Taylor University’s Global Engagement hosted its first Women of the World Week, which ran from Feb. 20 to Feb. 26. The week-long event included a slew of activities both on and off campus.
While familiar events like Global Christianity Week and World Religions Week are still planned for later in the semester, President of Global Engagement Jake McKim and his team were ready to shake things up to capture Taylor’s attention.
“My main thought about it is we often think it’s such a modern society we live in, and yet some of the problems that have been going on for centuries still exist,” McKim said. “They can be really hidden, so it’s good to highlight those and put a spotlight on some of the things that are still present today.”
The club knows those issues such as domestic and sexual abuse can be tough to address.
Over the course of Women of the World Week, Global Engagement raised funds for Hands of Hope, a treatment center in Marion, Indiana, that helps women who have dealt with domestic violence.
A portion of the ticket sales for Nostalgia Night will be donated to the treatment center. Additionally, a $1 donation was recommended for entry to Thursday night’s screening of “Hive” in Cornwall.
“Our main hope, especially through our fundraiser with Hands of Hope…(is) that we can have a better understanding of how we can be helping them, where we can be looking to see these issues more in our lives so that we’re not blind to them, (and) just have a better awareness of some of the stuff that’s present that maybe we don’t see because we’re at Taylor so often and it’s easy to get clouded by some things here,” McKim said.
Ivannav Davila joined Global Engagement after first getting involved with Taylor’s International Student Society (ISS). She said she joined Global Engagement so she could help plan events that might reach a larger audience on Taylor’s campus.
For Davila, it is important to localize issues, but she does not want to lose sight of the challenges women are facing universally.
“I think we also want to keep our focus on the global society,” Davila said.
For that, Global Engagement reached out to Rhona Murungi, a former Taylor Student who now works at World Relief. The organization has offices around the globe and is focused on addressing problems like disasters, extreme poverty, violence, oppression and mass displacement, according to their website.
Murungi serves as the director of finance and operations for World Relief’s Strengthening Community Health Outcomes through Positive Engagement (SCOPE) Project.
According to the World Relief website, “SCOPE aims to reduce preventable maternal and child mortality and morbidity in Haiti, Kenya, Malawi and South Sudan by engaging community health workers, faith leaders and community groups to advance reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH).”
McKim said Steve Austin, Associate Dean of Student Leadership and Director of Student Programs, suggested Murungi as a possible guest during Women of the World Week.
She spoke in chapel last Wednesday and also participated in a panel that evening on women in leadership inside the Garage Room.
“She has a lot of powerful things to say, so I’m glad we’re having her on campus,” McKim said.
Activities off campus included a vendor market at Sender Cafe in Marion. The event featured live music and multiple student-run small businesses connected to both Taylor and Indiana Wesleyan University.
McKim said it’s a good opportunity for students from both campuses to come together, mingle and have quality conversations.
This might have been Global Engagement’s first Women of the World Week, but both Davila and McKim hope it won’t be the last.
“We all have to work together to get a better future,” Davila said.