Thursday, April 15, 2010

Honoring a Pioneer of Human Rights from Nigeria

A remarkable group of women attended a special breakfast last Friday at Rutgers-Newark, to honor a pioneer of human rights, the Honorable Abike Dabiri Erewa, chairman, House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Nigeria Federal House of Representatives.

The breakfast was jointly hosted by Rutgers-Newark Vice Chancellor Marcia Brown and the Honorable Sheila Oliver, speaker, New Jersey Assembly; and organized by Lorna Johnson, CEO of Global Linkages, Inc. and a alumna of Rutgers School of Law-Newark.

R-N graduate student Yetunde Odugbesan, whose family is from Nigeria, said:

"It was an honor to be in a room filled with such great and powerful women leaders that I admire. Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa is not only an inspiration to me but to Nigerians all over the world. She is leading the way for young leaders like myself to make a difference in their homeland and communities. City Council President Mildred Crump said at the breakfast meeting that, 'A powerful woman does not have to shout, she only has to whisper and the whole world will hear.' I believe this quote attributes to the hard work so many women are humbly doing all over the world and especially in our own communities. That our power is not in what we say but how we lead. It is our leadership, talents, skills, intelligence and so much more that speaks for us. This was a meeting filled with empowerment, motivation, and hope. It gave me the assurance that nothing can stop a women who has made up her mind to change the world, absolutely nothing. "

This event was a kick-off to a project that will promote and support economic and educational exchanges between New Jersey and Nigeria.

All photos are by Helen Paxton, director of Communications at Rutgers-Newark

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