7th Annual Advocacy Symposium: Global Advocacy, Local Impact
Michigan League, 911 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Join CEW+ for the 7th Annual Advocacy Symposium: Global Advocacy, Local Impact. This year’s symposium brings together local and global advocates whose work inspires change. We invite you to become part of the conversation begun by 2023 Twink Frey Visiting Social Activists around ending violence toward women and girls, the power of lived experience to promote systems change, and the impact of intergenerational feminist mentorship. Meet the 2024 Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist and participate in workshops focused on Supporting Non-traditional Students, Empowered Communication, Mindful Self-Compassion and Self-Advocacy, and Navigating Gender in AI. The symposium will culminate with a keynote by international scholar Marina Alsahawneh, Gender and Inclusion Officer at Jordan Open Source Association. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Visit our poster session at 9 am to learn about Project RISHI’s recent global efforts in India, and the impact being made by our scholar and fellow community.
Free and open to all. Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26th.
Please note that the digital program is interactive; feel free to click on blue bolded words, graphics, and ads to read and learn more.
International Scholar Marina Alsahawneh, Gender and Inclusion Officer at Jordan Open Source Association
Marina Alsahawneh is a web developer and responsible for Gender Equality Diversity and Inclusion (GEDI) at the Jordan Open Source Association since 2021. She is a SYLFF Association fellow and holds a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Jordan, where she worked as a teaching assistant at the Center for Women’s Studies.
Over the past six years, Marina has been actively involved in fields related to gender and technology. She has been writing and speaking on topics related to cyber gender-based violence and gender bias in AI. She collaborates with academics to bridge the divide between researchers in the humanities and those in computer sciences and tech development, believing that the lack of interdisciplinary cooperation contributes significantly to the bias embedded in technology today.
At the Jordan Open Source Association, Marina has worked on various projects related to cyber gender-based violence in Jordan that aimed at empowering women in technology and through technology. She is part of various initiatives within JOSA that focus on empowering women in Jordan’s ICT sector, including boot camps designed to facilitate the entry of interested women into the industry as well as awareness events that underscore the importance of their participation for more equitable and bias-free technologies. She also leads studies and policy papers at the intersection of gender and technology through collaborations between JOSA, various NGOs, and social media platforms.
Michigan League Ballroom
Michigan League Ballroom
Michigan League Meeting Rooms
Michigan League Ballroom
Michigan League Ballroom
Michigan League Ballroom
Supporting Nontraditional Student Success: Pathways to Positive Change
Grace Christiansen, Student Program Manager at CEW+
Vandenberg Room, Michigan League
This workshop is for faculty, staff, and program administrators to learn about common identities that may make students feel marginalized on the Ann Arbor campus. Working through real-life examples, we will explore common challenges many nontraditional students face and discuss strategies that staff can easily implement to best support students and create a more welcoming, supportive, and inclusive campus climate.
- Participants will learn to recognize nontraditional student identities at U-M and the common barriers they face
- Participants will be able to identify current campus resources that help address the needs of nontraditional students.
- Participants will learn practical methods to create positive change for nontraditional students.
Grace Christiansen manages the CEW+ student programs, which support nontraditional students at the University of Michigan and empower them to reach their full potential. Grace is committed to making the U-M experience accessible to all students. Before joining CEW+, Grace worked in education program management and education equity research. She holds an Ed.M in Education Policy and Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in English and Political Science from Lawrence University.
Empowering Workplace Communication
Courtney Reid, MSW, LMSW-Clinical, Counseling Program Manager at CEW+
Gabriella Boufford, LMSW, Counselor at CEW+
Hussey Room, Michigan League
Join the CEW+ Counseling Team as we discuss common communication concerns in the workplace and offer strategies for engaging from a place of empowerment. Throughout this interactive session, participants will explore various communication styles, learn strategies to effectively communicate their needs and boundaries, and gain insight to navigate challenging career situations.
- Understand the significance of effective communication in the workplace and how it impacts professional relationships and productivity.
- Learn about different communication styles that exist in a professional setting, enabling them to adapt their communication approach to interact more effectively in the workplace.
- Learn how to communicate boundaries assertively, and gain an understanding of maintaining a balance between work and personal responsibilities.
Courtney Reid, MSW, LMSW-Clinical is the Counseling Program Manager at CEW+. She provides academic and career counseling services to those seeking to further and refine their educational and professional pursuits. By utilizing a holistic framework, she aims to help others define their concept of well-being, identify meaningful goals and accomplish them while honoring their inner resiliency. In addition to her direct counseling work, she provides administrative oversight to the Counseling Program and Social Work Internship Program at CEW+. Courtney is an alum of the University of Michigan School of Social Work.
Gabriella Boufford, LMSW is a Counselor at CEW+. After receiving her Master’s degree in Social Work from U-M in 2017, Gabriella applied survivor-centered, trauma-informed, and advocacy-based interventions in a community-based setting. In her current role as CEW+ Counselor, she utilizes a holistic approach, empowering individuals to reach their career and educational goals. Gabriella aims to create a safe space for individuals to recognize their strengths, overcome barriers and achieve their fullest potential.
Tuning In & Speaking Up: Connecting Mindful Self-Compassion & Self-Advocacy
Erin Lane, Scholarship Program Manager at CEW+
Michigan Room, Michigan League
Self-advocacy starts with self-awareness and mindfulness meditation, and self-compassion can offer powerful tools to clarify expectations, goals, and emotions around seeking support to meet your needs. This workshop will walk through the steps of self-advocacy, from defining the issue to preparing to speak up, taking action, and navigating the outcome. Participants will be invited to practice guided mindfulness meditation, identify U-M resources to understand their rights and responsibilities on campus, and explore challenges and techniques to express their needs.
- Explore the connections between mindfulness, self-awareness, and self-compassion
- Define the steps in self-advocacy
- Review resources for information gathering and support as you prepare to act
- Practice assertive communication and listening with purpose
Erin Lane manages the CEW+ scholarship and fellowship funding programs, including work with applicants, review committees, campus partners, and the development team to oversee the process from start to finish. Erin also provides programmatic support for the CEW+ Scholar Community and consults on signature events hosted by the Center. In addition, she facilitates CEW+ Midweek Mindfulness, currently held virtually on Wednesdays from 12:15-12:45 pm. Erin has over 10 years of experience in student services at U-M and is currently earning her MSW at the U-M School of Social Work.
Navigating Gender in AI: A Journey Towards Bias-Free Technology
Marina Alsahawneh, International Scholar, Gender and Inclusion Officer at Jordan Open Source Association
Henderson Room, Michigan League
The workshop aims to provide individuals interested in women’s and LGBTQ+ rights with an introduction to the fundamentals of AI, its potential threats, and human rights approaches to it. The workshop will additionally equip participants with some open-source guidebooks aimed at enhancing their understanding of AI through a gender-focused lens. Both the workshop and the guidebooks are intentionally designed to encourage non-technical individuals to actively engage in discussions around AI gender+ bias. Our ultimate objective is for those taking part to become active contributors in the ongoing global efforts to correct gender+ biases in AI algorithms, both in the near and distant future.
- Participants will gain a foundational understanding of AI, its real-world applications, and its impact on gender-related issues.
- Participants will be able to identify potential biases and ethical concerns in AI systems.
- Participants will explore strategies to advocate for fair and equitable AI policies that consider gender
- Participants will be introduced to tools to actively contribute to global initiatives aimed at addressing gender biases in AI algorithms.
Marina Alsahawneh is a web developer and responsible for Gender Equality Diversity and Inclusion (GEDI) at the Jordan Open Source Association since 2021. She is a SYLFF Association fellow and holds a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Jordan, where she worked as a teaching assistant at the Center for Women’s Studies. Marina has worked on various projects related to cyber gender-based violence in Jordan that aimed at empowering women in technology and through technology. She also leads studies and policy papers at the intersection of gender and technology through collaborations between JOSA, various NGOs, and social media platforms.
Twink Frey Visiting Social Activists
The Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist (TFVSA) Program brings to CEW+ a social justice activist whose work affects women and recognizes gender equity issues. One goal of the program is to build the capacity and effectiveness of social activists. This is accomplished by giving the TFVSA time, space, and support to work on a project that would not be possible under the activist’s usual working circumstances.
The TFVSA program gives the selected TFVSA time for reflection, research, planning, and writing related to the area of activism. Each TFVSA is required to work on a project that will advance the future work of the TFVSA and potentially benefit other activists.
2023 Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist
Hyeladzira James Mshelia is based in Abuja, Nigeria, and is a Programs Associate at Connected Development (CODE) with technical and programmatic management skills in designing and implementing gender equality, environmental and climate-related projects, policy influencing, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene campaigns across Africa. Motivated by her background in leading strategic campaigns, her role at CODE spurs transparency and accountability in governance while urging citizens to track and monitor government projects in their communities. In CODE, she has prioritized leading campaigns that address issues affecting women and girls including gender-responsive budgeting, girl-child education campaigns, and campaigns to eliminate all forms of violence targeted toward women and girls. Her activism is focused on Women’s Rights to position African women’s rights globally through building a Gender Advocate Movement in Africa (GAMA) with the goal of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Goal 5: gender equality and empowering all women and girls. While in residence in Ann Arbor Hyeladzira will work on a campaign to provide a coherent framework and digital platform that seeks to mobilize and empower 500 Gender Advocates (GA) across Africa to consolidate, collaborate, educate, learn and engage on local issues affecting them.
Dr. Autumn R. Green
2023 Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist
Dr. Autumn R. Green has worked conducting research to inform advocacy for two decades, building her professional reputation as a groundbreaking scholar-activist and national leader in postsecondary access and success for pregnant and parenting students. She currently leads research and impact projects as a fellow at the Urban Institute and teaches an intergenerational learning seminar at College Unbound. Her work has been widely honored, receiving national awards from the Russell Sage Foundation, the American Association of University Women, Sociologists for Women in Society, the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, the Patsy Takemoto Mink Legacy Award, and multiple institutional recognitions. She is co-leading the launch of the SPARK Collaborative (Student Parent Action through Research Knowledge), a decentralized national partnership that aims to accelerate transformational field-level change for student caregivers through strategic coordination, knowledge sharing, data, and information resources, and by building a body of new research that centralizes and centers lived experience as critical expertise to change educational equity and opportunity systems for students with kids. During her residency in Ann Arbor, Dr. Green will leverage her expertise to advise CEW+ on how to enhance their work advocating and supporting student caregivers through research partnerships, exchanging wisdom with U-M student caregivers and CEW+ communities, and seeking input about SPARK’s nationwide strategies.
Following Dr. Green’s presentation, CEW+ is pleased to announce the selection of the 2024 Twink Fry Visiting Social Activist.
This symposium is supported by funding from the CEW+ Advocacy & Policy Fund.