ExSSA-USA Goes Bold for the 2017 International Women’s Day Campaign.
This year, the Ex-Saker Student Association popularly known as Sakerettes are taking a bolder step and joining the campaign to celebrate the 2017 International Women’s Day. We will achieve this by promoting messages that underscore this year’s theme “Be Bold for Change.” From March 1, 2017 to March 8, 2017, this premier Alumna Association made up of students from Saker Baptist College, Limbe Cameroon will display that boldness by showcasing an empowering message. Chapter representatives will be the messengers. Yes, we are bold for, change because change is the only constant in life.
Befitting that the first chapter to sound that message is the Massachusetts Chapter of ExSSA-USA. These beautiful ladies will personify boldness as they work tirelessly to host the 16 Annual Convention this August. Their message takes on a subject that has never been more urgent than now. Rape victims and molested children should not remain victims forever. Society needs their unique awesomeness to contribute to it, live and feel whole and be worthy of respect and dignity.
What could be more unique than this? These ladies are not playing. As you can see, they have the official material for this year’s IWD celebration in Cameroon.
Thank you ladies for representing and boldly doing so. Happy International Women’s Day Celebration.
In the coming days leading to the International Women’s Day we will bring you messages from our various fabulous chapters each in their own unique way. Please stay tuned.
ExSSA-LA Goes Bold for the 2017 International Women’s Day Campaign.
Talking about boldness, the ExSSA-LA Sakerettes give a palpable meaning to the Cameroonian saying ‘small no be sick’ when they hosted the resoundingly successful ExSSA-USA National Convention in Los Angeles in 2012 with just a few fearless ladies. Yes, these ladies have proven themselves to be a force to be reckoned with and what a few dedicated women can accomplish. It is with that zeal that they are advocating for the elimination of child marriages. Educate a girl child, build a nation. By marrying as children, these young girls and their nations are being robbed of the potential contributions to nation building. This International Women’s Day, lets decry such practices and speak up for these young victims. #Be bold for change.
Accomplished women in their own right, these sisters are representing the LA Chapter and are boldly routing for the girl child.
ExSSA-Georgia Joins the 2017 International Women’s Day Campaign with a bang!
Enter the ExSSA-Georgia Peaches! On this third day of our IWD campaign, our beloved Sakerettes from the Georgia chapter have come out in full effect to bring home the issue of Gender Equality. Not only are they boldly advocating for a radical change in the status quo, they are in essence appealing to our sons, brothers, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, boyfriends and menfolk world over to join the movement in no uncertain terms. These gorgeous peaches have always walked the talk and they are asking men to do likewise.
With a freshly minted chapter executive for the Georgia Chapter, these pictures speak a thousand words and then some. Let’s start with poise, elegance, determination and zest.
Thankfully, a good number of men agree with ExSSA-Georgia’s bold message for change.
John Legend argues:
“All men should be feminists. If men care about women’s rights the world will be a better place.”
EXSSA-USA JOINS THE 2017 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CAMPAIGN
#BE BOLD FOR CHANGE.
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ExSSA-USA Members-At-Large (MAL) Make a bold Statement on the Panacea for Women’s Empowerment.
Members-At-Large are a unique set of Sakerettes. Just like eagles, they do not flock albeit not by choice. They can be found one at a time scattered throughout the United States. Distance has not deterred their sheer determination to belong to pay it forward. MAL are fully participating and making a huge impact on ExSSA-USA and the girl child in Saker Baptist College. In this campaign, they pledge for parity as a panacea for women’s empowerment. An empowered woman can indeed change the world. Just like their fellow ExSSANs worldwide, whose charge is to empower the girl child, they boldly pledge parity because they have experienced firsthand what empowered women can achieve. They would just like a level playing field that allows women to be all that they can be.
One of the eagles pictured above is the President of MAL Mercy Akpo Esambe who stands boldly, presenting her chapter’s IWD message and proudly representing her chapter. Make no mistake about it…she is no lone ranger. When these ladies meet, they do make quite a splash!
Talking about empowered women, take a good look at these ladies. Ask them for their resumes and you are guaranteed to be awed.
A Member-At-Large is Making Big Splashes in Milwaukee
Mrs. Christiana Attere is the Chairwoman of the Milwaukee African Women’s Association…Yes, she is a Sakerette and a Member-At-Large of ExSSA-USA. What could be better? On Sunday March 5, 2017, she will champion the celebration of International W omen’s Day with women from across the globe. The mission of this event is to educate, empower and inspire women for the greater good of the community. A similar and successful event which she organized last year drew over 250 participants. Sakerettes are very proud of you as you put boldness for change in action. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Women in the Changing World of Work”. Technological advances mean that women must be empowered to fully take advantage and benefit from innovation. Watch this space for updates on the event.
The New Jersey/New York Chapter Takes its Message to Times Square New York to celebrate the 2017 International Women’s Day.
The ExSSA-USA International Women’s Day campaign took a rather peculiar turn when the Sakerettes of New Jersey/New York chapter braved the frigid Manhattan weather, weaving with determination through wind tunnels as they made their way to the Center of the World… Times Square where the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. It was a suffrage folks. Frozen to the bones, they had to fulfill their IWD campaign obligation. To the amazement of onlookers, they peeled off their cozy coats, hats, mittens, gloves and scarves to pose and campaign for the rights of the woman. Okay, you can stop clapping now, Thank you very much.
And what was the urgent message? You ask. Discrimination against women is not cool and will not be tolerated anymore. Got it? Kappish? Women face undue and unwarranted discrimination daily regardless of race, creed or national origin and that discrimination is not always from the opposite gender. This IWD, we are saying that enough is enough.
You see, the Sakerettes of the New York/New Jersey Chapter are called Women of Substance for good reason. They are brave. They are natural born leaders and de facto trailblazers. Boldness comes as second nature. They celebrate womanhood and fiercely condemn any form of discrimination against women be it from society at large or from fellow womenfolk.
The New York City Police Officers were gentlemen and on hand to lend their support to our message of anti-discrimination towards women. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse would not be left out either.
We would like to take this opportunity to honor our out-going Chapter President Etona Ekole, an empowered lady who has served the chapter and the organization with distinction.
The Sakerettes of Washington DC Metro bring verve and panache to the ExSSA-USA 2017 International Women’s Day Campaign.
With two days left to go before the grand celebration of the IWD, there seems to be some suspense with the membership. Why? ExSSA-Washington DC Metro has not had their say yet. Moreover, thy hail from the nation’s capital. Wonder no more! Popularly known as’ DC Divas’, here they come in true form and are taking no prisoners. The Divas are boldly highlighting the issue of sexual exploitation and forced labor of girls and women. Sexual exploitation is dehumanizing and robs a person of their self-worth and stifles their potential to pursue their calling in life. Is that not tragic?
The Divas are talking to you. Yes, you. We all can play a part in eradicating this scourge in our society by being vigilant and speaking up and taking action when one of God’s children are being exploited. According to UNICEF, “The underlying causes if commercial sexual exploitation of children include poverty, gender discrimination, war, organized crime, globalization, greed, traditions and beliefs, family dysfunction and the drug trade. Armed conflict creates special risks of sexual violence and exploitation for women and children. Desperation may force women and children into prostitution. Refugees are vulnerable to demand for sex by camp officials, border guards, police officers and military personnel’. Vulnerable members of society need to be protected and respected and not exploited”.
As one of the largest chapters of ExSSA-USA, the DC Divas have always delivered in a big way and their contribution to the growth of ExSSA-USA is phenomenal.This is the home chapter of our current National President Susan Jiofack Tar. Currently lead by EmadeStrassberger, Chapter President, the formidable ladies of the DC Chapter recently demonstrated grace under pressure when they hosted the 15th Annual convention with fortitude despite the challenges. A Diva’s gotta do what a Diva’s gotta do.
The historic tour of the White House by the Sakerettes during the convention was made possible under the stewardship of Emade. Noteworthy is the fact that the IWD pictures were taken by First Cat Bobe Bill Strassberger. Thank you for your support Bobe.
Pictured below are some of the DC Divas posing with the Convention opening ceremony Keynote Speaker Dr, Yvonne Maddox.
ExSSA-USA JOINS THE 2017 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CAMPAIGN
#BE BOLD FOR CHANGE
From the Land of a Thousand Lakes, ExSSA Minnesota Boldly Advocates for Rural Women in Celebration of International Women’s Day 2017.
The Sakerettes of the Minnesota Chapter much like their East Coast Counterparts in New York/New Jersey braved frigid temperatures to join the Sisterhood in advocating for women. Their message is a crucial one! Braving the cold weather may be bold in itself, but when you are part of this exciting campaign, adrenalin takes over. How do you harness the income earning potential of rural women in developing countries? You arm them with new skills; you educate them to leverage new technology that enables them to make that leap from pure subsistence to an income earning enterprise. Most of our grandparents and parents were subsistence farmers and they were able to afford their children’s education from the proceeds of toiling the land. Knowledge and use of technological advances in farming and other trades will have a great impact on their lives and the lives of their children. We already know what an empowered woman can do in nation building.
ExSSA-Minnesota is “la force tranquille” of EXSSA USA. In fact, they are EXSSA USA’s well-kept secret. They always get the job done effectively and with style without much–a-do! Hosts of the 2015 convention, their “Love, unity and sisterhood” is also quite visible. When you see a sister from the Minnesota Chapter at any given convention, the other one is not too far away. They almost always fly together and stick together. Now that is sisterhood!
Yes Ladies, we feel the cold in the air and commend you for braving it for this cause. By the way, you all look absolutely fabulous in your bravery.
Did you know that the Minnesota Chapter was the first chapter to have a city government official welcome and officiate at the opening ceremony of the convention in 2007? EXSSA-USA adopted the tradition formerly in 2012 and it has continued to date. Yes, they have always been BOLD FOR CHANGE!
EXSSA-USA JOINS THE 2017 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CAMPAIGN
#BE BOLD FOR CHANGE
Sakerettes from the Great State of Texas Boldly Join in the ExSSA-USA 2017 International Women’s Day Campaign.
Enter ExSSA-Houston. It is the eve of the International
Women’s Day and who better to feature than the brave and bold ladies of the Houston Chapter? Despite their cathartic regrouping effort and the devastating loss of a parent, they are determined to take part in this unique campaign which beckons on women to be bold for change. Theirs is not a plea. It is a demand. Good paying jobs for educated girls and women. What good is a solid education when the graduate cannot translate it into gainful employment? Every nation owes its women a vibrant economy that allows job creation and is conducive for entrepreneurship and innovation. With opportunities, educated girls and women can reach for the stars and actually fulfill their dreams.
Chicago Sakerettes Conclude the International Women’s Day Campaign with a Look to the Future.
These sisters are the future of EXSSA USA and their message also takes us to the future. They are relatively young, dynamic and determined. They have worked hard to revive their chapter after a hiatus. ExSSA Chicago will rejoin the fold in the coming months as the 10th chapter of our organization. Having recently voted in a robust executive under the leadership of Ms. Daisy Viyouh and BeltherNukuna-Tangunyi, the Chi-town girls simply refused to be left out of this campaign. No way, no how! Welcome ladies and enjoy the ride! You have earned it. The ladies are going bold for our children, both boys and girls, without discrimination! Children are the very foundation of our existence, so “quality primary education is a must for boys and girls.” In fact, we cannot talk of equality and empowerment without recognizing and advocating for a solid educational foundation as a necessity during the fledgling years of a child’s life. Even the Bible holds that, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Being Bold for Change has been a tradition among our Chi-town sisters. They brought many innovative changes to our organization. We now choose a convention color theme each year, but it all started at the 2008 Chicago convention with an all-white boat ride. Even the boat ride lunch cruise was a first in EXSSA-USA! Yes, they elevated the quality of our convention with bold changes. No doubt the ladies are asking you confidently: Will you be Bold for Change?
At the end of this thought provoking campaign, EXSSA USA can only echo that question with the hope that your answer is a resounding “Yes!”
EXSSA-USA JOINS THE 2017 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CAMPAIGN
#BE BOLD FOR CHANGE
ExSSA USA Commemorates International Women’s Day. Tuesday March 8, 2016
“Pledge for Parity” is the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March. It is no coincidence that ExSSA USA, an avant-garde and cutting edge alumorganization, adopted projects and initiatives that would narrow the gender disparity discrepancy in secondary education.
Given the dearth of females in the field of science and technology, ExSSA USA is doing its part to narrow the gap by revamping the Science and Computer labs, and improving the infrastructure of (its alma mater) Saker Baptist College. These efforts will go a long way to improve the living conditions of the students and re-enthuse interest in the sciences. For more information on past and current initiatives, please visit exssa-usa.org.
According to the World Economic Forum predictions, given the current pace, the global gender gap will not close until 117 years from today.
It is for that reason that on this Women’s Day, women around the globe are shining the light on feminist causes, celebrating the achievements of women around the globe and advocating faster progress towards equality or parity in access to education, eradicate the glass ceiling and unequal pay, as well as other areas where discrimination thrives.
In Nigeria, for example, people are taking to streets to walk against gender-based violence, whilst in London, the “Women of the World” festival will take place in honor of IWD.
In Milwaukee, a mother-daughter duo: ExSSA USA’s Mrs. Christiana Ewusi Attere participated in an eventful Women’s Day celebration last Sunday where her daughter Liliane Attere-McFarlane was a panelist.
Mrs. Liliane Attere McFarlane (pictured above)
Whilst Dr. Joyce Ashuntangtang, ExSSA USA’s Vice President along with a group of talented professional women are synergizing efforts in a “woman to woman” IWD free teleconference, an enlightening discussion on hot topics that are at the core of female issues.
Celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) with a NIA exercise class. NIA, a blend of yoga, martial arts, and dance, is one of the latest trends in mind-body fitness fusion. NIA (pronounced NEE-ah) stands for neuromuscular integrative action, and it’s one of the latest trends in mind-body fitness fusion.
IWD celebrations: A cross-section of women from different countries in their respective cultural outfits
Also featuring in the IWD celebrations were the Nefertari African Dance Company.Nefertari African Dance Company was founded in 1968 at North Division High School under the Direction of Sarah Grant who was a long time teacher at the school. It was meant to provide young people of African descent an avenue to express pride in the culture of their ancestors. The group composed of female students and accompanied by male musicians, has received acclaim for their vivacious dexterity in presenting the variousforms of African Dance.
International Women’s Day truly is a call to action by women for women.
It is a celebration of women, and an opportunity to re-evaluate the role and potential of female across the board.
How will you join in the action to pledge for parity on this memorable Women’s Day? Here are some ideas.
- Participate in IWD events in your area.
- Support female-focused foundations like ExSSA USA. Visit exssa-usa.org and donate.
- Elevate, celebrate and appreciate the women in your lives!
Whatever you do, make it count.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Brought to you by Boh F Geh
ExSSA USA Public Relations
A Challenge to Action…Make it Happen!
EXSSA-USA Continues to Shine the Light on Women Making an Impact in Celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.
Keren Taylor is Bridging Gaps of Inequality through Mentoring.
ExSSA USA’s Dr. Joyce Ashuntantang conducts an interview with Keren Taylor, 2014 CNN Hero and Executive Director of WriteGirl, to highlight the positive impact of girl empowerment on this International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. WriteGirl is a creative writing and mentoring organization that promotes creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills to empower teen girls. In 2013 Keren’s organization, WriteGirl, received from the White House, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the highest national honor awarded to such programs. ExSSA USA, in line with its mission to empower girls recognizes women who are bridging gaps to ensure gender equality through empowerment. Keren Taylor exemplifies women wielding their power to bring change to issues affecting women and give them the tools to bridge inequality, advance themselves, their families, and communities.
Joyce Ashuntantang: Who was Keren Taylor before Writegirl.org?
Keren Taylor: Before I started WriteGirl, I was a singer/songwriter in New York City, a freelance writer, a tour guide, and a sales rep, among other things. I worked as an event planner and worked for various nonprofits – it was difficult to really find my way, find the path I wanted to be on. I studied International Relations in university, and thought that I might want to join the Foreign Service. But I changed my mind, moved to New York and focused on developing a career in music. Over time, it became clear to me that I didn’t want to be a performer – I was asked to lead some songwriting and poetry workshops for teens in New York, and it was then that I knew I wanted to invest myself in helping young people. I wanted to help bring people together, and I could see that teen girls were in great need of support, education and inspiration. I had many tremendous mentors as a teenager, so wanted to be a mentor to teen girls and pass on that energy and guidance.
Joyce Ashuntantang: How many years did you run Writegirl.org before people started taking notice?
In some ways, there were people who took notice of WriteGirl right away, even in the very beginning. When I first promoted the concept of WriteGirl to women writers, I was pleasantly surprised to receive responses from over 30 women. But now, after 14 years, we still have much work to do to promote our organization to individuals, organizations and the media.
Joyce Ashuntantang: What criteria do you use to admit girls to the program?
Keren Taylor: WriteGirl is open to all girls, 13 to 18. We recruit girls specifically from high-density schools in low income neighborhoods of Los Angeles, but we welcome girls from all backgrounds and areas. We have a strong network of teachers and counselors who help us reach out to underserved girls.
Joyce Ashuntantang: What an amazing project. What a profound impact. Looking back in your life can you point to a moment that prepared you for this mission?
Keren Taylor: In some ways, I feel like everything I have ever done has prepared me for the work I am doing now. I draw on everything I learned in business, in sales, in the music industry. But I continue to study, to attend conferences, to collaborate with others, to teach, and hone my skills as a nonprofit leader. I have much more to do, and much more to learn!
Joyce Ashuntantang: You tell us most of these at risk girls face incredible challenges, pregnancy, incaceration, violence in their family etc. What do you do not to be overwhelmed by the stories of these girls?
Keren Taylor: I am often very emotional when I hear what challenges our girls are facing every day. What calms me down is knowing that we truly offer a refuge and an inspiring environment for hundreds of girls. We can’t solve all of the issues, but we can help girls find and raise their voices, and give them tools to express their emotions, tell their stories, and develop the curiosity and critical thinking skills they need to set and achieve goals for themselves.
Joyce Ashuntantang: Once you are hit with the label “hero” some people stop seeing you as an ordinary person? What is ordinary about your life?
Keren Taylor: Oh gosh, I have so many ordinary things about me! I have only a few close friends and I’m only close to a few members in my family. I am learning how to garden, but I don’t really know what I’m doing yet! I get nervous walking into a room of people I don’t know. A few nights a week, I head home and watch a few hours of TV (ok – sometimes I work on my computer at the same time!)
Joyce Ashuntantang: What is your most treasured memory since you started this project?
Walking into the White House, visiting the East Wing, and receiving an award from First Lady Michelle Obama is a memory I will always cherish. That was an incredible experience, and a wonderful acknowledgement of the impact of WriteGirl.
Joyce Ashuntantang: Can you share some lessons learned from this project?
Keren Taylor: I continue to learn so many things on this journey – I have a big list of things I’ve learned, but I know there is much, much more ahead, I’m sure of that! Here are a few key things I know: Remove yourself from naysayers – they just deplete your energy and creativity. Surround yourself with positive people, and people who have skills that you do not have. Keep a laserbeam focus on the mission, and allow your decisions to be shaped by their compatibility with the mission. Know when to share information, and when to draw boundaries. Take time to reflect, and take time to relax – you will be a better leader when you are clear and rejuvenated. Be committed to achieving specific results – it’s important to be able to show the exact impact you are having, not just talk about programs. Continue to cultivate your passion and compassion – you can never have too much of those qualities!
Joyce Ashuntantang: Some girls and women reading this interview may never get the kind of opportunity that WriteGirl offers, what quick tips can you give them to help them to give voice to their experiences?
Keren Taylor: Keep a journal. Write down your observations, your dreams, your fears. If you don’t have your journal with you, then write on a napkin or the back of an envelope. Great songs and stories have been written on scraps of paper! Read books – lots of them. Find the authors that excite you and immerse yourself in their work. Find a friend who you can share your writing with – someone who will encourage and support you, not judge or critique your creative ideas. Make lists – lists are a great way to just pour out ideas and brainstorm, without editing yourself. Incorporate different kinds of creativity as you go – draw, sing, improvise, build, sculpt. Your writing will be stronger as you develop your creative ideas overall.
Joyce Ashuntantang : Where do you see this project in the next 20 years?
Keren Taylor:Over the past couple of years, I’ve been working on building a stronger foundation for WriteGirl so that we can expand and bring the program to girls outside of Los Angeles, and outside of America. We have a very special program that could help so many girls, and I’m very excited about developing projects to help girls in schools and organizations around the world, and helping to train teachers in our innovative creative writing workshops and mentoring programs for girls. In the 20 years, I look forward to seeing the WriteGirl approach and philosophy embraced by girls, schools and organizations in multiple cities in the U.S., and in several countries. I have a lot more to accomplish!
Joyce Ashuntantang: Anything we don’t know about Keren that we should know?
Keren Taylor: I am a jewelry designer and mosaic artist, although I don’t have much time to work on my art! I love making things from broken pottery, found objects and semi-precious stones. I enjoy the tactile aspect of making art and jewelry – it’s a great break from all the strategic planning, research and writing that I do with WriteGirl!
Joyce Ashuntantang: Thank you, Keren, for being an inspiration to so many girls and women.