Thursday, May 12, 2022
Gala Event with Dana Al Fardan

Washington, D.C. 

WFI will host a private reception and performance by Qatari composer Dana Al Fardan. Ms. Al Fardan will preview her original score for WFI’s forthcoming docufilm, The Hour.

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Thursday, June 9, 2022
The Vanguard

In partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), our global partners and scholarly teams will present the results of each of our 2021-2022 action-based research projects with international experts and renowned figures in the Arts, all to bridge mind and heart for the emergence of the New Humanity. 

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Mary Southard, CSJ, "Walk With Me"

(Courtesy of Ministry of the Arts /

Saturday, October 8, 2022

The Emergence of the

New Humanity

Washington, DC

WFI presents: The Art of the New Humanity, a live exhibition featuring Art and talks by the WFI Arts Counsel members and research teams on this Hour when the impossible becomes possible and a New Humanity Emerges. 

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Thursday, October 7, 2021

Private Reception for Dana Al Fardan

WFI was honored to host a private reception for Dana Al Fardan, Qatari contemporary composer, songwriter and symphonic artist, and the first woman composer from the Arabian Gulf. Ms. Al Fardan will translate her powerful message of unity into an original score for WFI’s forthcoming docufilm, “The Hour."

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From left to right: Xanthe Sharff, Ph.D., Dana Al Fardan, Zahra Wakilzada, Kent Davis-Packard, Ph.D., Dr. Elizabeth Dugan

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. 

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Thursday, June 10, 2021
10:00 AM EST

The Vanguard

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 /

Thursday, April 22, 2021

10:00 – 11:30 AM EST

WFI Arts Counsel Inaugural Meeting

(Private Event) 

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>

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January 7, 2021

4:00 PM EST

Counsel Of Leopards

The Hour

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

Counsel Of Leopards

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.

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June 3, 2020

300 Days of Sun, How Many More Days of Slaves?

Stanford University


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

Georgetown University

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.

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From Left to Right: 

Dr. Kent Davis-Packard, Ph.D.

Ambassador Melanne Verveer

Iman Omar Suleiman

Farida Abbos Khalaf

Mia Bloom

Topics included:

  • 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

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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."

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  • 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