Supporting Feminist Movement Building

Friday, March 17, 2017, 5 - 8pm

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This free, public event features leaders and activists from civil society, global institutions, and local and national governments reflecting on and discussing the challenges and emerging opportunities for strengthening movement building to ensure the achievement of gender equality and the women’s rights agenda – Planet 50-50 – by 2030.

As a side event to the 61st meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) the evening's program includes:

Film and Arts Festival: “The Personal is the Political” 

Thirteen young filmmakers and photographers from eleven countries will tell the stories of feminist activists and civil society leaders participating in the first week of CSW61 (13-17 March 2017), and produce short artistic pieces (in video and multi-media formats) that showcase their contribution to gender equality in their communities and countries. The multi-media pieces will be shown at this special event to celebrate the importance of supporting feminist movement building and the role played by civil society in achieving women’s rights.

From “Me” to “We”: A testament to movement building

Testimonies from civil society leaders will elaborate how feminist movement building as an expression of political solidarity has advanced the gender equality and social justice agenda. Activists will share succinct, powerful testimonies in a TED Talk style.

This segment will include reactions/ interaction from the floor.

Leaders’ Commitment to Support Movement Building for Planet 50-50 by 2030

Discussion: representatives of global institutions including the United Nations and local and national government officials will reflect on the civil society leaders’ testimonies, and discuss their own commitments, in their roles as leaders and policy makers, to support movement building for gender equality and social justice at the global, national and local levels. This segment will have a panel discussion format and be followed by interventions from the floor.


Co-sponsors: UN Women, OHCHR, the City of New York’s Commission on Gender Equity, ICRW, CIVICUS and Cooper Union; in partnership with Made in NY Media Center by IFP, Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and 30under30 Film Festival

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.