The fourth annual meeting of Women Graduates-USA took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota in September, using the theme of “Our Neighborhood…The World.” Site visits took place at the Hmong Cultural and Education Center and the American Indian Women’s Resource Center that particularly focuses on the needs of reservation women who have been trafficked. The group then split up into small groups for dinner at several of the 30 ethnic restaurants located in a two-block area. The evening ended with an interactive art performance by a German Federation member, Feri Tabrisi. Other international guests who contributed to the conference were the Canadian CIR Susan Russell, UWE President Griselda Kenyon, and IFUW VP Willemijn van der Meer.
Keynote speakers addressed WG-USA priorities such as strategies for ratifying CEDAW and its relationship to education opportunities for girls, and the efforts by the federal government in regard to stopping human trafficking into and out of the USA.
As a focus of the WG-USA issue on education for immigrant and refugee girls, the conference voted to support the federal “Dream Act” which allows college-age students who were brought into the USA illegally as children to have access to funding for higher education, leading to citizenship. A second resolution passed that commits WG-USA to advocate for the United Nations Resolutions on Women and Peace, also establishing a program working group to examine ways that members can advance committed relationships with women around the world, including developing a twinning project with another NFA. We urge our sisters around the world to visit our website http://wg-usa.org and contact us if there is a common project you would like to work on with WG-USA.