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Celebrate International Womens Day by Befriending a Refugee Woman in your Community




This has been adapted from a GR press article from February 27, 2011 by Erin Albanese.


Raise your hand if you think women are bridges to a better future.

Is your hand up? Then come out and join us as we celebrate International Women’s Day in style.

Lutheran Social Services of Michigan is coordinating The International Women’s Day event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.

“It’s a celebration of women in general, but we really want to use it as a platform to honor women living in the community who are refugees,” said Dana Doll, volunteer coordinator for Refugee Services for Lutheran Social Services of Michigan.

The bridge movement was started by Women for Women International, an organization which provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency.

'Join Us on the Bridge'

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 8

Where: Starts at Ladies Literary Club, 61 Sheldon Blvd. SE, Grand Rapids. Participants will march to Fulton Street Bridge to get a picture taken to be posted with thousands of others around the world in celebration of women as bridges to peace and development

‘Pray the Devil Back to Hell”
Free viewing of documentary film about women of Liberia who brought the end to civil war

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 9

Where: Ladies Literary Club, 61 Sheldon Blvd. SE.

Contact: 916-5770

Musician Brie Stoner will perform a free concert and participants will make a banner to display at the bridge.

Lutheran Social services also is sponsoring a free showing of the award-winning documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.” It chronicles the story of thousands of Liberian women who came together to pray for peace and staged a silent protest outside of the Presidential Palace demanding a resolution to the country’s civil war. Their actions were a critical element in bringing about an agreement during the stalled peace talks.

Many of the refugee families are headed by single females who have lost their husbands due to conflicts in their home countries, said Chris Cavanaugh, manager of refugee services. Many have been targeted for sexual violence.

Doll is hoping to involve as many women refugees as possible and is seeking volunteers to drive them to the event.

If you would like to volunteer for International Women's Day, please call 616.916.5770.
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