Media Contact: Omar Shareef
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh, July 23, 2012: In collaboration with the U.S. State Department and the Seven Sisters women’s colleges, the Asian University for Women will host the Women in Public Service Summer Institute from August 1 to August 15, 2012. The collaborative Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) seeks to “build a generation of women leaders who will invest in their countries and communities, provide leadership in their governments, and change the way global solutions are forged,” making AUW an ideal partner and host for the project.
AUW’s Summer Institute will be a three-week public service and leadership training program dedicated to strategy and solutions for the most pressing societal concerns, and the public sector roles that the women of Asia will take on in tackling them. The workshops will enable participants to focus not only on Big Ideas, but also on the most effective ways to implement them through governmental institutions. In the summer of 2013, a number of AUW Summer Institute 2012 participants will return to their home countries to implement their own Women in Public Service Institutes, which will be uniquely tailored to their home contexts and allow the students to apply the skills that they have learned. These students will then return to AUW in the fall of 2013 to present their projects to the greater AUW student body.
“My hope is that [the AUW participants] will use the skills honed here not only to better [their] communities and nations, but also to inspire others – some younger and some older, who have plenty to learn from [their] fresh perspectives,” said Jane Harman, Director, President, and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. WPSP moved to the Wilson Center in June of this year.
Thirty current undergraduate students and 13 incoming Access Academy students will participate in the Summer Institute. The students have been selected based on their academic performance, record of extracurricular and community activities, and their ideas about solutions to social issues and the most effective ways to implement those solutions through governmental institutions. Several students will also be selected to live-blog and live-tweet the Institute events as part of the social media initiative of the WPSP.
The courses will be taught by Dr. Rangita de Silva de Alwis (S.J.D.), with modules of study including Women’s Rights as Human Rights, Ethics in Public Service, Listening to Women’s Voices and Narratives, and the Role of the Media in Advancing Gender Equality, Accountability, and Good Governance. Dr. de Silva de Alwis is the Director of the WPSP's inaugural institute at Wellesley College. She will be heading the Global Women's Leadership Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars where she will direct the WPSP and the Council of Women World Leaders - a network of current and former women heads of state.
AUW’s Summer Institute will follow the inaugural Women in Public Service Institute at Wellesley College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, in the United States. The next WPSP Institute, entitled Women’s Leadership: Public Service and Global Health, will be held in Paris, France and co-sponsored by Smith College and the U.S. State Department. Future institutes will be co-sponsored by Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, and Mount Holyoke College, all members of the Seven Sisters colleges, which are the leading women’s colleges in the United States.