‘Unfailing Bridges’ – Connecting black women around the world
Friday, March 27th, 2015
For the first time in Belize, the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI) hosted the International Black Women’s Empowerment Conference. The event took place in Placencia in the Stann Creek District from the 19th to the 22nd of March. A total of 35 women from various countries, including the United States of America (USA), Africa and Belize, participated in the event aimed at connecting black women from around the world.
Following the conference, President of the IBWPPI, Barbara Perkins told The San Pedro Sun that the historic event, held under the theme “Unfailing Bridges,” saw positive results. “The success of the conference is that we made a very strong connection with women through WIN-Belize, which is a consortium of women’s organization in Belize. We also made a strong connection with the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Belize who has an excellent program with women from all ages.” During their visit in Belize, the IBWPPI members also made a donation of a wide variety of items to the YWCA that will add to their organization’s supply. They plan to work along with programs that will see the strengthening of women’s agenda in Belize.
According to Perkins, many of the women in Belize they came in contact with have not had full schooling and many lack sound economic means. Despite that, Perkins explained that their knowledge of looking after their children and family can be applied to make better for themselves in other areas. For that reason, the conference in Belize also looked at the state of black women in Belize.
When ask how the theme fits in with their vision, Perkins said that their organization continues to work on the unfailing bridges left behind by women who have championed similar causes in the past. “We want to build on the legacy of women that have already begun to work together. Even though it may look like a long time ago, when our grandmothers did all the work, those bridges that they built, are still alive and well today. We had four major business sessions around education, the health and well being of women and their families, HIV and AIDS, how disproportionately affected black women are, and women’s economic empowerment.”
As part of their stay in Belize, some members of the delegation from the IBWPPI visited Ambergris Caye. During their stay in San Pedro Town, Miss San Pedro Michelle Nuñez paid a courtesy call to Perkins. They both exchanged ideas related to young women and the leadership role in the community. “As much as we did not come here to invade any political space, we want to say loud and clear that young girls deserve the right to be safe. Young girls are not for sale. And even when we see them out, and when it appears that they make a decision, they may be minors. A minor does not have the wisdom and the years of their lives to make healthy, best, choices for themselves. As adult women, we have a responsibility to take care of them, protect them and love them,” stated Perkins.
The International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute, with their headquarters located in Washington DC, is a policy-based organization that seeks to identify priorities and issues affecting black women internationally. Their vision is to connect and advocate for Black women globally through acts of kindness and public policy with a strong focus on the issues of Education, Women’s Economic Empowerment and the Health and Well Being of Black women and girls.
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