Written by: William Keepin, Cynthia Brix, Zanele Khumalo, and Antonia Porter
GRI Highlights for 2015:
- Two independent research projects on our methodology of Gender Reconciliation were launched at two universities in South Africa, with highly promising results. Monthly follow up groups for students ran throughout most of the academic year. University researchers say “the data is really very rich, and we already have important themes ‘jumping out at us.’ The first scholarly journal article(s) from this research are expected to be published in 2016.
- Thirteen intensive 3-day workshops on Gender Reconciliation were conducted: in South Africa (seven), the United States (three), India (two), and Australia (one). These included public workshops and invitational programs for NGOs, educational institutions, and spiritual and religious organizations.
- Introductory presentations on Gender Reconciliation were conducted at seven U.S. universities and colleges, including a full three-day intensive workshop at Pacific Lutheran University which was a major success (and they invited us back next year).
- A new year-long professional training was launched in South Africa for a group of 22 highly qualified trainees, and three of the four 5-day training modules have been completed. Another training starts as soon as this one is completed.
- GRI staff presented at the NGO forum of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York City.
- A team of 10 GRI staff from six countries, guest presenters, and two GRI board members made a significant splash at the 2015 Parliament of World Religions in Salt Lake City, where our materials and booth inspired a steady stream of conference delegates. We presented a three-hour experiential workshop at the Parliament for 80 attendees, entitled Transforming Patriarchy in Religion: The Promise of Gender Reconciliation.
- As one university student described the impact of the Gender Reconciliation program: “I woke up; reconstructed, restored, transformed and liberated more than ever and truly more emancipated in terms of my gender & sexuality. I woke up…with my faith and hope reformed… a part of me has healed from the wounds I carried daily…” GRI will continue to offer its programs in selected universities in 2016.