Jim Nelson – March 2021
Every year during March we highlight vital contributions of women in many areas of human endeavor. If one becomes been active in civic organizations dealing with world affairs, they will quickly appreciate the many talented women that have shown us that individuals can effectively address global scale problems.
Many “builders of a better world” demonstrate perseverance, with keen discernment of the root causes of problems. One dramatic example was Fanny Brin who organized the earliest United Nations Rally, a network of dozens of primarily women’s groups interested in preventing wars and moderating global conflict. The united strength of so many groups helped win vital support for the work of the United Nations.
Many enjoyed working with spirited leaders like Mary Lou Nelson and Emily Anne Tuttle and admired their ability to orchestrate complex education projects with diverse groups of volunteers. They understood the benefits of working together with schools and community groups to learn about global cultures and common problems. They helped form Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers and encouraged thoughtful participation in the Great Decisions programs. Another dynamic leader, Norma Roe, pioneered a very effective “global classrooms” experiential learning project that helped hundreds of young learners’ participative citizenship in a very diverse and often conflicted world.
Many of us have fond memories of Evelyn Schiele (an organizational leader) and Elsie Evans, who championed the importance of law and legal agreements as a framework for human rights and mutually beneficial global commerce. They promoted “world citizenship” in the Annual Law Day observance and engaged many individuals in this life affirming work, with an uplifting spirit that made our serious work feel deeply rewarding.
Looking back, one notices that many of these women/ leaders had worked in helping professions like education and health. They had a “nurturing manner” that promoted a sense of cooperation. They were emotionally mature and sensitive to the feelings of diverse individuals. It was helpful that these women so often did a good job of keeping their own egos in check when dealing with people with so many strong opinions. We are grateful for their record of achievement!