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Visiting the United Nations

When Native American Fatherhood and Families Association (NAFFA) visited the United Nations in New York City on March 11th to March 14th, the staff attended the Commission on the Status of Women 68.

This is the largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the world through the United Nations. Solutions to end women’s poverty are widely recognized and discussed with governments and civil society organizations leading to improve policies and programs that address boosting women’s agency and leadership. About half of the presentations are in the actual United Nations building while many other organizations and agencies sponsor presentations in other locations close by.

NAFFA (the sister organization to International Association of Families or IAF) has been an NGO since December 2022 which gave NAFFA the ability to sponsor their own events during the two-week conference. (March 11-22).

Poland sponsored a presentation within the UN building to create solutions to help those widows from Ukraine after the war started in February 2022. Polish Minister of Equality Katarzyna Kotula, presented solutions from the Polish government to help solve the concern of many widows who found safety in Poland. Their “Make Widows Matter” campaign has helped thousands of women get on their feet financially and take care of their children. (Left:Polish Minister of Equality Katarzyna Kotula and WHO member Dr. Manjulaa Narasinhan sit in front of the Make Widows Matter slide)

Another presenter, 92-year-old Margaret Owen created an organization called “Widows for Peace through Democracy”. She sponsored a widow from Ukraine to attend her presentation who spoke about the issues faced in a war torn Ukraine. (Pictured at right)

Along with the Commission on the Status of Women conference, there was also the Conference on the State of Women and Family (CSWF) which is organized by profamily NGOs promoting the strength of the family. Their two-day conference outside at the Millennium Hilton at the UN Plaza promoted the ideals of protecting the family unit. Al Pooley presented on Indigenous Healing to Empower Women and Families and those attended were excited to hear his message. (see )

One of the more interesting presentations we attended was called Enhancing Women’s Voices and Rights Panel. This panel consisted of three women in the New York area, Farah Tanis, Lisa Daniell and Rev. Dr. Karen V. Brown. Each woman on the panel, spoke about their contribution to help sustain women.


Farah Tanis started Restore Forward and bought property in Oneida County, NY. She started a cooperative of 12 women volunteering their talents to help the group. One woman started a garden to share her food.   Another woman started sewing clothes for others. Another woman started an art program. Each participant took on a project they could use to help their community overcome poverty and become self-reliant. The cooperative has been so successful, this organization has grown to 150 individuals committed to building a vision for healing and honoring their understanding of human connection with the natural world.


Lisa Daniell organized a membership association called Women’s Press Collective for printers, writers, artists, and community and labor organizers to help report in magazines and publications to report stories that the corporate media would not tell. She has helped many women become self-sufficient and has helped communities in the New York City area improve their economic and social struggles.


The last woman to speak on this panel was Reverend Dr. Karen V. Brown who is the Pastor of Hope Presbyterian church in Baltimore, MD. She represents women of African descent in Panama and organizes outreach programs for economic development sponsoring a youth ministry and entrepreneurship called Umoja Children’s Greeting Card company.  (Umoja means Unity in Swahili) Dr. Brown’s mantra is “we can do all things in Christ “and they accomplished much. This ministry of African American children active since 1993 calls themselves “Youth from the Hood Working for Good and have earned over $150,000 selling greeting cards across the country in two years’ time and is still going strong today.

This panel of women were inspiring and motivational in assisting others to become self-sufficient and sustainable in their communities.

Our attendance throughout the week was inspiring and motivational to see the good many have achieved and set an example of what the power of one person can accomplish.

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