My visit to the United Nations ECOSOC Youth Forum in New York City, Jan 30–31.
My first involvement with the United Nations was last September when I was invited to be a key partner with the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Media Zone. I was excited to launch my first book, Permanent Happiness, there and gave a speech about peace/permanent happiness and how it relates to SDG 16—peace, justice and strong institutions.
This was a phenomenal experience—being on the world platform and sharing my thoughts on how we can all come together to attain individual and, ultimately, world peace was an opportunity I’ll never forget.
So when I was invited back to be a key partner of the SDG Media Zone and the UN ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) Youth Forum, I was more than delighted.
I’m writing this blog post sitting on the plane headed back to Atlanta from NY after the conclusion of the forum.
I am ever so optimistic and strengthened by my experience at the forum. It was inspiring and motivating to meet so many people who are involved in contributing to the Sustainable Developmental Goals.
On day 1, I served on a panel with Eglantina Zingg, an actress and influencer, and Aicha Eichel, the moderator, a youth activist, and a high school junior. Our discussion topic was “Bridging across the Generations: Helping Young People Reach Their Potential.” I was so inspired by both ladies. Eglantina, a native of Venezuela, is making a difference by using the power of soccer/football to positively influence youth. Aicha, a native of Guinea, West Africa, made a special impression on me—hard to believe a high school junior could have so much confidence, poise, and passion to make our world better. Their main interest was SDG 5—gender equality.
With Actress and Influencer, Eglantina Zingg and Youth activist, Aicha Cherif
Click link to watch entire video:
I met NYC bloggers Gina Doost (left) and Ellese Launer (right), who were supportive and encouraging. I can’t wait to visit their blogs and learn more about what they do.
The Green Girls Robotic team, from Minnesota, also inspired me. Each middle and high school girl spoke with passion about her plans, hopes, and dreams for the future. Some of the girls wanted to be doctors, some engineers, and they all consistently shared dreams of fighting for women’s rights and social justice in different ways. If every young person had this much drive and zeal to be their best selves, our future would be bright for sure.
(The Robotics team pictured above)
The panel of the Women Leaders of the UN was my favorite of the night. The three women on the panel (Amina Mohammed, the UN deputy secretary-general, was one of them), as well as the moderator, were full of wisdom. I listened to every word, soaked it all in, and recorded most of their speeches. Amina Mohammed tackled a very popular question: Can women have it all? Talking about work-life balance, her conclusion was interesting, and I totally agreed. She said, “If you just want to be fulfilled in your career and you are not seeking a leadership position, you could probably have a good balance, but if you are a woman seeking a position of leadership, something’s got to give.”
These are bloggers - Maddie and Jo
Other women leaders of the UN discussed how women should support other women and how we must take opportunities and make wise choices. I will be going back periodically to listen to the videos, to stay inspired and to remind myself of all the nuggets of wisdom they shared.
Day 1—I met many other key people. Day 2—I met YouTube bloggers Damon and Jo, whose passion is SDG 6—clean water and sanitation.
My UN experience both times has been so fulfilling! The opportunity to be involved in making our world a better place via the UN platform is one I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams.
Watch this space! I have been invited back to the UN and will be returning soon to be a part of another great cause. Stay tuned!
There are 17 Sustainable development goals—Global Goals. See below link for more info on how you can get involved.
My areas of interest are:
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being for people.
SDG 4: Quality Education.
SDG 5: Gender Equality.
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities.
Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Which of these goals will you be working on?
Learn more at UN.org, get involved today.
Let’s make our world better and permanently happy!