On Monday night we were asked to think about and reflect on where we had seen God during the day. I immediately started writing. I had seen God in so many places throughout the day in conversations, in peoples’ actions and in peoples’ words.
I carried that question with me through the rest of my time at the UNCSW 59 and found myself every night recalling all the places I had seen God that day. One of my most impactful moments of seeing God at work was on Wednesday morning listening to rural peasant women from Venezuela and Guatemala who are grass root organizers speak about the injustices they and the other women in their communities face.
Both women gave statistics revealing that over 50% of peasant and rural women live in poverty or extreme poverty. That there land continues to be taken away from them, and that their countries choose to import food from other countries instead of hiring the indigenous people, like themselves, to grow the crops.
As I sat and listened I became engulfed by their passion, their energy, and their determination to continue fighting for their rights. As one of the women said, “Rural women are a force to reckoned with! We grow food that feeds our community, and we support and help grow the economy.” Like all of the women I have encountered this week, these women are not letting the injustices they face every day stop them.
I am leaving New York and heading back home today with a renewed energy. I am also returning with a renewed determination that I will no longer let those things that in the past have caused me to be afraid to speak up and take action will no longer keep me silent.
Minda Davison, Iowa City, IA