It’s hard to believe we are already half-way through 2021. The team remains busy as we transition into a hybrid work environment in Washington, DC. Although all of us have faced many challenges in the last year, we also have made some strides forward. I’m happy to share Our Secure Future’s mid-year wins with you.
I am proud to announce that OSF Program Manager, Erin Cooper, has been selected to serve as a Women, Peace and Security Policy Analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Erin will be seconded from One Earth Future Foundation (OEF) and serve in the Office in the International Humanitarian Policy Directorate. Erin’s role will be to help codify WPS at the department to ensure compliance with the Women, Peace and Security Act and standardize processes and procedures across the commands and services. It is an amazing opportunity to have someone from the OSF team be a part of policy creation at the U.S. Department of Defense, but we will feel the loss on our team. We are currently in the process of hiring a new team member that we will be happy to introduce in the coming months.
Internally, we had two team members recognized for One Earth Future’s Universal Principles award given out once a month. I was named in April for “Openness to Feedback and Collaboration” and OSF Project Specialist Hannah Proctor was named in June for “Ownership Over Outputs.” Hannah and I are so grateful to be recognized by our colleagues for our work. We are glad to work with such a passionate group of people dedicated to building sustainable peace.
OSF Program Coordinator George Koichi Wong was also recently featured in OEF’s Perspectives on Peace video series. Perspectives on Peace is a spotlight series elevating some of the different voices, experiences, and expertise across OEF’s six programs and highlighting their dynamic individual stories that contribute to our greater mission of peacebuilding. George speaks to the importance of gender mainstreaming, male allyship, and "positive peace" versus "negative peace" in efforts to create sustainable peace. Check out the entire series!
Launching Project Delphi, we are turning towards the future of Women, Peace and Security. Our policy brief on WPS and the digital ecosystem published in January identifies some key trends that will have a significant impact on our peace and security structures. As part of this work, we partnered with Foreign Policy magazine for an event titled Women, Peace and Security for the Digital Age and presented our policy brief to the Shimmering Solidarity: Global Rights Summit. We are looking forward to more events this fall putting gender on the tech agenda.
MAWPS- May Event and Two years on blog?
Two years since its launch in 2019, the joint-project Mobilizing Men as Partners for Women, Peace, and Security (MAWPS) is continuing strong in its mission to strengthen and empower women’s organizations in conflict-affected countries by distributing 18 Distinguished Partners for Women, Peace and Security awards. In May, the MAWPS project convened a closed-door facilitation to the distinguished awardee organizations with major actors in the WPS field, including representatives from the US government, INGOs, foundations, and individual donors. Supporting local organizations, particularly women’s organizations, working to prevent, respond to and rebuild after conflict is critical to advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda, and ensuring women have an active role in bringing peace to their communities and countries.
YALI and Shift video
Our Secure Future wants to help translate research and evidence into practice and understanding by condensing messaging points through multiple mediums to bring action. We are excited to continue to develop video content furthering the reach of WPS to different stakeholders and policymakers. Our SHIFT: Ask a Different Question presentation has been developed into a full length training video and a short explainer. Additionally, the U.S. Department of State asked OSF to create a virtual lesson as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) course on Advancing the Role of Women in Politics, Peace and Security, and Economic Institutions. We hope you are willing to share our content in your upcoming classes and trainings!
The Women, Peace and Security Congressional Caucus has continued its important work throughout 2021. Under the leadership of Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) and Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL), the Caucus has increased its membership to 24 bipartisan Members of Congress. They have also hosted a staffer-level training with civil society organizations, and, most notably, a member-level hearing with four Afghan women negotiators on the status of women in Afghanistan. Both events were widely attended, and the Afghanistan event made national news (see CNN and Ms. Magazine).