VOW Annual Report – An Outstanding Year
November 7th, 2014
VOW has had an outstanding year and our work has not gone unnoticed!
After our very successful conference, Reclaiming the Future: A Feminist Perspective just one year ago, our VOW members have been very active in the pursuit of peace.
March 4-15, 2014
22 VOW women attended the 58th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City where we presented a side event entitled “An Intergenerational dialogue: Building Young Women’s Political Empowerment”.
Participating with the young VOW women were Cora Weiss, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times, and Professor Betty Reardon of Columbia University. Both women are legends in the peace movement.
The Young Panelists Included:
- Yusur Al-Bahrani is a freelance journalist and editor based in Toronto, currently pursuing her Master of Journalism degree at Ryerson University. Al Bahrani is a feminist human rights activist campaigning for women’s and minorities’ rights. Her main goal is to use journalism as a tool to defend women and minorities’ rights.
- Jana Barkman and Jazmin Papadopoulos presented their Toolkit for Young Feminists. Barkman has a Master of Development Practice (MDP) degree and Papadopoulos is studying Conflict Resolution Studies. They are both based out of Winnipeg. The unique curriculum for peace education for young women was received with acclaim. Educators around the world (in particular Pakistani educators) view the curriculum on-line.
- Jennifer Elms is a humanitarian and human rights activist with a passion for social justice based in Newfoundland. She graduated with a B.A. degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and was awarded a Master of Human Rights and Democratization from University of Sydney (Australia). Her international experience spans over 20 countries.
- Thabi Pratt is a professional connecting British Columbia and Brazil. Thabi works with disenfranchised young people in Brazil.
In Nova Scotia and Ontario summer peace retreats were facilitated, and in Manitoba VOW women held a peace summit, “Women, Peace and Activism: A Toolkit for Young Feminists to Build a Culture of Peace.” The Toolkit is available online for peace education.
VOW Manitoba seeks to work with youth to uncover the tools necessary to creating a culture of peace and to discover the potential of each individual to make a difference. Through active participation, students will develop skills related to peace building, conflict resolution and social change at the VOW Peace Summit. In addition to expanding knowledge on peace, students will also have the chance to build relationships with others who share an interest in social justice and to be part of the academic process.
September 21, 2014
Giving Peace a Chance Screening and Discussion
Kasha Herba and Mary Selvarajah lead discussion on the short films.
In celebration of the International Day of Peace on Sunday September 21, VOW held a short film screening and discussion at Beit Zatoun, a local and beloved cultural centre in Toronto. The lead facilitators of the event, Ontario VOW members Mary Selvarajah and Kasha Herba, chose a selection of short films from the Global Peace Film Festival held in Orlando, Florida.
The short films were generously available online for a limited period of time. They were on varying subjects concerning efforts for peace; from anti-homosexual hegemony in Uganda, to the history of the peace sign and what it represents, to a man who protests at the same corner in California every Friday for peace.
September 21, 2014
In partnership with ClimateFast, Avaaz, and thousands of other organizations, VOW Board of Directors, Lyn Adamson, Judith Wouk, and Tamara Lorincz participated in the LARGEST MOBILIZATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN HISTORY!
The march took place in New York City on September 21st, the UN declared International Day for Peace. It covered 80 city blocks of New York and over 675,000 individuals marched around the world.
September 28 – October 2, 2014
In Ottawa, VOW members were part of Climate Fast on Parliament Hill.
VOW Co-Chair Lyn Adamson and member Margaret Rao took part in the week long fast.
The following was written by Co-Chair Lyn Adamson:
“We are in an extremely vulnerable time in human history on this planet. We are headed to disastrous changes to our climate – raising temperatures by as much as 6 degrees, while our stated intentions (collectively, even by governments) is to stay under 2 degree temperature rise.
Why haven’t we been able to turn the corner? We are using MORE fossil fuels each year rather than less when scientists tell us we must cut 80% by 2050. The problem is getting worse – until we make the change.”
October 18 & 19, 2014
VOW hosted a Think Tank in The Hague – A Round Table on the Delegitimization of War.
The Think Tank was hosted by Canadian Voice of Women for Peace under the guidance of Maja Groff. VOW Co-Chair Janis Alton was a lead coordinator and attended with Director Tamara Lorincz and member Joan Russow.
The main objective was to convene a focused, substance-based Round Table in The Hague (the “International City of Peace and Justice”) on the topic of the De-legitimization of War, from legal, socio-political and cultural perspectives, in order to diagnose the status quo, and to conduct open brainstorming about medium to long-term avenues of activity and insight in this area, drawing upon the resources of international law and key international institutions. An important objective of the Round Table was to learn about and take advantage of the important international legal institutions in The Hague.
November 3-5, 2014
Right now VOW Board Member Marilou McPhedran is participating in the regional review process (Europe and North America) in Geneva “Beijing +20.”
Marilou McPhedran will represent us on 2 panels making the links between militarism and poverty.
Our social media presence is growing in leaps and bounds. Women continue to have a voice and it is your voice!
Twitter Handle: @vowpeace
Become a Supporter
Membership is $35 Regular, $20 for Students, or pay what you can.
Until December 31, 2014, send us $100 and VOW receives $200. Be one of the 60 donors VOW needs to help us reach our fall fundraising goal of $12000 – $6000 in donations doubled by a generous donor.
Can you join our Circle of Peace Women?
Monthly donations of $10 – $25 will help put VOW on a path to sustainability.
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