The UN global campaign makes its way to Morgan

The United Nations HeForShe movement stops at an HBCU for the first time since its inception.

Penelope Blackwell, Editor-in-Chief

The United Nations (UN) Women’s gender equality global campaign, HeForShe, made its first ever appearance at Morgan State University. It was the tours first ever stop at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) campus on Oct. 11.

While the HeForShe movement invokes conversation from men and boys about gender equality, a five-year pilot initiative called Impact 10x10x10 received commitments from heads of states, CEOs and university presidents in 2015.

Although Morgan was not part of the program, the Exelon Corporation recommended that HeForShe stopped in Baltimore while on the way to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

“I would like to thank Exelon for sharing and exhibiting the same values that we do here at the National Treasure,” said Morgan president David Wilson as he opened the panel discussion.

“We suggested Morgan State [to the UN] because we recruit actively from here supporting the Honor’s program, the School of Engineering and with internships. This [recommendation] was a way to show our commitment with the universities we partner with and so Morgan was a natural choice,” said Alex Atkinson, senior manager of Corporate Relations at Exelon.

“There are a shortages of women in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in terms of equity and advancement, and so I am here to speak and show that I am an advocate,” said Asamoah Nkwanta, a panelist and the chair of the Department of Mathematics.

Anika Simpson, an associate professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies and the founder of Women’s and Gender Studies program, further explained her efforts to create a visible and united force for gender equality on campus during the panel.

“One of my passions here at Morgan State University is to change our cultural imagination around gender and sexuality. Besides simply increasing the number of female bodies in the room, we need to change our thinking,” said Dr. Simpson.

HeForShe 10x10x10 project manager, Dinal Limbchaia, clarified that multiple universities recognize their need for gender equity improvement and ultimately the “level of commitment they need to make” for change.

“Our primary focus is on the implementation of those commitments that those impact champions have made. And so then at least we can say we have made progress and an impact,” said Limbchaia.

“It’s all about where working together can make the most impact. We are here at Morgan State with open arms and willing to build a partnership, but it requires that commitment as well,” she added.