Panels and Training
In hopes of expanding the importance of diversity and culture in the classroom, I was a guest lecturer at USF on the topic of the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation practices in the world, specifically focusing in Ethiopia.
UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre estimates that between 70 million and 140 million girls and women globally are circumcised (2005). More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation/Circumcision (FGM/C) in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East in which it is concentrated, and 30 million girls are at risk of being cut within the next decade. Female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation or genital cutting, is one of several traditional practices that illustrates the lack of women’s rights (WHO, 2008). The practice is most widespread throughout Africa and in some countries of Asia and the Middle East
In communities where extreme forms of gender inequalities exist, girls and women are dependent on men and marriage for their material well-being. They have little voice in matters that affect their lives, rendering them powerless to challenge harmful practices. Where girls and women are expected to follow prescribed gender roles within the family and community, they may even endorse the discriminatory norms that are meant to control them.
I also made a point of covering intervention and prevention efforts that are implemented in the eastern part of Ethiopia. Abandoning FGM/C involves a collective process that includes exposure to new information and possible alternatives, discussion within the social group, organized diffusion, and public declarations or other manifestations of a commitment to a new social rule. For a social norm to change within a community or social group, social expectations must change.
Audre Lorde, says "Self-care resists the idea that we should put our families, partner and others first, and it preserves our well-being in a nation where we are taught to dislike ourselves. It is an act of survival."
In partnership with the National Association of Adventures Black Wome (NAABW), I had the opportunity to join three other dynamic women on stage to talk about Self Care and work/life balance to their attendees. The panel explored the importance of self-care, positive self-talk, manifestation, the superwoman complex, and practical strategies for implementing self-care and the time management of self-care into our daily lives.
One of the many things I love to do is spread awareness and knowledge, especially around what's happening in the community. One of the quarterly events Sol Sisters worked on was providing a day of pampering for sex-trafficked youth and survivors in partnership with Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting &
Serving Sexually Exploited Youth (MISSSEY). MISSSEY is a non-profit that's dedicated to providing services to commercially sexually exploited (CSE) victims and work for systemic change on behalf of the youth they serve.