Monday, March 11, 2019
Today was our first day of CSW 63, and what a day it has been! Programs for Consultation Day was held at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. To kick off Consultation Day, we were welcomed by international drum band Paprika, who brought us all to life and let us know that there is little difference between men and women. We later enjoyed a soul-stirring spoken word performance by the group Climbing Poetree. Their words reminded me of my power and fragility as both a human and a woman. Our final artistic performance was from the Angel Band Project with songstress Jennifer Hopper. The Angel Band Project uses music to provide healing, raise awareness, and create positive change for survivors of sexual violence. I was deeply touched by all of the messages and performances. Along with the artistic performances, we heard from UN representatives and panelists from an array of countries, cultures, and backgrounds.
My favorite panel from Consultation Day was the conversation between Phumile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women and H.E. Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, moderated by Sherine Tadros (Head of NY Office, Amnesty International. They emphasized that social protection dialogue is talking about policies that encourage the upward mobility of women. The issues of maternity leave, childcare, and how the responsibility of childrearing is solely placed on women were discussed. Phumile Mlambo-Ngcuka stated that as women “we’re not looking for power over men, we’re looking for power over ourselves.” This quote will forever resonate with me as I navigate and claim my place in the world as a young Black woman.
My highlight of today was meet Bennett alum, Abaynesh Asrat class of 1974!!! She is a long-time friend of Beth’s and was ecstatic to meet Bennett Belles at CSW 63. She was very sisterly, loving, and encouraging as she spoke and exchanged contact information with Zybrea and I. Hopefully, she will be able to see more Bennett Belles at CSW in the future.
Our day ended with a lovely dinner at the beautiful restaurant Copinette (which means “girlfriend” in French). The food was delicious, the company was lively, and the ambiance was posh and chic. I enjoyed reading about the history of the restaurant and the décor was to die for!!! As always Dr. Riemann is a great conversationalist and the most gregarious person I have ever met (she kept the conversation interesting)!!!
I am looking forward to tomorrow’s presentations!!!