Burma at the Crossroads–an AWIU Delegation to Burma San Francisco Presentation

February 2, 2014

ImageThe American Women for International Understanding (http://www.awiu.org) held their 2014 Annual Meeting in San Francisco in January. Their 53rd delegation to Burma/Myanmar had just returned 5 days ago.  Five members of the delegation ( three from Northern California) gave a review of the trip and announced their delegation follow up. which included making connections to low cost residential water systems and helping the political university founded by Zin Mar Aung.   Zin is a 2012 US State Department awardee of their International Women of Courage Award.

The Burma Night presentation was held at the Historic Peace Center Red Victorian Inn  AWIU was featured on the Red Vic Facebook

AWIU has held a Celebration Banquet for these women each year for the last seven years   All interested are invited to attend this celebration at the National Press Club on March 4th.


Cokie Roberts heads this year’s Honorary Committee for the March 4th event at the Prestigious National Press Club i Washington..

Register to attend HERE

To learn more about AWIU and the celebration go to awiu.org  or click the following LINK


Melanne Verveer, the first Global Ambassador for Women for the US State Department will accept the Internationalism Award at the Celebration.

REGISTER WITH AWIU.ORG for more information.  Want to become a member?   Please contact membership@awiu.org.


NILA SHEWAN: Will speak December 4, 2012: Afghanistan: Up Close and Personal

November 7, 2012

December 4, 12:30 pm, Helman Palace, San Francisco 

SPEAKER NILA SHEWAN grew up in Afghanistan. Her family fled during the war between Afghanistan and Russia. Escaping first to Germany, they later came to the United States, settling in the Bay Area, home to the largest Afghan community in the US. Here, Nila hosted a Farsi language radio talk show that was broadcast worldwide. She will share her childhood experiences in Afghanistan, the striking cultural changes now, and challenges her fellow immigrants face. She will also share success stories that include her sister’s clothing line based on traditional elements.

PLACE Helmand Palace: 2424 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco 94109 (between Green and Union) 415-345-0072

Owner Haychan Hassan is opening exclusively for us with Afghan dishes chosen by our speaker:

COST $30.00.  You can pay via credit or debit card HERE.  Please fill in a donation for $30.

 OR send a check to: Joan Poulos, P.O. Box 1241 Bodega Bay, CA 94923     (707-875-3695) Prepayment confirms your reservation. Refunds require cancellation by Dec 1. Call Kathleen Huston for info. 510-537-3973 (after 11/26) khuston18@yahoo.com


September 28, 2012

Cristi Hegranes Founder/Executive Director, Global Press Institute and Pat Bergstresser, Media Advisor, US State Department, Iraq  inspired the Chapter with there first hand stories demonstrating how an individual can make a real difference in the lives of others.

Cristi Hegranes, Executive Director/Founder Global Press Institute

Cristi used her own story as an example.  She was a journalist and she saw women needed more of a voice.  She used her expertise to help that voice speak.

Pat as Media Advisor for the US State Department in Iraq also saw the role of women change in that country.  Read more at Northern California Chapter awiu.org.

Christi Hegranes Global Press Institute Speaks at April 9 Meeting

April 11, 2011

Cristi Hegranes, Founder of the Global Press Institute was the speaker.  The Global Press Institute trains women in their home countries to become reporters.  After only five years, there are already press desks in 24 countries.


Each reporter is required to take the training presented by Global Press, including an
Ethics program.  An ethics refresher course is required every 6 months.  After the women become qualified they begin to write and they are paid.


There is increasing interest in the program. For the last training session, 350 women applied for 5 positions.

The program lets women who KNOW their villages and towns tell their stories to the world, unfiltered by political repression or political correctness.


There is an emphasis on good journalism, and each reporter is bound by the code of ethics.  Several hard-hitting stories (about the sexual price women pay as repercussion for political action, and one about the devastating effects of cross-cast marriages) have resulted in changes of law.


The Prime Minister of Nepal, personally, intervened after reading an intense story of the effects of cross-cast marriages.  Cross cost marriages may have extreme consequences.  Participants have been shunned, driven from their villages or even had their homes burned. He supported legislation in Nepal to prevent repetition of acts of this kind.


Ms. Hegranes, who takes no salary, reported that the most recent audit (they are a 503c3) showed that 96% of the grants and contributions they received went directly into the program.   One of their reporters has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.


The ultimate result of this program is to allow women to have a voice; to become economically independent and to speak out without fear of reprisal or retribution.


This program is different from the micro lending programs (which Ms. Hegranes was quick to laud).  These reporters become persons of status in their communities, not relegated to creating crafts for sale or working in low status industries.


There are many examples of reporters attaining leadership positions in their villages by virtue of their training and their words being read by thousands of people worldwide.


The Northern California Chapter plans to continue their relationship with Global Press Institute.
The next Northern California Chapter meeting is planned for July in the Napa Valley.



March 23, 2011

Welcome to the Northern California Blog.  You can find the details on our April 9, 2011 meeting.  ‘click the link below