With Kyla P’an and Nicole Melancon
UNGA has always sounded like such a mystical and tribal nomenclature for the United Nations General Assembly meeting to me. Yet in my circle we banter it around in conversation that third week in September as international leaders and dignitaries meet to discuss the worlds most pressing issues. The Clinton Global Initiative and Social Good Summit take place that same week, in the same city. This makes New York City a hot bed of global, humanitarian, and environmental energy and inspiration.
New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof best described the Social Good Summit at which he spoke, and that I was attending for my third year, as the grassroots equivalent of the United Nations General Assembly. And that is where my colleagues and I spend most of our time with the exception of a few satellite events here and there. So this time last week my mind was still buzzing with the likes of Melinda Gates and Al Gore, and I’ve been sifting through piles of notes, cards, and thoughts ever since. With so much going on it can be truly overwhelming. Trying to get from event to event in a timely manner is a feat unto itself with all of the street blockages, and the level of security in the city. Let’s just say that as fulfilling an experience as it is to be there, it is not one bit a relaxing experience. So I’ve spent some time digesting my takeaway, and here are the standout moments for me.
Before I even got there my 15 year old, along with hundreds of thousands of other people, took part in the People’s Climate March through the streets of Manhattan. The March was serving as a message to world leaders who would be meeting a couple of days later for the UN Climate Summit. So although I was not there in person, my thoughts were there as a nervous wreck knowing my daughter was in a sea of people in New York City without me. She said it was awe inspiring. There might be an activist in the making in our family.
My road trip buddy was fellow World Moms Blog Senior Editor Kyla P’an who also writes at Growing Muses. We rolled into NYC just in time to catch the tail end of the Every Woman Every Child reception to launch the #MDG456Live digital conversation taking place during UNGA Week. Women Deliver, Girls Globe, FHI 360 and Johnson & Johnson, partnered for this event in support of Every Woman Every Child, and to launch the #MDG456 Live campaign. The event also served to celebrate the progress and #commit2deliver for the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. Luckily we got there in time to hear Ugandan rappers Weasel and Radio perform.
In the morning I joined United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellows Nicole Melancon and Jennifer Burden for a session with Shot@Life Director Devi Thomas to learn about MAMA , or Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action, and how mobile technology is being used to improve maternal and child health around the world.
Social Good Fellows and Shot@Life Champions at the summit
That kicked off the morning and led into a series of change makers who spoke at the summit. Including my hero Melinda Gates.
In the evening we joined ONE, Save The Children and the Gates Foundation for a round table discussion on pressing global issues such as the “Trillion Dollar Scandal”, the continuing Syrian refugee crisis, and the Ebola crisis. There we heard from Actor Idris Elba, President of Save The Children Carolyn Miles, Jamie Drummond co-founder of ONE, and Dr. Chris Elias President of global Development for the Gates Foundation. This felt like and incredible opportunity to hear directly from these amazing leaders of progress and get a real finger on the pulse of these pressing issues.
w/ President and CEO of Save The Children Carolyn Miles, Kyla P’an Senior Editor at World Moms Blog and writer at GrowingMuses, and World Moms Blog Founder Jennifer Burden
As we do every year, we left the summit full of new information and inspiration, already excited to come back for the next one. Here are a few more brilliant moments from #UNGA week & the #2030NOW Social Good Summit:
Idris on the Ebola crisis:
This talk went viral, and she was amazing, and if you have not yet listened to Emma Watson address the gender issue, then you need to now.
Alicia Keyes amazing performance was another event that everyone was talking about.