International Women’s Day
Celebrated each year on March 8th, International Women’s Day recognizes the social, economic, political, and cultural accomplishments of women from around the world, and serves as a global call to action for achieving gender equity. 4W partners with AFRICaide and the United Nations Dane County Association to host an annual International Women’s Day Celebration. Led by 4W Leader Emilie Songolo, our day-long celebrations include crafts, food, and song, and explore themes like “Better the Balance, Better the World” (2019) and “An Equal World is an Enabled World” (2020).
4W Scholar Erika Rosales has led our efforts to create advocacy and curriculum materials around immigration and human rights. In fall of 2019, 4W hosted two panel discussions for campus and community members entitled, “From Awareness to Action: Immigration’s Impacts on Children from Madison to the Northern Triangle of Central America.” The panel provided first-hand accounts and detailed information about the immigration that occurs between Madison, the US/Mexico Border, and the Northern Triangle of Central America, with a focus on children and their wellbeing. The events have sparked a larger discussion about how we can work together to address detrimental policies that affect those we call our neighbors, family, and friends. These panels were hosted with support from the Chican@ and Latin@ Studies Program, the Department of Civil Society and Community Studies, the Global Health Institute, the Human Rights Program, the Institute on Regional and International Studies, the School of Social Work, and One City School.
Supporting Local Programs that Foster Youth Young Leadership
4W supports young leaders through networking opportunities, wellbeing- oriented workshops, leadership development training, and more. In the summer of 2018, 4W hosted workshops and a graduation ceremony for elementary-aged girls enrolled in Maydm, a STEM education program that prepares girls and youth of color with skills for the technology sector. In 2019, we used the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment to provide strengths-based leadership training for the King Morgridge Scholars Program, which recruits exceptional students from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean to study at UW-Madison and gain meaningful skills and resources to address inequities in their home countries. Additionally, we used our 4W wellbeing model to facilitate a lesson on equality and wellbeing for UW-Madison’s LEAP Forward Program, which administers internships for health sciences high school students in the Madison Metropolitan School District.
Hmong Leadership Training
In March of 2019, 4W and The Hmong Institute hosted a training for emerging leaders to develop gender-sensitive, culturally relevant leadership skills. Hmong Institute Board President Mai Zong Vue and Consultant Yengyee Lor of Faithful Consulting addressed challenges to embracing one’s leadership potential, such as how traditional roles for women in the Hmong culture can feel counter to conventional leadership traits. Participants discussed ways to overcome these challenges, as well as how to grow their leadership skills while staying true to their culture and giving back to their Hmong community.
Wisconsin Womxn Lead Gala
UW-Madison undergraduate women prove that leadership can manifest itself in many unique ways – from athletics, to academics, to community engagement and public service. To celebrate the diverse ways that women lead, 4W hosted the Wisconsin Womxn Lead Gala. Over 50 undergraduate women were recognized as “leads” at UW-Madison, selected from peer nominations that considered qualities such as inclusion, self-expression, and authentic ways of giving back to one’s community.
Voice for Us: 4W’s Op Ed Project
To increase public scholarship and highlight historically underrepresented voices in public media, 4W partnered with University Communications to bring the Op Ed Project to UW-Madison for a “Write to Change the World” workshop. Together we grew in our confidence to share our voices and ideas, and learned how to write timely, impactful opinion editorials.
Madison for Malawi Symposia
Led by King-Morgridge Scholar and Malawian Lusayo Mwakatika, student organizations are supporting Malawi’s Associated Center for Agro-based Development (ACADES) to promote health, equity, and economic growth through youth involvement in agriculture. 4W has provided mentorship and hosted multiple “Malawi Symposia,” convening campus and community scholars who are engaged in work in Malawi.
Commemorating 150 Years of Women at UW
Throughout 2019, 4W facilitated a campus-wide effort to commemorate the 150th anniversary of women graduating from UW-Madison. Special activities included a gala for student leaders, participation in the Homecoming parade, and the creation of a new Babcock ice cream flavor, “150th Annivers-berry!”