INDABA: Empowering Women and Youth in Africa and the US

IMG_7359INDABA: Empowering Women and Youth in Africa and the US

Yvonne Chak Chaka, internationally famous South African singer, songwriter, entrepreneur and humanitarian dubbed the “Princess of Africa” and Gail Masondo, author, life recovery coach and UNESCO
Goodwill Ambassador, kicked off INDABA: Empowering Women and Youth in Africa & the US on Monday, October 12th at the IUPUI Campus Center. Together they presented in a conversation-style format, discussing issues around empowering women and youth, effectively bringing the event title “INDABA” which means “conversations for change” into action.

Their conversation centered on empowering women and children who have been victims of abuse. Monsado and Chaka Chaka began the conversation by explaining what abuse really is while sharing their own abuse stories. They called on audience members to raise their hands if they’ve been victims of abuse saying, “The sooner we speak it, the quicker we are able to get the help we need.” This drove home the point that as a society, we need to break the silence and talk about it.

IMG_2741The conversation was followed by a panelist discussion entitled “What Can I Do: Game-Changers Forum with Campus and Community Partners.” The panel featured a distinguished group of women including Cynthia Prime, CEO and Co-Founder of Saving Orphans through Healthcare and Outreach (SOHO); Elna Boesak, journalist and activist whose current research focuses on the roles of media and religion in shaping cultural norms; Lindsay Littrel, Faculty at the IU School of Social Work and South African Gender and Religion Scholar; Sarah Flores, Intern at Restored Inc. and IUPUI School of Social Work undergraduate; Kieran Grubbs, IUPUI Social Justice Scholar; and Christina Hale, Indiana State Representative, District 87.

The discussion focused on woman and empowerment—touching on issues ranging from the perpetuation of patriarchy to the ways in which media and religion shape our beliefs and attitudes. The panelists urged the need to continue the conversation with those we engage with regularly in order to change the cultural norms that keep people silent.

IMG_7347Sponsored by SOHO (Saving Orphans through Health Care and Outreach), the Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Reconciliation and Global Justice, the IUPUI Honors College, Office of International Affairs, African Student Association, School of Public Health, School of Informatics and Computing, and Kelley School of Business, Office for Women, the event also included a Social Involvement Resource Fair that featured ways to get involved and make change on issues of women and youth empowerment.

 

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