I am pleased to report that the Mills College community contributed almost $2,500 to the grass roots campaign in support of the work of the United Nations Population Fund. Mills alumna Thoraya Obaid-who spoke at Commencement last May-is the executive director of UNFPA.
On behalf of all of us who support UNFPA’s humanitarian mission, I want to say thank you to every member of the Mills community who participated in the fund raising campaign, which is intended to address a $34 million budget shortfall created by our federal government.
The College’s contribution of individual checks and cash (by money order) was mailed to UNFPA just two weeks ago, along with a petition of support containing 228 signatures from Mills. The fund raising campaign began last fall after President George W. Bush and his administration refused to honor the U.S. government’s commitment to provide $34 million for UNFPA’s operating budget.
The UNFPA provides reproductive health care and family planning education for women living in poverty around the world.
When Thoraya Obaid sent information about the fund raising campaign, I decided to announce the College’s participation at Convocation.
The campaign welcomed all contributions large and small as signs of individual support for UNFPA’s work to provide poor women with resources and education to create better lives for themselves and their families.
During Convocation weekend and the following week, individual members of the Mills community donated a total of $1,181.10 to the UNFPA campaign. This amount was supplemented by an additional $1,292 in contributions from Alex Moses (Trustee), Sally Randel (VP for Institutional Advancement), Barbara Wolfe (Trustee), and me (President and Trustee) for a total of $2,473.10.
I am proud of our participation at Mills in the campaign for UNFPA for two reasons. It demonstrates our commitment to taking a leadership role in support of women’s causes at all levels – local, national, and international.
It also demonstrates our ability as a community to come together and take positive steps to ameliorate governmental actions or omissions with which we strongly disagree.