ECCT parishioner to be part of UN conference on Status of Women
Posted on by Karin Hamilton
Delores M. Alleyne, parishioner of St. Luke's, New Haven, and leader in the Girls' Friendly Society for 65 years, was chosen to be part of the 20-member Episcopal delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (UNCSW) meeting in NYC March 13-24, 2017. The event will gather women, girls, men, and boys from The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The 2017 UNCSW Priority Theme is, "Women's economic empowerment in the changing world of work."
Delores and the other delegates, and one provincial delegate, will be able to attend the UNCSW official meetings as observers on the floor of the United Nations and will represent the Episcopal Church/Anglican Communion in their advocacy. They will be able to report on United Nations meetings during debriefs, speak about official Episcopal Church priorities with United Nations entities and permanent mission representatives, attend parallel events, and reflect during UNCSW on how they can share the knowledge when they return to their communities and train new women leaders.
Delores titled her application bio and essay, "Telling My Story" and it is reprinted below with her permission.
I am a very mature Woman of Wisdom (age) with a BS Degree in Education. I have three adult children, six grandchildren. I am a cradle Episcopalian attending St. Luke’s in New Haven, CT. I have been involved with the Girls’ Friendly Society (GFS) for 65 years.
The values I learned as a member of GFS have governed my life, our motto, “Bear Ye One Another’s Burdens and so Fulfill the Law of Christ,” is what I live by today. As a Christian, I believe I have been called in this ministry to proclaim God’s message of service. I cannot just sit idle and let others do what my heart is telling me to do.
As a Christian, I believe that all humans are created in God’s image and equal before God. Our scriptures, the way of Jesus Christ and our Baptismal Covenant call us to seek and serve Christ in all persons regardless of gender. I need to SPEAK OUT. As a Christian and in a GFS and ECW leadership role I must use that spark that was ignited at UNCSW 59th conference to a burning flame after UNCSW 61st to tell my story that I can do something to become the voice of the voiceless.
My story begins as a young, very shy African American girl living in an affluent rural community in Connecticut. I attended a high school where I was the only black student through-out my high school years. Although I was welcomed there, however there were many times I felt isolated and not accepted. I mention this experience as a tiny example of being rejected and feeling alone. I cannot say in any shape or form that I feel the pain of those that are alone and denied their human rights. As I attend the UNCSW conference I will listen to the stories of women from around the world. Their suffering, their pain and hear the anguish in their voices. I can only sympathize with them, but in no way can I understand their pain.
My voice certainly will be heard on their behalf, to the Girls’ Friendly Society world-wide, the Episcopal Church Women and my Episcopal Church. Girls and women deserve to live free from threats of domestic violence, sexual abuse, assault, denial of education and opportunities to empower themselves. In spite of the International agreements, the denial of woman's basic human rights is persistent and widespread. Violence affects the lives of millions of girls and women worldwide, in all socio-economic and educational classes. It cuts across cultural and religious barriers, hindering the right of women to participate fully in society.
One hundred and forty years ago the legacy of the Girls’ Friendly Society was laid in the US, in Lowell, Massachusetts by Elizabeth Mason Edson concerning the welfare of young girls and women. Today, that is still our great concern, that girls and women are not treated in some cases as human beings world-wide. They are being denied education, health care, the right to choose who and when to marry, and are abused.
Every individual that is born is entitled to their human rights; they are rights inherited to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, nationality or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination.