The Northeastern University Interdisciplinary Women’s Council (IWC) is proud to announce that two of our members have been selected for the 2020 United Nations Millennium Fellowship.
The Millennium Fellowship is a semester-long leadership development program that allows participants to expand their campus-level social impact and access training, connections, and recognition.
Founder and co-president, Emerson Johnson, has concentrated on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) five and ten, which focus on gender equality and reduced inequalities respectively. Through her work with the council, Emerson realized that we cannot continue to have conversations about gender equality without the inclusion of men: “the patriarchy exists because we as a society have adopted gender roles and constructed institutions that perpetuate male success and female submissiveness. What a lot of feminists ignore and a lot of men overlook is that the patriarchy negatively affects men as much as it does women.”
Emerson will be highlighting the consequences of the conversation about gender equality disproportionately featuring female perspectives by hosting International Men’s Day through the
IWC in the Fall. “I want to put on an event and adopt a mindset that considers these perspectives in their own light and on their own time… It is my hope that through this event, men and women alike will learn that the detriment of a male-dominated society extends to the men themselves and we must work together to end it.”
Newly chosen Director of Communications, Beza Zenebe, is primarily concentrating on SDG 16, peace, justice, and strong institutions. She is planning on creating a curriculum to show middle and high school students how to be global citizens by teaching them about international institutions and organizations. Beza believes that “at the end of the day, it’s really hard to be a global citizen. It’s already hard for us to talk about things like universal health care, and doing that on a global scale is overwhelming. Right now, we’re not doing good enough.”
Beza hopes that creating a curriculum for how to be a global citizen will increase cooperation for the goals because people will be more aware of them. She is particularly interested in encouraging minorities who have been traditionally marginalized—people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community to name a few—to be part of the global solution. “I don’t know the answers to today’s most pressing issues, but I know that education will play a major role.”
Emerson and Beza will be using the IWC and our community to facilitate their efforts. Emerson will be hosting International Men’s Day through the IWC, but also hopes to use the fellowship to encourage the inclusion of non-western ideas. “Northeastern is a school that boasts a large international population and to form a club focused on universal gender equity whilst ignoring the privilege we have being born and living in a western country would be detrimental to my overall mission to help educate as many people on gender equality and female empowerment.”
Beza will be reaching out to the IWC for support. While she is building this curriculum, she looks forward to receiving suggestions from members of the IWC. “My challenge is going to be to know what should be included and I want to hear from people who are invested in these goals.”
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