International Civic Engagement to Be Examined at Conference at Bryn Mawr Next Week

Posted January 24th, 2008 at 6:02 pm.

photo: Cynthia Eyakuze-DiDomenicoAcademics will join international-development, public-health, and human-rights professionals and student volunteers at Bryn Mawr next week to discuss civic engagement on a global scale. “International Civic Engagement: NGO Work in the Global South,” a conference co-sponsored by the Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center and the Center for International Studies, will take place Thursday and Friday, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, at Wyndham Alumnae House and the Dorothy Vernon Room.

Hepburn Fellow Cynthia Eyakuze-Di Domenico ’94, director of the Open Society Institute’s Public Health Watch, will open the conference at 7:30 on Thursday evening with a keynote address titled “More than ABC: Working to Improve the Reproductive Health of Adolescent and Young Women in Africa.” Eyakuze, who graduated from Bryn Mawr with an A.B. and M.A. in French, earned a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University and held positions with the Women’s Environment and Development Organization, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Family Care International’s Francophone Africa Program before joining Public Health Watch.

Eyakuze-Di Domenico’s talk will be followed by a discussion featuring Bryn Mawr faculty members Susan White, a chemist who has taught in the West African nation of Togo and acts as the treasurer of a nonprofit organization that funds projects in Togo, and Mary Osirim, a sociologist who has conducted extensive fieldwork on women, entrepreneurship, and the roles of the state and nongovernmental organizations in the microenterprise sectors of Nigeria and Zimbabwe, in which Bryn Mawr students have participated as research assistants.

The following morning, participants will reconvene in the Dorothy Vernon Room in Haffner Hall for coffee and a welcome from Hepburn Center Director Leslie Rescorla, who will discuss the Center’s role in fostering civic engagement abroad.

A morning session will feature Dan Wagner, a professor of human development at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education who directs the International Literacy Institute and co-chairs the Penn Global Development Initiative; and Imani Countess, who recently joined TransAfrica Forum as its director of public affairs after five years as the director of the American Friends Service Committee’s Africa program.

Just before lunch, a panel of six Bryn Mawr students who have participated in international internships will describe and discuss their civic engagement experiences abroad.

For a complete schedule, download a PDF of the conference poster.

Registration for the conference is free, and box lunches will be provided for a limited number of participants who preregister. Participants should RSVP to

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