Women and girls from Staunton and surrounding areas will prove that you don’t need to be on an actual bridge to be part of the “Join Me on the Bridge” celebration of International Women’s Day. Organized by Mary Baldwin University students, a motivated group will gather at Page Terrace — where graduates cross a symbolic bridge from college to the outside world annually at Commencement — at 4 p.m. February 21 in support of female survivors of war in countries such as Afghanistan, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Iraq.
Women for Women International will host the signature event on a bridge between the Congo and Rwanda, and the Mary Baldwin event will be one of hundreds of gatherings across the US, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Mary Baldwin formed one of the first collegiate partnerships with Women for Women this year and established a Sister Sponsorship with the organization after Women for Women director Karen Sherman spoke at the college’s 2009 Commencement.
As an expression of Women for Women’s mission, Mary Baldwin participants will display messages and wishes for peace and empowerment for women in war-torn countries around the world. Mary Baldwin President Pamela Fox is scheduled to speak about raising awareness and funds for women in conflict zones.
Join the Mary Baldwin community if you can, but if you miss it, photos and videos of Mary Baldwin’s event will be posted on Women for Women’s Web site with similar images from around the world. In addition, Baja Bean Co. will donate 10 percent of its proceeds from 5 to 10 p.m. that day in support of Mary Baldwin’s Sister Sponsorship, helping women victims of war to rebuild their lives.
Since 1993, Women for Women International has empowered more than 243,000 women survivors of war to move towards economic self-sufficiency by providing financial and emotional support, jobs and business skills training, rights and leadership education.
International Woman’s Day events are intended to “show that women can build the bridges of peace and development for the future,” according to the organization’s Web site.