We hope you all enjoyed your special holiday weekend with family during our extended days. I find that we sometimes forget the meaning behind holidays, so I wanted to make sure that we remind ourselves of the significance of International Women’s Day. In this year, it is particularly poignant that we consider the roots of this special occasion and recognize Russia as one of the early founders of this date, with their own special context for its significance. Their adoption of March 8th in 1917 is now broadly adopted throughout the world and particularly so when the United Nations called on all countries to adopt the date in 1977. I remember with fondness our own students who put together Girl Rising just over two years ago as an extension of this theme. I was very proud of their work and the inspiration it provided to all of our students. In the short time since Girl Rising, we continue to see tremendous movement in the sphere of gender equality that has outpaced many of the decades prior. I doubt that our students two years ago would have expected that we would see the growing number of female leaders in countries around the world, many ascending to power in the most recent decade. We see evidence all around us that the last vestiges of discrimination are being uncovered, and gender discrimination in particular has been a focus of attention. But, the work is far from complete until we fully level the playing field across all lines of diversity. I have challenged staff to recommit themselves to this topic throughout the school in honor of this year’s International Women’s Day. As a school that values tolerance and respect, we must hold these holidays in high regard as they remind us of the core tenets of our mission and vision — for ourselves and for the world.
The challenge is working its way toward deadline next week and the donations are coming in as expected from our supportive and engaged community. There are still positions available and the printed recognition poster leaves with me next week to adorn the walls of each of our three projects in Africa — and beyond. I’m ready to speak on behalf of the community of AAS and the supporters that stand beside me in recognizing this important work. Don’t miss out on having your name on this year’s challenge. Call me directly if you have any questions. (+7 495 231 4481) The paypal link for donations is still: Director’s Challenge If you’d like to make a payment to the AAS cashier, the donation form can be found here.