Powerful Local Women’s Advocacy Groups Join Forces to Provide Mentoring Across Difference Program

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Two powerful women’s advocacy groups are joining forces to provide a mentoring program for young women. The Women’s Inter-Cultural Exchange (WIE) and Vision 2020 say this collaboration will provide professional mentors through a statewide Mentoring Across Difference program that is built on WIE’s Mentoring Across Difference program created two years ago in Charlotte.

This year’s collaborative program kicked-off in late September when 28 pairs of mentors and mentees from Johnson C. Smith University and Queens University of Charlotte met for the first time. Mentors and mentees will have the opportunity to attend six professional development workshops throughout the academic year focused on a variety of topics, from building trust and communication skills across differences to salary negotiation. The program intentionally pairs mentors and mentees across difference and works to provide the tools needed to build trust across gender, generation, race, culture, socio-economic, and disability.

“By bringing these two women’s initiatives together, we are directly responding to critical issues facing the Charlotte area and other communities across the country,” says Roberta “Bert” Harper, a Vision 2020 delegate for North Carolina.

Research shows while more women are enrolled in colleges and universities than ever before, they often have a difficult time transitioning from college to the workplace. Also, at a women’s multi-cultural conference held in Charlotte last year, more than 80 percent of the participants said they wanted a mentor. And, there is a disturbingly low level of interracial trust in Charlotte, as shown in a social capital study conducted in 2000.

“Our two organizations bring professional women together with students to directly address these important issues,” adds Stephanie R. Counts, co-founder and CEO of the Women’s Inter-Cultural Exchange. “And we need the community’s help to continue to expand this initiative. There are opportunities for sponsorships and becoming a mentor.”

About the Women’s Inter-Cultural Exchange

The Women’s Inter-Cultural Exchange, founded in 2005 and based in Charlotte, North Carolina, builds bridges of social capital among women of diverse cultures, fosters cross-cultural awareness and develops infrastructure for community dialogue, engagement and programs. For more information, go to: www.wi-ce.org.
About Vision 2020
Vision 2020 is a national initiative advancing women’s economic and social equality through collaborations with affiliated organizations and members in 50 states. It was developed by the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine.
Its first public event was held Oct. 21-22, 2010, when a congress of national delegates, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, gathered at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia to launch a campaign to move America toward equality by 2020, the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment. For more information, http://www.drexel.edu/vision2020/

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