Women of Toledo Celebrate 2023 International Women’s Day

Speaker Negarina Cooper, Speaker Zarinah El-Amin, Moderator Christina Rodriguez.

The Truth Staff

The City of Toledo observed International Women’s Day on Wednesday, March 8, as hundreds gathered for a luncheon forum presented by the Women of Toledo at the Hiltons at Toledo Downtown. In collaboration with Dana, Inc, Women of Toledo acknowledged the global day – a day for celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also is a call to action for accelerating gender equity.

This was the sixth year that Women of Toledo has organized the International Women’s Day.

This year’s forum opened with remarks by Ardenia Jones Terry, PhD, updating the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Against All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) Gender Equity Commission that was established when City Council  voted for CEDAW, also known as the Bill of Rights for Women on March 8, 2022.

“Our mission is to advocate for cultural heritage and inclusion,” said Nina Corder, managing director of Women of Toledo. The organization will also be honoring Arab American Heritage Month in April and Asian American Heritage Month in May, noted Corder.

Woman of Toledo has built “a global network,” said Corder as she pointed to the influence of Dana and Owens Corning that “bring in a lot of international talent.” In fact, Corder added that representatives from 17 different nations attended last week’s celebration of International Women’s Day.

The highlight of the luncheon was a speaking program moderated by Christina Rodriguez, executive director of Mom’s House, and including guests Negarina Cooper, a singer-influencer of Iranian origin and corporate development officer at the Toledo Museum of Art, and Zarinah El-Amin, an anthropologist, resident of Detroit, who is the founder of Enliven Your Soul.

The trio’s discussion centered around the struggles in their countries of origin for women’s rights and the comparative advantages in the United States for such rights.

The luncheon was closed by a song by Toledo resident Nailya Weber (birth country – Kazakhstan) in Tatar, a Turkic language.

Established in 2014, Inclusive for Women Inc. – Women of Toledo is a 501c3 nonprofit organization serving the greater Toledo community that advocates for diversity and inclusion with a focus on economic empowerment. The organization offers programs and services that help tackle issues critical to women’s economic advancement and interrupt various biases in the workplace, marketplace, community, and family.

Since its inception, WOT has provided education, engagement, and empowerment to all women and youth in Greater Toledo. The organization has a well-developed organizational structure with both an Advisory and Governance Board. At all times cooperation and collaboration are sought in the community, to ensure that duplication is eliminated.

Measurement on impact includes: Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy, Decision Making, ​Economic Empowerment, Advancing Social and Emotional Learning,

Professional and Personal Development, The program framework helps participants reflect on their role as individuals in creating an innovation community where participants work towards positive living.

Photos Courtesy J. Bak Studios, LLC