International Women’s Day celebration to feature panel on women and the environment

Old Brick
Night of 1,000 Dinners will take place at Old Brick Church. — photo by Alan Light via Flickr Creative Commons

The Iowa United Nations Association (UNA) will host their thirteenth annual Night of 1,000 Dinners at the Old Brick Church (26 E. Market St.) tonight, March 5, at 6 p.m. The event is an early celebration for International Women’s Day which takes place on Sunday, March 8.

“We recognize International Women’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate progress made by women worldwide and to call for further action,” said Matthew Wolf, the Executive Director of the Iowa UNA. “The U.N. coordinates efforts among member-nations to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.”

The Iowa UNA hosts Night of 1,000 Dinners annually on the Thursday closest to International Women’s Day, and Wolf says it’s an excellent chance to address gender equality.

“Gender equality, as enshrined in the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is not only a basic human right, but also has the potential for profound socio-economic progress through the inclusion of women in labor markets, education and political progresses,” Wolf said.

The theme of this year’s event will be “Women and the Environment,” and following dinner highlighting various international cuisines, there will be a panel of women who will speak about the environment and the pressing issues it is currently facing.

“Of chief concern in both of these opportunities is the role of women in sustainable development and the protection of the environment,” Wolf said. “Our panelists Liz Christiansen, Director of the University Iowa Office of Sustainability; Connie Mutel, Senior Science Writer and Archivist at IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering; and Dr. Michele Pesantubbee, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and American Indian Native Studies will bring diverse perspectives on sustainability, science, and women’s issues to the conversation.”

This evening’s event will also include an art sale to benefit the U.N. Trust Fund to End Violence against Women and Girls, with pieces donated by organizations and individuals, including the Iowa Historical Society and local artist Fidencio Martinez.

Tickets cost $25 ($10 for students) and can be purchased prior to the event either online or by calling 319-337-7290. A limited number will be available at the door for $30 ($12 for students).

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