By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – On Saturday, March 10, the United Nations Association, Oklahoma City Chapter (UNA-OKC) will host its annual International Women’s Day program. This year it will focus on the “State of Women’s Public Health in Oklahoma.”
The event will take place from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Raindrop Turkish House, 4444 North Classen Boulevard, in Oklahoma City.
The UNA-OKC is a non-profit, membership organization committed to supporting educating Oklahomans about the importance of global cooperation and United States leadership in the United Nations.
The event will feature a panel discussion that will cover three topics regarding women’s public health perspectives: 1) domestic violence and sexual assault, 2) mental health, and 3) Indigenous maternal health and well-being.
Panelists will include: Angela Beatty, Senior Director of Domestic Violence Victim Services at YWCA Oklahoma City; Leslie Ross, LPC, Project Director – Pathway to Recovery, Assisted Outpatient Treatment, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; and Enedina Banks, Language Preservationist, Citizen Potawatomi Nation & Advocate and Activist for Indigenous Women’s Health Issues
“This year’s theme for the Commission on the Status of Women 62 is Empowering Rural Women and Girls,” said Priya Desai, UNA-OKC president. “UNA-OKC took this to heart when we chose our panelists and the topics we would be covering. We looked at what issues Oklahoma women and girls, both urban and rural, face in this state.
“In highlighting these issues we hope to bring a sense of understanding of how all of these topics intersect with one another as well as how we can address them together to improve public health outcomes for women across the state,” Desai added.
During the program, the organization will be awarding UNA-OKC’s PowHer Microgrant to two recipients (one woman and one young girl). Each grant is worth $250. According to Desai, the PowHer Microgrant idea was the brainchild of Michelle Rodriguez, UNA-OKC’s VP of Programming.
“What we found was that there are so many great projects led by women and girls, but they often lack the resources to kickstart their dream projects,” Desai said. “We had 10 applicants – 8 women, 2 girls. We picked 2 projects that align with the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The event will offer light snacks and beverages as well as a silent auction that will raise funds to benefit UNA-OKC programs.
“The United Nations Association of Oklahoma City is proud to highlight the work of local women who are improving public health outcomes for women in both rural and urban settings at our annual International Women’s Day Program.
As a local chapter of the nation’s largest grassroots foreign policy organization, UNA-OKC offers Oklahomans the opportunity to connect with issues confronted by the UN, from global health and human rights to the spread of democracy, equitable development and international justice.
Organizers invite the public to come to the event and learn more about the UNA-OKC community service projects and how to get involved in supporting their efforts.