I recently joined over 5000 women, men, and youth activists from around the world at the Women Deliver Copenhagen conference this summer. I was inspired by how many individuals have devoted their time, talent, and wealth to help women gain access to healthcare, education and other basic human rights. When I returned to Portland, I attended the World Affairs Council of Oregon Pan-African youth event. Young leaders from Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana and beyond, all shared with Oregonians about the most pressing issues in their communities, and proposed innovative solutions. So many of their challenges echoed those I heard in Copenhagen—girls’ access to education, reproductive health, clean water. Often the underlying challenge for girls and youth is being deemed valuable enough for the world to invest in them.
And it reinforced for me the reason I am here at the W.A.C. as the Director of Marketing and Communications. Whether at a conference, a global journey, or at an event here in Oregon—seeing the world through the eyes of another is the first step to understanding the nature of our challenges—and to finding solutions that work for everyone. The World Affairs Council of Oregon’s youth programs, international visitor exchanges, and thought-leader speaking events, all have the power to catalyze the relationships which I believe are at the heart of any social change.
I welcome you to reach out to me with your ideas and input—what are the issues that matter to you as a Global Oregonian? What global relationships have changed your life? I look forward to hearing from you.
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