Central’s Global Youth United (GYU) hosted the Gender Equality Seminar on May 18, 2015, in the Spain Conference Center. After school, students were invited to listen to slam poetry about gender equality, respond to questions about various issues facing gender equality, watch different presentations led by GYU members and speakers, and even enjoy some pizza and beverages.
“The goal of the seminar was to provide a space where we could have dialogues about a wide range of topics like the dress code, sexual harassment, and women’s empowerment through education,” stated Sandy Tang (274), Vice President of GYU. “Not only did we get our thoughts and feelings out about topics, but we even had the opportunity to brainstorm some possible solutions.”
The two guest speakers at the seminar were Hani White and Lynne McMahon. Ms. White was a representative from the Women’s Opportunities Resource Center of Greater Philadelphia, an organization designed to help train and assist disadvantaged women earn a stable job or start a business. She informed the students about her past experiences with helping female immigrants become self-sufficient workers and maintain successful businesses.
Lynne McMahon, Secretary on the Executive Board of Leah’s Dream, informed the students about what Leah’s Dream was. Leah’s Dream was a nonprofit scholarship fund designed to improve the lives of girls in northern Ghana by providing them access to high school learning, life skills training, and support.
“I really enjoyed my experience at the GYU seminar,” recalled Lynne. “The discussion was lively, interesting, and insightful. To achieve gender equality, we, even Central students, should be role models, whether in school, at family reunions, or in the work place. Students can join with others in advocacy groups, write letters in protest of gender bias, and volunteer in organizations.”
The audience at the seminar listened attentively to the speakers, received papers and brochures about each organization, and even talked with the speakers after the seminar concluded. For GYU members, the seminar was a success.
“Every year, GYU picks a different topic to focus on,” explained Chinenye Uduji (274), President of GYU. “This year, it was gender equality. We were able to cover issues in both the local and global community. Both of the speakers were dynamic and had interesting stories to tell. This seminar was created with the idea of giving people a space to talk about their position on both feminism and gender equality. The event went well and there were no technical difficulties.”
With this year’s seminar wrapped up, GYU faces a question: will there be a seminar next year on a different topic?
“The seminar this year went quite well,” reflected Kate Orlovskaya (275), President of GYU for the 2015-2016 school year. “I think the attendees enjoyed themselves and broadened their knowledge on matters relating to gender equality, so GYU will definitely be hosting a seminar next year on a different topic.”
Until the next seminar arrives, GYU will continue to offer Central students the opportunity to learn more about and discuss global issues facing society, and how Central students can take the initiative to create solutions to end these issues.
Natan Yakov (275)