Bronx students to speak at U.N. virtual forum

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A group of students from the South Bronx is getting ready to address the world.

They’ll be speaking at a United Nations virtual forum and connecting with young women from around the globe.

Young women from the Bronx Academy of Letters will participate in a forum during the annual meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women, taking on issues like climate change and economic empowerment.

It’s all part of Global G.L.O.W., a mentoring organization that helps girls develop skills to succeed and resources to change their communities.

“It’s about how we support each other as girls and how we could, like, make the world equal to us,” junior Miriam Gutierrez said.

“We’re prepared to answer questions about climate change and the women of color in our community and, like, what a better world for girls looks like to us,” sophomore Zainab Kuta said.

“We talk about issues in our community and we do it to support each other and help build connections,” sophomore Blue Perez said.

“I am excited because I look forward to amplifying the voices of women of color in my community,” Zainab said.

CBS2’s Ali Bauman spoke to Frances Herrera, a teacher at the Bronx Academy of Letters and partnership advisor to the Global G.L.O.W. program.

Herrera started her own afterschool program within the school four years ago before the board reached out to her to form a partnership with Global G.L.O.W.

The students were supposed to attend the event in 2020, but the pandemic forced it to be canceled.

“We’ve been honestly waiting for two years for the pandemic to at least cease a little bit so we can actually join together and discuss all of the things that have been happening in the lives of women,” Herrera said.

She says the students discuss giving back to the community and self-advocacy. They also speak with businesswomen in the South Bronx to learn more about their careers and journeys.

“A lot of the students end up wanting to see themselves in those roles. They don’t want to see themselves, you know, working in the kitchen or just, you know, doing domestic chores. They see themselves on a bigger scale and a bigger picture,” Herrera said.

Herrera says she hopes the program helps the students learn “you’re never too young to fight for yourself.”

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