“Courage” Theme includes Citizens Storming Capitol Hill for Change, an Online Art Gallery and Twitter Photo Campaign
ATLANTA — A female race car driver shattering barriers in the Middle East. A Twitter photo campaign and online art gallery celebrating courage. Over 200 citizens fanning out across Capitol Hill to demand change for the world’s impoverished women and girls. These are just some of the elements going into the global poverty-fighting organization CARE’s celebration of International Women’s Day 2014.
Placing a special emphasis on the theme of courage, CARE is highlighting the accomplishments of women around the globe while advocating for policies that will help girls and women overcome the obstacles and inequities they continue to face.
“Courage is the catalyst for real and lasting change,” said Helene D. Gayle, president and CEO of CARE. “On International Women’s Day, we celebrate those who not only overcome incredible challenges every day but also strive to find solutions to persistent obstacles that remain.”
A key part of CARE’s annual International Women’s Day celebration is its national conference. The two-day conference begins on March 5 when more than 200 of CARE’s citizen advocates will gather in Washington D.C. to voice their support for critical funding and programs to improve the lives of poor women and girls around the world. Attendees will learn about key legislative issues including food aid reform, combating gender-based violence and smart foreign aid. They will then head to Capitol Hill to discuss these issues with lawmakers and their staffs.
This year marks CARE’s 12th annual conference, which features advocates from nearly every state, partner organizations, corporations and leaders in global development. Key speakers include Dr. Jim Yong Kim, World Bank President; Anne-Marie Slaughter, president of New America Foundation and Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), president of the Lugar Center.
“Each year, CARE’s National Conference is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of our citizen advocate network and the collective power they have to affect policy change,” said Gayle. “The voices of everyday citizens bring a powerful message to our policymakers about the importance of supporting successful life-saving and life-changing policies and programs. It is even more crucial that we speak up to ensure that these critical poverty-fighting programs are adequately and appropriately funded.”
Corporate sponsors of CARE’s conference include Cargill, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Delta Air Lines , Gap Inc., Teavana, The UPS Foundation and Walmart.
Also at the annual conference, CARE will present its “I am Powerful” award to Marah Zahalka, the youngest member of the Middle East’s first all-female motor racing team. Just 22 years old, Zahalka, is from Jenin, a city in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. She spent her youth under curfew and tight military control during the second Palestinian uprising but taught herself how to drive at ten years old. Today she races against other women and men.
“I am honored to receive this award from CARE,” said Zahalka. “I hope that it serves as a reminder to women all over the world that we really can do anything.”
This year CARE’s International Women’s Day celebration will also include:
- A Twitter photo campaign. CARE is asking people to share their photos of courage under the hashtag of #IAmCourage. CARE will select a few of the photos to feature on care.org.
- CARE is also teaming up with rising vocal artist, Celeste Buckingham to share her song, “I’m Not Sorry.” In honor of International Women’s Day, Buckingham recorded a video for the song that features women from all around the world.
“The message in this video is that I am proud of being a woman,” said Buckingham. “I am not sorry for being a woman and neither should any other woman or girl,” she said, adding that the discrimination of women not only hurts women and girls “but the foundation of our human society.”
- Dr. Gayle is a guest curator for a collection for The International Museum of Women – an online museum dedicated to celebrate, inspire and advance the lives of women around the world. Dubbed “Curating Change,” the collection features global thought leaders’ and artists’ selections of inspiring art, multimedia, and stories drawn from IMOW’s rich global archives on critical contemporary issues for women. Dr. Gayle’s collection on “Courage” has been featured and promoted online since February 24 and will run through March 16, 2014.
Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience delivering emergency aid during times of crisis. Our emergency responses focus on the needs of the most vulnerable populations, particularly girls and women. Last year CARE worked in 84 countries and reached more than 83 million people around the world. To learn more, visit www.care.org.