Youth Participation at the 66th U.N. Commission on the Status of Women
Even though most of the events during the 66th U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) were virtual due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, we enjoyed strong youth participation. Our current Loretto Volunteer, Jax Viteznik (Gonzaga University 2021), was present in person at the NonGovernmental Organization CSW Consultation Day in Harlem’s Apollo Theater. In Jax’s words, “… the room was filled with passionate colleagues I had only ever seen on Zoom … alive with the energy and hope that had been forced online for over two years. My time at CSW in New York City was the highlight of my Loretto Volunteer year with Loretto at the UN.”
Since the priority theme of CSW66 was “achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change,” this provided a prime opportunity for collaboration with the Loretto Earth Network for a parallel event, Celebrating 30 Years of the Loretto Earth Network. See the recording here. This event, held on World Water Day, was co-moderated by Jax and former Loretto Volunteer Teresa Blumenstein, who now coordinates the Justice Coalition of Religious. Jax also moderated several fire- side chats in our shared exhibition booth as well as a presentation by Joe Riehl’s 8th grade students at St. Mary’s Academy who shared their final projects for the 2022 World Affairs Challenge. See the recording here.
We were also graced this spring semester with an intern, Meta Stephens (Nerinx Hall HS, ‘20, Fordham University, 2024). Meta assisted with social media and co-moderated the other parallel event with which we were involved, My Voice, Our Equal Future: Girls speak to Climate Change. See the recording here. This event featured a Loretto-connected panelist, St. Mary’s Academy sophomore Hannah Reyes, who addressed the challenges of food access as well as regaining healthy and sustainable food systems. The following week Meta moderated a fireside chat with the executive director of The Angel Band Project, Rachel Ebeling (Nerinx Hall alum), and in between she ran the New York City half-marathon.
If you missed any of these events or simply wish to review our participation at CSW66, please check out this highlights document put together by Meta which includes links to recordings of events we sponsored/co-sponsored and summaries and outlines.
Finally, our incoming summer 2022 intern, Emma Sandu (Ohio State University, 2025) was able to attend several events as a member of our 20-plus-person virtual delegation. Look for reflections from Emma in a future issue of Interchange.