London Bell and her Bell Global Justice Institute will hold a parallel event at the 65th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The event, a panel discussion, is titled Visible Voices: An Intersectional and Intercultural Discussion on Women Decision Makers. The event will take place Wednesday, March 24, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and is virtual. The discussion is one of more than 600 global virtual parallel events taking place throughout the session, which extends March 15 through 26.
The discussion will feature six community leaders, five of whom are from Detroit, who will share about their work in human rights and social justice, the ways in which they have navigated decision-making spaces and best practices for other advocates working in their own community.
Bell, herself will moderate the discussion. She is a lawyer and activist with specific educational training in international human rights law. Bell is a 2020 African Descent Fellow for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Bell is passionate about advocating for gender equity, LGBTQ+ and disability rights.
Machhadie Assi is a women’s rights and community activist. A Lebanese American, Assi immigrated to the U.S. in 2003. In the summer of 2016, Machhadie received a scholarship to supplement her education in Washington, D.C., where she studied international humanitarian law and forensic psychology at the Washington Center for Academic Affairs and Seminars. Machhadie also received the “Global Citizenship Award” from the Washington Center. Last year, Machhadie was very active in the presidential race, organizing women, especially immigrant women, to vote.
Tameka Citchen-Spruce is a disability rights activist. She is the 2006 Ms. Wheelchair Michigan, and in 2008 Citchen-Spruce formed Women Empower, Inc, whose mission is to empower women with disabilities. She has been advocating for over 15 years for access to affordable and accessible housing, fighting against voting oppression toward people with disabilities, racial and gender injustices, and health equity.
Fincher is the Access Coordinator at WC SAFE, where she works closely with marginalized populations who have experienced sexual assault and trauma. She is the supreme president of Alpha Psi Kappa fraternity and sits on the board of directors for the Ruth Ellis Center where she is the chairperson of the programs committee. Sharron is also a member of the Detroit Police Department Chief’s LGBT advisory board. Finally, she hosts a podcast called “The Cat’s Meow” and is the director of the documentary “WoMan.”
Euphemia “Sue” Franklin
Euphemia “Sue” Franklin is the executive director of South Eastern Michigan Indians. She is an enrolled tribal citizen with the Sault Ste. Marie of Chippewa Indians. Franklin was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect and served under both Govs. Jennifer Granholm and Rick Snyder. During her time on the Task Force, Franklin began to advocate in the court system and has been qualified as an expert witness in matters of Indian child welfare and family advocacy.
Himaja Nagireddy, from Acton, Massachusetts, is a Northeast region representative on the United Nations Association – United States America and serves as the co-chair of UNA Women, where she advocates for and leads programming on gender equity for campus and community chapter members nationally. She also serves as a UNA-USA representative on the Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security at the US Institute of Peace.
Deidre D.S.SENSE Smith
Deidre D.S.SENSE Smith is a cultural ambassador who uses the principles and elements of hip-hop to facilitate workshops and programming centered around community building, restorative justice and transforming conflict. Smith also uses art as a means to fundraise and bring awareness to human rights, reproductive rights and mental health.
There is no cost for this event. To register, visit this link.