just after 2:30, Jane introduced WomenNC and talked about CSW Fellowship program specifics. Then each of us presented our work. Afterwards, Jane helped us field questions from the audience. Everyone was incredibly kind, incredibly gracious. Their support radiated out at us; it was clear that people in the audience were invested and engaged.
This evening we attended a presentation by the Women’s Freedom Forum and it was one of the more powerful events I’ve witnessed here. The most emotional moment occurred when an Iranian activist spoke about her time as a political prisoner in the 1980s, when she was imprisoned for five years. Hearing her speak about the torture she endured, both physical and psychological, was genuinely moving.
I’m excited for the panels I’ve got planned tomorrow! There’s one about transilience that I’m particularly thrilled about.