I’m incredibly excited to serve as an alumni consultant during the development of this year’s National Youth Justice Training, and can’t wait to see program come to fruition in the following months. This transformative three-week social justice training for high-school youth offers interactive social justice education and real-world internships.
Mónica Roa is a human rights defender and the Program Director of Women’s Link Worldwide (WLW), an NGO promoting Gender Justice in Columbia. This is a letter written for Amnesty International’s annual Write #4rights campaign, by youth blogger Sofia- calling for Sr. Presidente Santos to address the violence, threats and intimidation that WLW has received because of it’s work with reproductive rights.
The Interfaith Youth Activist bloggers pledged to write letters for the Write #4Rights campaign! We will be writing letters weekly and posting them online for you to read (and hopefully inspire you to write), as well as, mailing them out. Join us in writing letters!
Even though her spiritual orientation was very different from my own – she devoted her life to the worship of the Hindu deity Krishna and I am a Muslim (and a secular one at that), but I was magnetically drawn to how she very practically invited in the presence of the divine in her everyday life through a disciplined devotional practice.
I spent this election cycle surrounded by women passionate about protecting our access to healthcare and contraception, our equal pay for equal work, and our protection against sexual abuse and violence; but, I didn’t realize until after Missouri’s Senate race was called as a victory for McCaskill by the news networks how legitimately terrified I had been at the prospect of a win for Akin. I screamed, my best friend called me crying, and my social media feeds exploded in celebration.
In the last few years that my mother lived in Afghanistan, the Taliban were on control. She was forced to quit college, and her education was ended in Afghanistan. When I heard about Malala, it made me think about what also happened to my mother, and how she was forced to do something she did not want to do.
At the age of 11, when I grumbled about doing homework, Malala voiced her views on women’s education, blogging anonymously to the BBC about life under the Taliban. She experienced the horrors of having the very thing that guaranteed her freedom of mind, slowly leeched away by extremists.