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The General Congress of Women

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Wambui Nigige 

Wambui is an attorney based in Nairobi, Kenya and Global Trustee of the United Religions Initiative. She mobilizes young men and women to join URI and break the cycle of youth being used to propagate hate. Her experience in research and advocacy on youth and women’s rights has enabled her to use unity of religions to bring women and young people together as a way of fighting extremism and uniting Kenyans. Wambui strives to engage and sustain interconnected communities to promote respect for diversity, non-violent resolution of conflict and social, political, economic, and environmental justice. 

She has extensive experience in; influencing policies at the community and national level, working on women and girls overall program management and coordination human rights issues, sexual and reproductive health and rights, LGBTIQ rights and advocacy.

She is passionate about the principle of social justice and her passion stems from witnessing injustices in the society at large. She hopes that the wheels of justice in Kenya will grind faster and that the poor shall one day have an equal voice while at that.

She is also a global trustee at United Religions Initiative focused on religious tolerance to make peace among young people and use religious setup to dismantle patriarchy..


Nina Simons,

Nina is the Co-founder of Bioneers and its Everywoman’s Leadership program. She also co-founded and led Cultivating Women's Leadership and is a longtime member of Women Donors Network.

Nina Simons is an award-winning social entrepreneur and visionary thinker. In 1990, she co-founded Bioneers with her husband and partner, Kenny Ausubel. Over that time she has helped to lead the organization through 29 years of identifying, gathering and disseminating breakthrough innovations that reveal a positive and life-honoring future that’s within our grasp, today.


Nina’s work currently focuses on writing, speaking and teaching about women, leadership, diversity, nature, systems thinking, leading from the heart, and restoring the feminine in us all. She is the founder of Bioneers' Everywoman's Leadership Program and co-created the Cultivating Women’s Leadership residential trainings in collaboration with Toby Herzlich and Akaya Windwood.

For more about Nina, please visit

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Grandmother Laurel Robertson

an Odawa elder

Greetings, Boozhoo! My name is Laurel Robertson. I am of the Odawa People of North America. I am a wife, mother and grandmother. For many years, I have been active in the community in several ways. Most recent is having a seat on the Board of Directors with the River Sidon Peace with Justice Project, and Grandmothers Circle the Earth.  I assist with two Pow-wows a year teaching cultural traditions, and also helping and participating as a vendor, whenever possible at others. 

For 17 years, I have been a member of All Nations Veterans Council of Detroit, Michigan and secretary now for 8 years.  

I am one of the founding members of Turtle Island Dream Keepers of Monroe, Michigan and held the position of treasurer for 9 years and secretary for 1 year.  I am on the Diversity Committee at Monroe County Community College in Monroe, Michigan and part of the Diversity Committee and round table community involvement group at Siena Heights University of Adrian, Michigan. 

In December of 2013, I had the honor and privilege to be part of the repatriation of remains being held by the University of Michigan, to be returned to the Tribes for proper burial. I was also asked in 2019, to write an article on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Violence Against Women Act for the Washington DC Magazine: Network Connection.    


I strive to walk the medicine path. I enjoy going to schools and other organizations to speak, share stories, and traditional/cultural teachings. In a dream I was given a jingle dress. I went to an elder and shared my dream and that I felt I was too old to do the strenuous dancing involved and I did not know about herbal healing. She prayed on it and came back to me with this wisdom; there are more ways than one of healing. Not just physical but mental and spiritual and that is where I was to help others. My knowledge is that of life, and I have learned that all the trials and tribulations I have been through were to be used to help others.   

Article information can be found at:>newsroom/connection 

Click on the search icon. Type in my Name: Laurel Robertson, click enter 

Click on, Understanding VAWA’S Importance for Native Communities  

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Ann Smith is the former Director of Women’s Ministries of the National Episcopal Church and Global Education Associates, UN NGOs.  She helped design five women’s leaderships programs; Leadership 1985, 85 86, a five-day regional program, Women of Vision, Gaining Authority Through Education, Training and Service (GATES), Creative Journey and Indigenous Women’s Pathways.  She trained trainers and hundreds of facilitators around the world.  She is the co-author Stories From the Circle: Women’s Leadership in Community, co-author WomenPrints: A Detailed Plan of Action for the New Millennium, co-edited Women’s Uncommon Prayers: Our Lives Revealed Nurtured Celebrated. She serves on the Circle of Directors for S.A.R.A.H., co-creator of The Goddess Files and co-creator and co-facilitator of General Congress of Women and Southwest Florida Congress of Women.  Her passion and intention is bringing sacred circles experience to all settings.  

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