CEW+ welcomes two new Twink Frey Visiting Social Activists

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The Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist program each year brings to CEW+ social justice activists whose work affects women and recognizes gender equity issues.

The two new TFVSAs who will come to U-M in the 2023 winter term, announced at the CEW+ sixth annual Advocacy Symposium on Sept. 21, are Autumn R. Green and Hyeladzira James Mshelia.

One goal of the program is to build the capacity and effectiveness of social activists by giving the TFVSAs time, space and support to work on a project that would not be possible under the activist’s usual working circumstances.

Green is a national leader in postsecondary access and success for pregnant and parenting students. She is co-leading the launch of the SPARK Collaborative (Student Parent Action through Research Knowledge), a decentralized national partnership that aims to accelerate transformational field-level change for student caregivers by centralizing and centering lived experience as critical expertise to change educational equity and opportunity systems for students with children.

During her residency in Ann Arbor, Green will leverage her expertise to advise CEW+ on how to enhance its work advocating for and supporting student caregivers through research partnerships, exchanging wisdom with U-M student caregivers and CEW+ communities, and seeking input about SPARK’s nationwide strategies.

Mshelia is a programs associate at Connected Development in Abuja, Nigeria. In this role she has prioritized leading campaigns that address issues affecting women and girls including gender-responsive budgeting, girl-child education campaigns, and campaigns to eliminate all forms of violence targeted toward women and girls.

Her activism is focused on women’s rights to position African women’s rights globally through building a gender advocate movement in Africa with the goal of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Goal 5: gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

While in residence in Ann Arbor, Mshelia will work on a campaign to provide a coherent framework and digital platform that seeks to mobilize and empower 500 gender advocates across Africa to consolidate, collaborate, educate, learn and engage on local issues affecting them.

The 2023 TFVSAs were selected by a national selection committee consisting of:

  • Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C.
  • Anne Magro, deputy dean and senior associate dean for strategy impact at George Mason University’s School of Business.
  • Portia Polk, director of learning and advocacy at Generation Hope in Washington, D.C.
  • Julie Ridenour, president of Steelcase Foundation in Grand Rapids.
  • Mary Caroline “Twink” Frey, a philanthropist based in Grand Rapids.
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