More than 150 AJWS supporters gathered in Washington, D.C. this week for the 2014 AJWS Policy Summit. Yesterday, after 48 hours of inspirational programming and skills building, we headed out to Capitol Hill to urge our legislators to pass the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), which was introduced in the Senate on May 8th.
Together we visited 100 Congressional offices all in one day—and secured new allies in our fight to end violence against women and girls worldwide!
As a result of these visits, many Representatives learned about the bill for the first time—and others committed to support it as co-sponsors. We crisscrossed the Hill from the House to the Senate and back, and felt the momentum for We Believe building.
It’s hard to believe fall is here, and Rosh Hashanah has already come and gone.
Ruth Messinger in Kenya with an AJWS grantee staff member
As my thoughts turn to the Jewish New Year, I begin to think about all the exciting ways American Jewish World Service will continue to deepen its work in developing world. Here’s what we’re working toward this year: Read More
Posted in Giving, Human Rights, Jewish Justice
Tagged Advocacy, child marriage, human rights, India, Kendeda Fund, LGBTI Rights, new year, travel, women
I was very saddened to read about the death of Wangari Maathai yesterday, just a few days after I returned from spending several weeks with AJWS’s partners in Kenya and Ethiopia. Maathai was a world renowned environmentalist, the founder of the Green Belt Movement, a political and human rights activist, and the first woman from Africa to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She was also a huge inspiration to many of AJWS’s partners in Africa working not only on environmental and natural resource rights issues, but also with youth, women, girls, and LGBTI people. Read More
This AJWS series on storytelling and justice is guest edited by Deji Olukotun.
AJWS’s Washington-based advocacy department seeks to influence decision-makers to support policies and laws that advance AJWS’s mission to empower the world’s marginalized people. Working primarily with members of the U.S. Congress and the executive branch, the advocacy department develops an ‘ask’—or specific demand—that a decision maker is capable of actualizing. Asking and influencing both relate to the power of persuasion, making our advocacy work ripe for storytelling. In this piece in our storytelling blog series, policy associate Amanda Cary describes the complex ways in which storytelling is used by the advocacy department.
When I woke up this morning to the amazing news that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill has been killed (at least for now), I started thinking about what made it possible and what lessons we might extrapolate for the human rights work that AJWS supports all around the world.