Making Strides: A Global Gathering of Women Leaders

I had the wonderful opportunity as an Eisenhower Fellow to be invited in 2015 in a conference that gathered inspiring women leaders from around the globe. I was among the speakers at Making Strides: Global Networks Forum on Women’s Leadership held in Miami, Florida USA on November 17 to 19, 2015.

In her letter, Diane Shoemaker, Senior Director for Global Fellows Network of Eisenhower Fellowships wrote “we believe your knowledge, leadership and example would greatly inspire the participants of this forum who will descend on Miami from around the world.”

At the welcome reception in Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami on November 17, 2015 as Eisenhower Fellow of the Philippines in 2012

During three-day conference, I had the privilege to listen to distinguished women such as Phumzile Mlambo Ngucka, Executive Director of UN Women and UN Under Secretary-General, Governor Christie Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey, Donna Shalala, President of the Clinton Foundation and Isela Costantini, President and CEO of GM Argentina.

Phumzile Mlambo Ngucka, Executive Director of UN Women and UN Under Secretary-General
Governor Christie Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey

The welcome reception was held at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami. Vizcaya is the former villa and estate of businessman James Deering, of the Deering McCormick-International Harvester fortune, on Biscayne Bay in the present day Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, Florida. The early 20th century Vizcaya estate includes extensive Italian Renaissance gardens; native woodland landscape; and a historic village outbuildings compound. The landscape and architecture were influenced by Veneto and Tuscan Italian Renaissance models and designed in the Mediterranean Revival architecture style, with Baroque elements.

This was a historic first gathering of women leaders from the Global Leadership Consortium, a group that included at least 150 alumni from the prestigious Eisenhower, Ashoka, Kellogg, Harvard Loeb and German Marshall Memorial fellowship programs, along with other prominent women in leadership positions worldwide.

With Diane Shoemaker and Mayor Daisy Sayangda, 2015 EF Fellow from the Philippines
With Hamdan Majeed, my fellow 2012 EF Fellow from Malaysia

The Miami forum capped the Eisenhower Fellowships’ Women’s Leadership Program that fall, which brought together 25 ascendant mid-career women leaders from around the world to the United States for seven-week individualized fellowships.

My talk was set on November 18 in a  session on “Human Trafficking: Domestic Violence Prevention and Judicial Policies”.  I shared our advocacies my advocacies as founder of the Anti-Trafficking Legal Advocates Society (ATLAS) and as partner of Visayan Forum Foundation.

Our panel was on Human Trafficking and Restorative Justice Practices and Designs and I was joined by Deanna Van Buren  (Loeb Fellow), Founder, FOURM design studio and Marta Pascual (EF Argentina ’88), Social Policies Coordinator, City of Buenos Aires, Judicial Branch.

Marta is a lawyer and Master Degree in Public Law from the Universidad de Palermo. She is a Juvenile Criminal Judge at Lomas de Zamora, Argentina. She is a full-time professor for Minority and Family Law at Universidad  Nacional de Lomas de Zamora.

Deanna Van Buren is an architect and global thought leader researching, formulating, and advocating for restorative justice centers, a radical transformation of justice architecture. She sits on the national board of Architects, Designers, and Planning for Social Responsibility and is the founding partner of FOURM design studio, a firm creating spaces for peacemaking and restorative justice.

With my fellow speakers Deanna Van Buren and Marta Pascual

Session Time: November 18 from 1:45 – 2:45 p.m

Location:14th floor of the EPIC Hotel 

Presenters: Deanna van Buren, Jocelle Batapa Sigue, Marta Pascual

In this session, a global panel of thought leaders in justice will present innovations in cross discipline and cross sector approaches towards addressing crime from the development of spaces for peacemaking to the inclusion of communities as part of the solution to transforming how we address crime. Case studies and projects will include work underway in setting up restorative justice system to address juvenile crime in Argentina, development of the first center for restorative justice/restorative economics in Oakland California and examples of how community stakeholders are contributing to the prevention of human trafficking in the Philippines.

Before and following the presentations design tools and restorative dialogue will be used to  explore how restorative justice can support the healing and transformation of perpetrators and victims of violence as opposed to our traditional justice system and what is the role of government and community partnerships in developing alternative approaches to addressing crime.

At the forum, I was able to meet many women leaders and engaged in peer mentoring and advanced leadership development dialogues and workshops. The forum provided a unique opportunity for me and for all the participants to share leadership strategies and innovations across their networks, disciplines and borders to solve the numerous, complex issues women face globally.

The forum deeply enriched my journey and perspectives as a woman leader.  It further opened my eyes to the many challenges the world faces through the eyes of women and how women leaders in various fields can make a difference.

With Vania Masías, Director, Angeles D1 (Ashoka Fellow) and performers of the Angeles D1 Youth Leadership Development Through Dance

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