By Natalia Sucre, Instruction & Digital Services Librarian 

At our last library virtual roundtable, Women’s Grassroots Leadership: Global/Local, on the last day of Women’s history week, we were led by two distinguished guests —Dr. Pamela Ransom of MCNY and Shorai Chitongo of the Huairou Commission through a broadranging discussion of women’s political power and potential—already realized in many countries more than it is in the U.S. today.  

Women’s positioning in societies across the world –the basic argument went– gives rise to perspectives and initiatives that can have great impacts on governance and policy at all levels. Shorai Chitongo shared her experience of making the Zimbabwe government recognize and equitably reward the homebased care system led by women that the country had come to rely on heavily during the AIDS crisis. A timely discussion, as just that week the White House proposed to expand the definition of infrastructure to include home healthcare.  

MPA student Lilly Simon spoke insightfully of the different ways in which women being in charge can correct bias in the making of so much of our world —from cars to equipment for first responders—and actually save lives. 

And in sharing her journey as women’s rights advocate beginning with her work for the Women’s Environmental Development OrganizationDr. Ransom drove home the nexus between the global women’s movement and environmental justice activism. 

Picking up on that connection and in the spirit of claiming political power, we alert you to New York City’s first Environmental Justice for All Report—a project in the making. This initiative invites all New Yorkers to shape what environmental justice in this city should look like. You can fill out the survey here and write in with additional comments to The period for public comment closes on April 30th. 

We wish you a restful intercession. Here’s to all your hard work this semester and to coming back refreshed next semester! And, a happy graduation season to all those finishing their degrees this Spring.