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Simmons Co-hosts Women in Public Service Project Institute

(August 20, 2014) -- From May 25-June 6, 2014, Simmons co-hosted the 2014 Women in Public Service Project Institute, bringing together a group of 50 women from more than 20 nations ravaged by war, political violence, and human rights violations.

Women in Public Service Project Institute 2014
Project delegates traveled from more than 20 countries around the world

The emerging women leaders traveled to Massachusetts to receive mentoring and support in their work to rebuild communities and to address "Reconstructing Societies in the Wake of Conflict: Transitional Justice and Economic Development."

Simmons President Helen Drinan said, "Their stories still rivet me: Wai Wai Nu, who spent seven of her 27 years as a political prisoner and now fights for the rights of marginalized women in Myanmar; Achol Williams Amoi, a mother of seven girls and the first woman speaker of the State Legislative Assembly in South Sudan, a country struggling after more than two decades of war; and Tasmiah Rahman, who is working on getting women into 'formal' employment in Bangladesh."

Women in Public Service Project Institute 2014
President Drinan accepting a gift from some of the project delegates

The event was co-sponsored by Mount Holyoke College and Smith College and in partnership with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Co-founded by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other women leaders including Madeleine Albright, the U.S. State Department and America's leading women's colleges, the Institute aims to provide emerging women leaders with the concrete tools and training necessary to increase the scope, efficacy, and visibility of their work.

President Drinan, who spent three years starting in 1970 working with the Peace Corps in the Philippines, said, "Whether fighting for equal pay for women in the United States, or providing access to an education for girls in a remote village, all world citizens – men and women – should be relentless in agitating for equality and justice for all."

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