Napa Valley, California
Throughout history we have seen the power of the next generation in transforming outmoded behaviors. In every age, their fresh perspectives and boundless energy are potent drivers for change and progress. The new generations bring fresh ways of life forward that are beneficial to all. At this turning point in history, with its dynamic currents and widespread questioning of past assumptions, we see an opportunity to join together with this generation in seeking the advancement not of any one particular group but of our one human family... More>>
October 6, 2022
WEAVING A PATH TO PEACE
This autumn, Women Forward International took its action-oriented sustainable fashion projects to the next level. Through a series of presentations including a vibrant feast for the senses – fashion, poetry, and visual art – WFI shared its vision for women’s empowerment through the creative industries globally, including diplomats from around the globe who support women artisans as part of a their greater mission for peaceful and stable nations, as well as women designers and artisans. Dr. Kent Davis-Packard and Dr. Julia Nesheiwat led an event at the Cosmos Club inspired by a new generation of leaders whose actions are based on love and service. More>>
October 8, 2022
GARDEN PARTY RECEPTION
Following the event, "Weaving a Path to Peace" at the Cosmos Club, WFI held a Garden Party Reception at a private home in Chevy Chase with remarks sent by the Ambassador of Ukraine, music by Ukrainian Bandura player, Larisa Pastuchiv, and faculty speakers attesting the transformative power of WFI's programs on their students and partners in Afghanistan.
July 8, 2022
COPARMEX, the Employers Confederation of the Mexican Republic, hosted Women Forward International in partnership with the Aspen Institute of Mexico at their Binational Meetings: #JuntasBinacionalales 2022. COPARMEX is a voluntary membership business organization with more than 36,000 member companies across the country that are responsible for 30% of the GDP and 4.8 million formal jobs in Mexico. They study and create proposals on major issues concerning the economy and society.
Dr. Davis-Packard gave a presentation on "Social Policy and Inclusive Development: A New Paradigm of Philanthropy" followed by a discussion moderated by Luis Gerardo del Valle Torres, President of the Aspen Institute in Mexico.
Dr. Davis-Packard emphasized the size of the problem of economic disparity and social inequity in the United States, despite the immense abundance, and provided examples of governmental and grassroots models for sharing wealth. "A new paradigm of philanthropy enables us to see one another as part of one human family that you dare not neglect," stated Dr. Davis-Packard.
Mr. del Valle noted that inclusive development is an important and delicate issue, because based on Mexican statistics, 70% of the population [of Mexico] falls below the poverty line compared to United States. “The only way forward is to have an understanding of the needs of others."
June 28, 2022
WFI's Vanguard Presents:
The Missing Middle: Fertile Ground for Investment with a Gender Approach
Mexico City, Mexico, In Person
WFI will bring together Pro Mujer and Tec de Monterrey to demonstrate what can happen when you unleash the power of the largest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world. The event will feature a joint discussion between our partners, and featured artists whose work addresses the topic of conversation and elucidates the path forward to empowering communities through supporting women in business.
July 7, 2022
WFI's Vanguard Presents:
Antioch, California, In Person
WFI along with our partners White Pony Express and the Association of Vegan Entrepreneurs of Mexico will demonstrate the power of partnership across national borders to alleviate food insecurity. This partnership provides an example of a new paradigm of philanthropy that is based on love and human unity.
Join us at RR Ministries in Antioch for a food distribution to local homeless shelters focused in particular on women, and hear about Mesa Redonda, a new program brought to us by WFI partners the Association of Vegan Entrepreneurs of Mexico, where restaurant goers can "pay it forward" to a family in need, especially women victims of gender based violence.
July 16, 2022
Hollywood & Her: Private Cocktail Reception
Los Angeles, California, In Person
WFI will join Hollywood's stars who are dedicated to empowering women, especially refugees from Ukraine and Afghanistan. We will come together for an evening of music and feature the delights of craftswomenship from these countries while sharing our 2022 programs to provide gainful and dignified employment opportunities to refugee women globally.
Thursday, May 12, 2022
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT
WFI's Vanguard Presents:
Coffee and Derby Pie:
Why Gender Equity is the
Join Women Forward International as we bring together our partners from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, the Sustainable Food Trust, the Partnership for Gender Equity and the Organic Association of Kentucky to explore the importance of gender equity on farms from Malawi to Peru. More>>
Thursday, April 28, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT
WFI's Vanguard Presents:
A New Horizon for Women's Rights and Education in Afghanistan
This year, through our Light of Afghanistan Program WFI has brought together scholars from Georgetown University's Institute for Women, Peace and Security, activists from the Afghan Institute of Learning, and social entrepreneurs from Lynn University's Social Impact Lab, to provide a toolkit on women’s rights in Islam, and build a new university for Afghan women. More >
Friday, April 8, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT
Skoll World Forum: Ecosystem Day
Designs for a New Humanity: An Artisanal Path to Economic Justice
As part of this year's Skoll World Forum, WFI hosted a panel discussion which brought together our partners from our sustainable fashion and artisanship programs. More >
Thursday, September 9, 2021
12:00 – 1:00 PM EDT
Ideas, Imagination, and the Transformative Power of Literature on International Affairs:
A Conversation with Azar Nafisi
On September 9, 2021, award-winning author Dr. Azar Nafisi illuminated the power of Art and Music on human relations and international diplomacy. This event was hosted virtually by the WFI Arts Counsel.
Dr. Azar Nafisi is a lifelong champion and ardent supporter of the importance of Humanities and Liberal Arts and the role they play in the preservation and promotion of democracy. She is best known as the author of the national best-seller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which electrified its readers with a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students.
Thursday, June 10, 2021
10:00 AM EST
The Vanguard, where the bridging of mind and heart is no longer an anomaly, but a norm, and a new humanity is no longer a dream but an awakening reality. Presenting our 2020-2021 projects, The Vanguard is a meeting of our global scholarly teams and the transformative power of Art, when inspired with love, to bring about human unity. In partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the event will feature internationally recognized artists and leading women experts from around the globe who dare to walk in the vanguard.
Mary Southard, CSJ, "Bright Wings II
(Courtesy of Ministry of the Arts / ministryofthearts.org)
Thursday, April 22, 2021
10:00 – 11:30 AM EST
WFI Arts Counsel Inaugural Meeting
Art imagines the unimaginable and gives voice to the voiceless. In doing so, it becomes a form of moral consciousness, an expression of human hope that disrupts and transcends rhetoric and redefines what is visible, thinkable, and possible.
On April 22nd, Women Forward International will convene its Arts Counsel for the first time. Counsel members will get to know fellow artists and explore together the curation of a culturally and artistically rich event for the fall/winter of 2021 to help our next generation of leaders see beyond academia and mere intellect, and into our shared humanity. More>
January 7, 2021
4:00 PM EST
The Hour has arrived. The time is now to walk in The Vanguard. Honoring our 2020-2021 projects’ themes of the year, Women Forward International hosts The Hour, a private Counsel of Leopards networking event where student teams, faculty, and partner client organizations will have the opportunity to meet each other, discuss their projects, and get an exclusive sneak peek into Women Forward International’s exciting creative projects and events lined up for the coming year. Not to be missed, this event is one of many perks of being Leopard!
October 29, 2020
A Call for a New Humanity:
Wonder Womanism and the Power of Love
All over the world, women—for no other reason than being who they are—are left behind in the call for justice. It took George Floyd’s death to raise an outcry over the unjust violence of Breonna Taylor’s death, even though her murder occurred months earlier. When 16 mothers were killed with their newborn babies this summer in Afghanistan, the world did not rise up. Why?
Together with change-makers and award-winning artists from Mexico, Nigeria, India, South Africa, and Afghanistan whose exhibitions and narratives put into question the status quo in their countries and speak the unspeakable, Women Forward International will bridge the gap between the heart and the mind, demanding real change at this momentous turning point.
June 3, 2020
300 Days of Sun, How Many More Days of Slaves?
Students provided recommendations related to the issue of human trafficking tailored for the international community's needs. Students developed a “Countering Human Trafficking in the Balkans Strategy”, which includes milestones, measurable key performance indicators (KPIs), recommendations and political statements for the Heads of States and Government and resources for the international community's further work on the issue. The Strategy also addresses ways the international community can cooperate with the UN and other international organizations on the issue and will build on their existing documents and practices, while considering the international community’s specific defense perspectives and needs.
June 2, 2020
What's Love Got to Do with It?
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy students gave a virtual presentation on their impact assessment of a new school pantry program transforming the lives of single mothers and serving as a template for relieving hunger in the United States with White Pony Express.
May 21, 2020
The Aspen institute in Mexico City
The New Day's Heroes Arise
Harvard University and Columbia University
Columbia University’s School of International and Public Policy students gave a virtual presentation to Pro Mujer on the discrepancy between investors and women-led companies in Central America and Mexico.
Harvard University Kennedy School students presented the Ananda Group next steps for implementing an effective business accelerator program and a comprehensive toolkit to support women and plant-based enterprises at the Aspen Institute in Mexico.
April 30, 2020
Light of Afghanistan
What is missing when women are missing from the table in Afghanistan? Hear first hand from voices often unheard by the media what Afghani families need, and how the international community can best help the country move forward.
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service students and Faculty gave a virtual presentation of their research in collaboration with Women Forward International’s Light of Afghanistan Program.
WFI's first group of Afghan delegates from our Light of Afghanistan Program met virtually with students and faculty of the Georgetown University through virtual sessions to discuss security and other international relations issues.
The Georgetown University students had the opportunity to interview and collaborate with their Afghan Women's nonprofit client partners on a report that will be published by the United Nations (UNITAR). This collaboration will be the inauguration of WFI’s Qatari-Afghan-American women’s network, which will provide a safe space for women to share their cultural and religious experiences and encourage their successful navigation through social and religious barriers that limit their freedom.
December 14-15, 2019 - Doha Forum
How ISIS Wins Women, How Women Win the War against ISIS
National Defense University
For the 2019 Doha Forum, Women Forward International curated an event that addressed an under-researched and yet vital topic to curtailing the spread of extremism globally and maintaining international security. We featured the prize-winning essay on women and ISIS returnees in Indonesia from the National Defense University, along with senior international military leaders, development, and international law, and cultural studies experts.
From Left to Right:
Ambassador Melanne Verveer
Iman Omar Suleiman
Farida Abbos Khalaf
What causes women to “go to extremes” and how can we enable alternatives?
Who influences half our population and who does this half of our population influence?
Can female returnees and deportees of ISIS return, reintegrate, and contribute to their communities?
What infrastructure is required to enable individuals and societies to “begin anew?”
Are we building societies of trust and forgiveness?
May 2019 - The Aspen Institute in Mexico City
Women Forward International launches in Latin America
Presentation by Harvard University’s Kennedy School with The Ananda Group and the Inter-American Development Bank at the Aspen Institute in Mexico City.
Featuring Research by the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies: 10 Lessons on Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in the Plant-Based Industry with:
Rocío Cavazos, Founder and Managing Partner y Lucia Rodriguez, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Ananda Group
Marcella Lembert, Vice President Mexico Environment, Social andGovernance, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Tatiana Petrone, Directora LATAM, MicroMentor
Natalia Wills, Alliance Program Officer, Pro Mujer
Dra. Marcella Lembert, Vice President Mexico Environment, Social and Governance Bank of America Merrill Lynch speaks on how banks can empower women entrepreneurs at the launch of WFI at the Aspen Institute in Mexico City, May 2019
September 11, 2019
The Aspen Institute in Washington DC
United States Launch
Rising Out of the Ashes
On September 11th, 200 guests welcomed "a song never heard before" at the Aspen Institute to honor the next generation of leaders dedicated to unity, collaboration, and service. The theme of the evening was the Power of Art to Advance Women to Advance Humanity. Keynote speaker Her Excellency Roya Rahmani, first woman Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States, described what this power means for Afghan women in her speech "Rising Out of the Ashes." Syrian poet and visual artist, Nada Odeh, took us on her internal journey of overcoming the loss of her physical home and empowering herself as a woman in "I Rise with my Art."
The Leopard Emerging by Dr. Kent Davis-Packard, Executive Director, Women Forward International, Inc.
Our Mother Comes Forth by Rocio Cavazos, Founder, The Ananda Group, Mexico; Introduction by Sarah Odeh, WFI; and A Message from the United Nations: A Partnership for the New Humanity by Marco Suazo, Director, United Nations Institute for Training and Research
A New Diplomacy by Sara Al Saadi, Diplomat, Embassy of the State of Qatar
Rising Out of the Ashes by Her Excellency Roya Rahmani, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States
I Rise with my Art: A Syrian Poet’s Experience by Nada Odeh; Introduction by Wesley Spencer, Director of Arts Partnerships, Women Forward International
Featured Film about Women Forward International: Unity Collaboration and Service