Scholarships for the Third International Women’s Convo

Scholarships for the Third International Women's Convo

Crowdfunding Completed: November 4, 2016

Amount Funded: $5100

Project Owner: International Women's Convocation

Short Description of Project

Support travel costs for several women from around the world to attend the Third International U*U Women’s Convocation, February 16-19, 2017 at Asilomar, CA, providing them with an opportunity to connect with an international women’s community, share ideas, learn from each other and be inspired to act for change.

How was this project connected to UU?

This is a project of the International Women’s Convocation (IWC). IWC is a nonprofit organization of Unitarians and Universalists as well as other people of liberal religious faith, with a Unitarian*Universalist leadership. IWC is part of the Coalition of UU International Organizations.
On International Women’s Day in March, the United Nations affirmed that Gender Equity is a top priority for global sustainability. The Convocation is a powerful opportunity for Unitarians Universalists to connect with this crucial effort, building and nurturing intercultural exchanges about our shared UU values and beliefs and commitment to create a more equitable – and sustainable – world. The purpose of the Gathering fits these UUA principles: the inherent worth and dignity of every person; Justice, equity and compassion in human relations; the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Full Description of Project


The International Women’s Convocation (IWC) will host its Third International Convocation of Unitarian*Universalist Women and People of Progressive Faith at Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA, February 16-19, 2017. The Convocation’s theme is “Weaving Global Partnerships…Forging a Just Future Together.” The event will bring together U*U women from around the world to connect, share, celebrate, and empower in the beautiful, inspirational setting of Asilomar, “a refuge by the sea.” The two previous convocations took part in Houston, TX (2009) and Transylvania, Romania (2012). The Houston convocation produced inspiration and implementation of a successful micro-finance loan program in Uganda. The Transylvania convocation inspired the creation of many grassroots empowerment projects and a successful five-module Leadership School for Hungarian women. For more information on the Third Convocation, please visit

Scholarship Funds

The women featured below are some of the women IWC has invited to attend the Convocation; they all have limited financial resources. We need YOUR financial support to enable women like these to participate, giving them the opportunity to network as well as gather resources and inspiration for positive change. YOUR contribution can help make a difference in these women's lives - thank you for your support!

Michellemichelle-obrien O’Brien, Bolivia

Michelle is an English-Spanish interpreter in La Paz. She worked with IWC for the 2015 Women’s Gathering in Bolivia, and manages its post-Gathering Facebook page, Semillas de Poder (Seeds of Power). She has grown as a woman from what she experienced at the Bolivia Gathering, and sees participation in the Convocation as an opportunity to learn from projects, exchange points of view, share experiences, and get inspiration to create positive change in her own community.

Erika Léta, Hungary erikaletacropped

A Unitarian minister’s wife from Budapest, Erika would like to participate in order to learn from models and programs related to women’s education, economic opportunities, and achievement of gender equality. She would like to explore ways of increasing love, faith, compassion, and tolerance – in an increasingly intolerant world.

reemaben-photo-croppedReema Nanavaty, India

Reema Nanavaty leads the Self Employed Women's Association's (SEWA) economic and rural development activities. SEWA is a trade union of poor, self-employed women workers in India. Reema's efforts bring livelihood opportunities for millions of poor women of India. We would be pleased to have her share her experiences with us – a testimony to how the collective strength of women gives millions of SEWA sisters economic independence and empowerment.

Philes Aigah, Kenyaaigah-resized

Philes is the secretary of the Kisii UU Congregation's social justice services, and in this capacity she has organized social justice seminars and workshops on female genital mutilation and the importance of girls' education. She also educates the community about safe drinking water through the congregation's Ceramic Water Filter Production project.

rosela-pieraRosela Piera, Philippines

Rosela is treasurer of the Dumaguete UU Church, Philippines. She looks forward to hearing from women from many different countries, sharing, and learning – and applying the knowledge she gained in her community. She is especially concerned about violence against women – and is eager to explore how others in the international community are dealing with this issue.

Justyna Borusynska, Polandjustyna-borusinska

Justyna is striving to re-establish a Unitarian group and a Unitarian-friendly environment in Poland. She would like to meet women from other countries to share experiences and build resources – especially related to women’s health and reproductive justice issues, as Poland’s ultra conservative political arena is threatening to severely curtail women’s rights.

Who is organizing the Gathering?

The International Women’s Convocation (IWC) is the leading UU organization focused on global women’s rights and empowerment. A central mission of IWC is to establish a schedule of recurring international convocations and, between these events, smaller gatherings for women. IWC sponsors and co-sponsors these events always collaborating with other groups that have international interests and with regional or local women’s and social justice groups. Another vital mission is to serve as an incubator for innovative projects that enhance the lives of women and their families worldwide. For more information, visit us at

What is the purpose of the Gathering?

Connect with liberal religious women of diverse ages and cultures to help build just societies worldwide;
Discover inspiring work for global women's rights and gender equality;
Celebrate and empower women through worship, art, music, knowledge, nature, and community;
Grow and act together to enrich women's lives worldwide.
How will the money raised in Faithify be used?

The money raised through Faithify will underwrite the travel costs of several women from other countries through the Margot Adler Scholarship Fund. IWC is raising the funds to cover these women’s accommodation and board during the four-day event from other sources.