12th Annual Women Ambassadors Conference Washington DC

Women Ambassadors, Broadway and Hollywood took on tough diplomatic issues at 12th Annual Conference in D.C.

Ambassador Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika of Zambia, in her opening address at the twelfth annual conference of the Women Ambassadors Foundation in Washington D.C., told the audience, ?If we can prevent one rape, we must keep trying. We must focus on long-range prevention of war, as well as peace negotiation in areas of conflict. The concept of a culture of peace must start now with elementary education, and more student exchanges.?

Her talk signaled the start of a match with a strong cast of women ambassadors, representatives from academia, Hollywood, Broadway and United Nations affiliated organizations wrestling with the conference theme, The Challenges of Diplomacy in a Volatile and Increasingly Interdependent World. They went to the mat, taking prevailing ideology to task by examining such topics as, the role of women in African government, the sustainability of globalization, the world as a unipolar entity and the role of the arts in diplomacy.

The annual conference is sponsored by Howard University, The Ralph J Bunch Center, The Departments of Modern Languages & Literature, Political Science, African Studies and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. Dr. Marilyn Sephocle is Founder and President of The Women Ambassadors Foundation as well as Director of the prestigious Simultaneous Interpretation Unit of Howard University. The Women Ambassadors Foundation is an organization that promotes gender parity in the field of diplomacy. The Women Ambassadors foundation includes as honorary members current and former ambassadors.

Students and professors from Howard University participated in the poignant and sometimes unsettling presentations and discussions but the conference also featured some star glitter from Broadway and Hollywood, with a serious note.

Bob Blume, Executive Director of The Drama Desk Awards, attended last Thursday and spoke on the panel “The Role of the Arts in Public Diplomacy” Also peaking were New York Times bestselling author, Linda Grover, founder GlobalMothers.org and panel moderator Bunny Dubin, documentary producer “Answering the Call; Ground Zeros Volunteers” A New York Times acclaimed, moving film tribute to volunteerism in the face of the terrorism of 9/11/01.

Golden Globe Award winner Jenna Elfman was presented with the Goodwill Ambassador Award for her work in the field of human rights and criminal rehabilitation..

Honoree Jenna Elfman was also in Washington DC to lobby for criminal reform measures. She spoke about her work and pride helping inmates regain self-esteem and worth to society with the highly effective and internationally recognized Criminon criminal rehabilitation program developed by American author and humanitarian, L. Ron Hubbard, now used in over 1700 institutions in 35 nations.

“Again and again, I have been amazed to see individuals who are considered by society and the government as the ?worst of humanity? completing this program and realize for themselves that they can lead a life without crime,” Ms. Elfman told the audience. “I have seen them walk out of prison for good ? no revolving door.”

The Women Ambassadors Foundation
Dr. Marilyn Sephocle founder