Salve Regina students to visit United Nations in June for advocacy project
A Salve Regina student and a recent graduate will embark on a United Nations (U.N.) advocacy project with the Conference for Mercy Higher Education on Sunday, June 4, through Tuesday, June 6. These students are Shenice Gelin ’23 and Nyla White ’26.
The Salve Regina will experience two days focusing on the justice work of the Sisters of Mercy. They will be able to network with other mercy universities, hear more about the social and environmental justice work that Sisters of Mercy are doing around the world, undertake mercy advocacy training in workshops and small groups, and as well as tour and attend events at the U.N. In New York City, New York.
The entire experience is focused on World Environment Day, which is June 5 and reflects earth as one of the five critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy.
Gelin, who just graduated with a degree in psychology with a minor in religious and theological studies, is really excited that this will be the last experience she has at Salve Regina.
“I am most excited about learning from others how to be a better advocate and member of a community,” she said. “I think hearing and understanding a variety of perspectives on important issues is what gives us the power to be empathetic and compassionate — which will eventually lead us to tangible change in our societal systems.”
White, a double major in political science and global studies with a Spanish minor, is most looking forward to being in the U.N.
“The U.N. has always feels like an allusive thing to the general public, so being able to be in the same space is very exciting,” White said. “I hope to bring back a new perspective of what advocacy work looks like from an international standpoint versus a domestic standpoint in the U.S.”
Colleen Swain ’17 works with Mercy International Association Global Action as a leadership and advocacy associate and with the Mercy Global Action Emerging Leaders Fellowship. She has been actively involved in creating this opportunity for Salve Regina.
“It will be a busy two days but fulfilling,” Swain said. “We hope they will be able to leave grounded in mercy values, as well as analysis and advocacy, for practical application to their various majors in order to promote a just, sustainable and equitable world for people and the planet.”