Honoring Women’s History Month for the entire year, Global Ministries University, the Institute for Interreligious Dialogue and Islamic Studies at Tangaza University and Harmony Institute of Kenya will co-sponsor Building Human Solidarity: The Voices of Women, a series of bi-monthly hour-long sessions on YouTube in which women who are leaders in their fields will share their diverse perspectives.
The first of these presentations will take place on:
Dr. Nontando Hadebe is a theologian and international coordinator for Side by Side, a faith movement for gender justice. She is a member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians as well as the TCCRSA Women’s Caucus comprising Catholic women theologians in Africa. She was Visiting Fellow at the Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara University and Fulbright scholar in residence at Emmanuel College, Boston. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of South Africa, where she participated in groundbreaking research on gender and theological education in South African institutions. She co-edited A time like no other: COVID19 in Women’s Voices.
She will speak on The 3 legged Pot of 3 C’s in lives of African Women: Culture, Constitution, and Christianity. The 3 Cs of Culture, Constitution, and Christianity shape women’s lives in Africa. Women receive contradictory messages about their status and identity: human rights-based constitutions and Bills of Rights in many African countries legalize equal rights of women against any form of discrimination; culturally some aspects and beliefs circumscribe the roles of women contradicting their constitutional rights and this is also true of the status of women in the Church. Therefore, women face contradictory messages from 3 institutions that are important in their lives and which they interact with daily. These contradictions constitute a form of violence against women. The liberation of women needs these 3 Cs to work together.
Dr. Nihal K. Sahan is a computer engineer with an MS degree from Lehigh University, PA, and a ThD from Global Ministries University. Nihal currently teaches at Santa Clara University. She is a social activist working on in the areas of women’s rights, youth mentoring/education, and social justice projects. She serves as Vice President of Programs for the Silicon Valley Chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA, and as a board member of the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council, and Global Ministries University.
She will speak on Wellness in Action: Regaining Women’s Potential One Refugee at A Time. All refugees/immigrants face a range of challenges associated with their displacement, but refugee women face additional barriers because of their gender and social status in addition to language barrier. As part of my presentation, I will cover programs where we help immigrant/refugee women who have come to our community to remove their barriers to success and support marginalized individuals on their path to building stability for themselves and their families.
Marita Grudzen MHS is Associate Director Emerita and a founding member of the Stanford Geriatric Education Center, a national center in ethnogeriatrics within Stanford University School of Medicine. She was co-recipient with Chaplain Bruce Feldstein, MD, of the Templeton Award (2001-06) for the medical school required curriculum they developed, Spirituality and Meaning in Medicine. Marita co-developed the curriculum for the Fremont Community Ambassador Program for Seniors, and 25-hour Hospital to Home Transition training for volunteers from the Ethnic Minority Senior Services Consortium of San Jose, CA. Since 2011, every year Marita with her husband have co-developed, implemented, evaluated, and revised a 40-hour Interfaith Leadership Program in partnership with Christian, Muslim and African Indigenous Religious leaders in Kenya. Currently she is the Chair of “Stewards of Our Common Home” for the Diocese of San Jose, CA, coordinator of the first Interreligious Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter which consists of Muslims and Christians of different denominations, a member of the Global Ministries University faculty and secretary of the global interfaith bi-annual Conference, Walking Together in the Spirit of Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti.
In the era of transition that we are experiencing today, we need to explore the enormous capacities of women for breaking through and beyond the divisions that exist in our world: cultural, religious, economic, political, environmental, and technological. This is a critical expression of Pope Francis’ Universal Synodal Process. This series will bring together women whose voices speak to these issues. These interactive presentations will be further explored with other significant topics in the February 2023 global interfaith conference, Walking Together in the Spirit of Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti.Look for more presentations to come in May, July, and September.