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Black Tie International:
Women’s Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Post-2015 Agenda
Photos by:  Dr. Judy Kurinsky/Blacktiemagazine.com
 
“Women’s Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Post-2015 Agenda,”
“Women’s Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Post-2015 Agenda,”
 
“Women’s Mental Health and Wellbeing
in the Post-2015 Agenda,”
at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
 
 
The event on “Women’s Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Post-2015 Agenda,” held March 9 at New York’s Armenian Convention Centre as part of the two-weeklong annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) drew a packed room.  Called Beijing+20 in honor of its 20th anniversary since gathering in Beijing, China in 1994, the CSW sessions discuss progress towards achieving gender equality, women’s empowerment, and women’s rights like freedom from violence, participation in land ownership and equal pay for equal work.
     Moderated by Professor of Africana Studies at Rowan University Dr. Corann Okorodudu, the event was a unique mixture of panelists with professorial perspectives and performances, all from diverse cultures.
     Powerful presentations covered challenges of pregnant women in India, by Dr. Padmini Murthy of the Medical Women’s International Association; women suffering from fibroids, by UN NGO representative for the International Association of Applied Psychology Grace Charrier; child victims of trafficking by Pace University professor Dr. Yvonne Rafferty; and violence against women, presented by Drs. Janet Sigel and Florence Denmark, UN NGO representatives.
     Men also suffer and need to be part of the CSW conversation, emphasized Chair of the Psychology Coalition Dr. Judy Kuriansky, producer of the event. She showed a riveting video of young men describing their stress working in a burial team in Sierra Leone, during a workshop she conducted with them on a recent mission there.
     Since CSW often emphasizes the importance of involving young women, the event opened and closed with teenagers singing. 16-year-old Sheimyrah Mighty of Jamaican-Haitian heritage, captivated the audience with her powerful performance of the song “Every Woman, Every Child.” The original anthem written by Dr. Judy Kuriansky and international composer Russell Daisey, supports the theme of the UN Secretary General’s campaign of the same name. 
     Also16 years old, Hispanic-born Sophia Angelica equally wowed the audience when closing the event singing “I Will Always Love You,” the song made popular by Whitney Houston’s performance in the movie, “the Bodyguard.”
      Also earning a standing ovation was Japanese operatic soprano and international recording artist Tomoko Shibata, who sang a Japanese version of an original song. “Towers of Light,” written by the team of Daisey and Kuriansky, to honor the victims of New York’s  9’11 and Japan’s 3/11 tsunami/earthquake, given the  4th anniversary of that event. Shibata spoken of the need to honor values of the older generation of women while being more open in self-expression as younger Japanese girls.
     A powerful original dance by two young medical students from Albany Medical College, Indian-born Shilpa Darivemula and Rohini Rau-Murty, dramatized their interpretation of women healing within to integrate her self and feel empowered.
     A duo of Chinese-born virtuoso musical artists, Feifei Yang and Jiaju of F J Music Fusion, played ancient Chinese instruments in their original composition of “Rose: Women’s Strength and Empowerment from Early Days to Beijing+2 to Beyond 2015.”
     In the spirit of CSW, the participants pledged partnerships to advance women’s rights, empowerment, mental health and wellbeing.
 
Sheimyrah Mighty singing original song “Every Woman Every Child”
Sheimyrah Mighty singing original song "Every Women Every Child"
Shilpa Darivemula and Rohini Rau-Murty performing original dance about women’s empowerment
Shilpa Darivemula and Rohini -Murty, performing original dance
about women's empowerment.
Dr. Padmini Murthy of the Women’s International Medical Association
 Dr. Padmini Murthy of the Women’s International Medical Association
Musicians Feifei Yang and Jaiju Shen of FJ Music Fusion
Musicians Feifei Yang and Jaiju Shen of FJ Music Fusion
playing ancient Chinese instruments
Japanese operatic soprano Tomoko Shibata singing Japanese version of “Towers of Light” about healing
Japanese operatic soprano Tomoko Shibata singing Japanese version of “Towers of Light” about healing
Sophia Angelica singing “I will Always love You”
Sophia Angelica singing “I will Always love You”
Grace Charrier UN NGO Representative of the International Association of Applied Psychology
Grace Charrier UN NGO Representative of the
International Association of Applied Psychology
Event producers and UN NGO reps Dr.Judy Kuriansky and Russell Daisey (front row)
Event producers and UN NGO reps Dr.Judy Kuriansky and Russell Daisey (front row)
with all the performing artists
 

joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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