On March 16, 2021, six Regina Dominican students, who are a part of the Leadership Institute at Regina Dominican, participated in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women + Working Group on Girls Conversation Circles 2021. This girl-led global Conversation Circle was conducted virtually and brought girls together to dialogue and give input on the seven thematic areas of the Generation Equality Action Coalitions, their impact on girls' lives and, to develop methods for collaborative advocacy within their communities, regions and the world. Thematic areas included Gender-Based Violence, Economic justice and rights, Bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), Feminist action for climate justice, Technology and innovation for Gender Equality, Feminist movements and leadership and Women, Peace & Security and Humanitarian Action.
The aim of the conversation circles was to amplify the voices of girls, increase girls’ visibility as essential to Generation Equality, and encourage girls’ participation and leadership in the political process at the local, national and global level. Regina Dominican Senior, Maeve Newton was a group facilitator discussing Feminist Movements and Leadership and Junior Kirka Kallioras, was a group facilitator leading the group discussing Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality.
Sophomore,Gabi Kerrigan, was part of an international group of girl delegates who worked to draft an official statement on the girl that will be delivered to the United Nations as part of this event.
Sophomores Rhoda Akosah, Rebeca Marqueda and Freshwoman, Julia Cerimele, were conversation circle participants. Rebeca Marqueda stated “This was an amazing opportunity that I will carry with me for a long time. I was able to connect with a girl who started an organization in India to normalize and destigmatize feminie hygiene products. We were able to exchange contact information and I plan on starting a chapter of her organization here at Regina”.
In addition to participating in the UN Commission of the Status of Women, Sophomore Rhoda Akosah also participated in the JP Morgan Chase & Co. Generation Tech Challenge. Students, ages 14-18, had the opportunity to work virtually in teams to create a technical solution for a social good challenge, based on UN Sustainable Goals.
Guided by JPMorgan Chase employees the students were able to design their vision for their solution.
After being presented with this opportunity by Regina Dominican Engineering Teacher, Sandy Locher, Rhoda applied and was selected via lottery. Rhoda was then able to participate on a team with students from around the United States and tackled the issue of increasing the number of qualified teachers in developing countries. Rhoda’s group proposed the idea of an app called Generation Teachers. This app would help connect teachers from around the world and provide them with professional development opportunities, shared lesson plans and employment opportunities. The team’s solution was selected as the winner of the competition.
“ It was great to meet and listen to other students to learn more about their own educational experiences. This experience helped me build my leadership skills and was the result of me trying new things and taking risks!” Rhoda, who moved from Ghana to the United States just a few years ago, also expressed “ Being new to this country, I am always pushing myself to take chances and take advantage of opportunities that I would not have had otherwise! I am very grateful that I was given this opportunity”.
Part of the mission of the Regina Dominican Leadership Institute is to encourage girls to think globally and challenge themselves to improve their global citizenship through service, outreach and education. In a time where there have been numerous barriers that impact global outreach, Regina Dominican students have proved that even virtually, they can make an impact globally.