Thursday, March 12, 2015

Presentation Day - CSW Day 5 - Alison

Today was phenomenal! To start out, I had lunch with my family at the United Nations “Delegate Dining Room”—a very swanky buffet where I almost felt out of place. 

Dessert at the Delegate Dining Room.
Then, I prepared for our panel talk. It was a wonderful experience. Going last is of course nerve-wracking and the room was sweltering, so by the time I was up to present I think I was both overheated and extremely nervous. For about the first two minutes of my presentation my entire body was shaking but I mentally continued to steel myself to stay calm, make eye contact and connect with the audience. There were also limited technical issues, which I think I also handled well. In the end, I was so happy to hear gasps, appreciative clapping and other feedback from the audience. I didn’t use my script at all—I really just tried to speak from the heart.

Getting ready for the panel with my wonderful fellows and Jane!
With my family who came to see the presentation. My mom, Dolores, my dad, Tom, myself, my older sister, Camila, and her boyfriend, William.

 Following our session I also attended an AFL-CIO sponsored event on Bangladeshi garment workers and the International Domestic Workers Federation. Hearing from a worker herself who had been in the Rana Plaza collapse was a stark reminder of the invisible labor that makes our lives possible. This woman began working in garment factories at 16 to support her mother and younger brothers and now travels around the world giving testimony of her experience. I hope we will all think more about women who labor to create our clothing, especially from stores like JC Penney, A Children’s Place and Walmart—none of which have agreed to any binding resolution to protect workers rights. I believe we must make decisions with our dollars and continually work to create a more just system of labor around the world.


  1. It's fantastic that your family could share this day with you. I'm sure they were beyond proud!
    Quite the yin-yang for your mind and heart going from the posh UN Delegate Dining Room to a Bangladeshi garment factory.
    We have far to go for equality...Enjoy your next days, and embrace your passion for those who are struggling around you. Sounds like you are making great choices of sessions to attend. Love the photos, too.

  2. Alison--loved the picture of your whole family-what a great experience for you/them--and the sun was shining!!! Great to hear you spoke from the heart--by now I am sure you knew what you wanted to say. Sorry to hear it was sweltering that is tough, but I am sure you were all great!! Now relax and enjoy the rest of the week!!

  3. Thank you Lois and Maureen!! It really was great.