University joins forces with Women and Girls Lead

Women celebrate in SomalilandA new worldwide initiative has set out to empower women, girls and their allies to lead for social change.

University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Women’s and Gender Studies program, Women’s Resource Center, and Women in Learning and Leadership have committed to that initiative, joining forces with Women and Girls Lead, a multi-year media and outreach campaign that highlights extraordinary women from around the world.

The campaign, launched by Independent Television Service (ITVS), combines independent documentary viewings with community engagement efforts that connect global women’s issues to local struggles.

“Our partnership in this initiative allows us to expand awareness of global women’s issues such as maternal health and gender violence on campus, while highlighting the efforts of extraordinary leaders for social change,” said Suzanne Bergeron, director of Women’s and Gender Studies.

For their first event, UM-Dearborn will partner with Detroit Public Television to air Half the Sky, a two-part PBS documentary broadcast on October 1 and 2 at 9 p.m. on WDTV. The documentary is based on the bestselling book about women and girls around the world challenging sex trafficking, gender-based violence, poverty and maternal mortality.

On October 4, Women in Learning and Leadership students will screen clips of Half the Sky and lead a discussion with a panel of community leaders who work on gender issues. Panelists include Rebecca Herman of Vista Maria and Shelly Foy of the Wayne County prosecutor’s office.

The luncheon takes place at noon in Kochoff A in the University Center and is free and open to the public. The Commission for Women will co-sponsor the panel as part of their Lunchtime Speaker Series.

“Our hope is to create a campus-wide dialogue about the issues raised in these documentaries,” Bergeron said.

For more information about UM-Dearborn’s Women and Girls Lead programs, or to get involved, contact Suzanne Bergeron.

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