GCC Celebrates Women of Concern
As we look back on the achievements of women at the end of Women’s History Month 2017, I’d like to share the story of the Women of Concern. Each year, Concern Worldwide US celebrates Women of Concern with a luncheon that acknowledges the accomplishments of women and girls around the world. This event recognizes the undertakings of remarkable women for their outstanding endeavors towards the alleviation of human suffering. Together with Concern Worldwide US, these exceptional Women of Concern make a positive impact on the lives of millions of women globally and the luncheon is a day to center public awareness on global humanitarian issues. The event honors two outstanding women who exemplify a sense of justice, generosity, and compassion in their work and daily lives.
The 2017 Leadership Award was presented to Mary Robinson, the first female President of Ireland, and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and current United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change.
The 2017 Humanitarian Award was presented to Elizabeth Dozier, who after a successful career with CPS, founded Chicago Beyond, which focuses on youth safety and educational attainment.
The Women of Concern Luncheon is also a fundraising event with all funds going towards the support of Concern Worldwide and its mission to eradicate extreme poverty in the world’s poorest nations. Last year, over $325,000 was raised from this event. For almost a half century, Concern Worldwide has been working with the most vulnerable people living in the poorest nations. Concern Worldwide is currently working in 26 countries and focuses in five core program areas; livelihoods, health, HIV and AIDS, education and emergency response. In the last year, Concern directly reached over seven million people through our five core program areas.
This year, young student leaders and their teachers from Chicago area schools who participated in the Global Concerns Classroom 2017 Global Youth Summit were invited to attend the luncheon in Chicago by Dawn Miller, Director of Concern Worldwide Chicago. Students from Lakes Community High School, Schurz High School, and Victor J. Andrew High School represented Somalia at the Chicago summit taking home the top honors and attended the Women of Concern Luncheon on March 16, 2017. The Somalia team presented a project proposal to a panel of judges utilizing a $1 million budget to fight against the impending famine in Somalia exacerbated by political violence in the country. This is the third time in 25 years Somalia has faced famine. The looming famine is of epic proportions affecting the Horn of Africa region. Famine has already been declared in South Sudan and famine warnings have been issued in the nations of Nigeria, Ethiopia and Yemen.
Global Concerns Classroom encourages and cultivates students to become leaders in their communities who learn the importance of global citizenship by taking meaningful action on global issues thus becoming part of the larger global community and the Concern Worldwide family. Congratulations to Mary Robinson, Elizabeth Dozier, and the 2017 Chicago Global Youth Summit student winners for your dedication to humanitarian issues and your continued support of Concern Worldwide’s mission.