2 groups collaborate on the fight for gender equality
Project 1948 and the MUSED. Organization will give Tulsa women a voice at the UN's Commission on the Status of Women.
In March, Tulsans Jenifer White and Victoria McArtor will speak at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City. The opportunity came about as a result of White’s Project 1948 receiving special consultative status as a non-governmental organization from the U.N. Economic and Social Council this past summer.
Tulsa women will have a voice at the United Nations Headquarters this spring, thanks to the collaboration of two Tulsa-based organizations.
Jenifer White is the founder of Project 1948, a photo-voice initiative focused in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She and Victoria McArtor, co-founder of the MUSED. organization, a poetry and collaborative arts nonprofit, will speak about gender equality at the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women March 12-23 in New York City.
Project 1948 gives donated cameras to young adults in Bosnia and Herzegovina and asks them to document daily life in an effort to bring an understanding of issues surrounding the Bosnian genocide of the 1990s. According to White, photography provides young Bosnians a channel to express concerns about their community.
The MUSED. organization offers many events and programs, including the Reverse Selfie Project, a six-week creative-and-critical thinking workshop hosted in Tulsa Public middle and high schools.
Although the missions of Project 1948 and MUSED. differ, McArtor says they both center on therapeutic arts. “Jen is giving young people a camera, and I’m giving them a piece of paper and a pen,” McArtor says, “but the impacts are similar: amplifying voices and encouraging participation.”
In preparation to address the Commission on the Status of Women, the pair are asking Tulsa women to host “Mrs. Jeffersonian” dinners: small gatherings of engaged citizens who meet to discuss a shared interest or theme — in this case, gender equality. Unlike a traditional dinner party, guests will be encouraged to address the entire group when speaking and to avoid side conversations.
White and McArtor will facilitate the dinners, gathering ideas on how to create gender equality in Tulsa. They also plan to circulate surveys in the community. The pair say they will present their findings at the conference; forge partnerships there with international citizens, diplomats and member states; negotiate an outcome document to further push the women’s rights agenda forward; and return to Tulsa with a plan to increase leadership and participation among girls and young women.
“We want every woman in Tulsa to say, ‘I have a voice at the U.N. this year,’” White says.
To host a Mrs. Jeffersonian dinner around the topic of gender equality, visit musedorganization.org/UNwomen.