Iowa UN hosts 1,000 dinners

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 06, 2015 5:00 AM

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On Thursday, the Iowa United Nations Association held Night of 1,000 Dinners at Old Brick in celebration of International Women’s Day. This was their 14th year hosting the event.

Matthew Wolfe, the Executive Director of the Iowa UNA, reiterated that the event was designed to celebrate the progress and achievements of women during the past year.

The Iowa UNA serves to connect Iowans statewide through education programs and forums, in order to reach greater humanitarian goals like widespread accessibility to vaccines and better conditions for refugees.

This year’s panel consisted of three women closely connected to the preservation of the environment and the University of Iowa: Liz Christiansen, Connie Mutel, and Michelene Pesantubbee.

Christiansen is the Director of the University of Iowa Office of Sustainability. She credits UI President, Sally Mason with strengthening sustainability efforts by providing an office and funds for her goals to be achieved.  She has 25 years of experience in recycling, composting, and other sustainability initiatives.

Mutel is a Senior Science Writer and Archivist at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering. She stressed the importance of ecological restoration and women’s role in it. She says that by performing ecological restoration, people are not only “recreating areas of incredible beauty, but of functionality.”

Pesantubbee is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies and American Indian Native Studies at UI. She focused on how Native American women have advocated for the preservation of the environment. Pesantubbee said consecration of the environment, and especially the pollution of water, has physiological, psychological, and spiritual damage to Native American women and their tribes.

Portions of proceeds from the event go toward the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women.

—By Cindy Garcia

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