On July 15th, we were honoured to bring together speakers, educators and advocates to share their experience and expertise at the latest event in our Sisters Empowering Women series.

This session was inspired by the title Advocacy: linking local to global, and by Pope Francis’ words from Fratelli Tutti, 23: “The organisation of societies worldwide is still far from reflecting clearly that women possess the same dignity and identical rights as men. We say one thing with words, but our decisions and reality tell another story.”

Sister Sheila Kinsey FCJM (pictured above) welcomed around 150 participants on behalf of UISG. As Executive Co-secretary for the JPIC commission of UISG-USG, Sister Sheila shared her vision for an advocacy informed by the spirit of Laudato Si’. She was followed by Sister Eilís Coe RSC, who introduced the event with her moving testimony of a life dedicated to educating and empowering the vulnerable.

Sister Norma Pimentel MJ – who is Executive Director for Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and one of TIME’s 100 most influential people of 2020 – joined the webinar from McAllen, Texas. “Women’s resilience against all odds is what we share with one another,” she said. “As women of today, I would encourage you to imagine yourselves as a gift to the world, so that you can be a voice for those who do not have a voice, so that you can offer help where help is needed. […] As advocates of today, we are defenders of human dignity, working together for the common good. We are heralds of truth, justice and mercy who bring peace to our world.”

The second part of the webinar focused on an interactive format: this included presentations by Sister Donatus Lili RGS, Vice Coordinator for Religious Against Human Trafficking in Kenya, and Sister Angela Reed RSM (pictured above), Head of Mercy Global Action, followed by a conversation between the speakers and then a Q&A session. Finally, participants watched a video testimonial from Sister Judith Padasas CCV, who talked about her work on the ground as a Coordinating Member for Talitha Kum in the Philippines.

In case you missed this event, you can watch the full recording via the following links.

Part 1, welcome and introduction:

Part 2, presentation:

Part 3, in conversation and Q&A:

Part 4: testimony and conclusion:

The next and final Sisters Empowering Women session is scheduled for September 29th on the topic of peace: more information will follow shortly.

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