by Sharon Svec
In 2015, the World YWCA Council adopted a Young Women’s Leadership Policy, which confirmed the World YWCA’s commitment to the implementation of a human rights based approach to young women’s leadership, and established the Envisioning 2035 goal. The goal is, “By 2035, 100 million young women and girls will transform power structures to create justice, gender equality and a world without violence and war; leading a sustainable YWCA movement inclusive of all women.” Former SafeChoice advocate Lauren Sheridan was a part of the groundbreaking efforts, which established this goal and developed the leadership policy.
Two years later, YWCA Clark County was happy to celebrate another staff member, Heather Redman of the CASA Clark County Program who was accepted in February 2017 as a member of the Young Women’s Global Advisory Council. The Council was created to advise and drive the implementation of the Envisioning 2035 goal.
Young women leaders from all over the globe were encouraged to apply. Those selected to serve demonstrated a strong commitment to, and understanding of, YWCA’s core beliefs, women’s leadership, inter-generational leadership, and a commitment to diversity. Heather serves as the North American Representative along with seven young women who represent other areas of the globe; Nive Sharat Chandran, Hanya Abdallah, Varaidzo Magogo Matimba, Ja Pan Awn, Johanna Svanelid, Sophia Pierre Antione, Lisa Gascoigne, and Isabella Diaz.
Since February of last year, the council has been connecting mostly through Skype. This June, they will have the first opportunity to meet in person during a week-long conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Here, they will join the United Nations Human Rights Council to discuss and create advocacy strategies toward empowering and engaging young women within their communities and throughout the globe.
Heather’s family, friends and co-workers are excited to see her off on June 15th for this once in a lifetime opportunity. YWCA Clark County’s director of programs, Stephanie Barr shared, “Heather is a smart and capable leader, and we are thrilled that she will bring her strong voice and unique perspective to the task force.” Heather’s sister, Holly is a strong supporter as well. She started a gofund me page to help Heather pay for the expenses of her trip.
Heather could not be more grateful for the opportunity and support she’s received thus far, “I really was surprised to find out I had been selected. I am so excited for this opportunity to pursue my passion of creating a more inclusive world for young women and girls.”