The Nobel Women’s Initiative and Coady International Institute are excited to welcome 15 emerging women leaders to our nine-week advocacy and communications program for young women activists. Together, our sisters from Mexico, Iraq, Liberia, Palestine, Guatemala, Honduras, Nigeria, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt and Myanmar/Burma will build a community of care and support; strengthen their capacities and skills, and co-create a new vision for inclusive feminist peacebuilding and women’s rights advocacy. Please follow us on social media (@NobelWomen and @CoadyStFX) over the next few weeks as we introduce you to these extraordinary activists and their work.

All of these activists are accomplished leaders in their own right. Throughout the Sister to Sister Mentorship Program they will work alongside each other, the Nobel Women’s Initiative and Coady International Institute teams, and our respective partners, to build a strong reciprocal network of relationships — and to share and sharpen their skills and knowledge in peacebuilding and women’s rights work.

This year, the realities of the ongoing global pandemic have provided unexpected opportunities for the program. Our in-person residency has been modified to an online, interactive program — and tripled the number of participants! It means we can interact with participants in their home countries and current contexts while they continue with their important work. We have carefully incorporated past participant feedback and made the program more responsive to participants’ needs and lived realities. We are even more deeply committed to weaving feminist, diversity and inclusion principles and practices into every aspect of program design, facilitation, and communications with each other, including greater shared leadership, creating dedicated space to foster meaningful and reciprocal connections, explicit awareness and attention to power dynamics, and a commitment to protection, nourishment, and solidarity.

The Sister to Sister Mentorship Program began in 2012 in response to needs identified by partner organizations for increased advocacy training and hands-on skills building for young women’s rights activists in an international setting. We are thrilled to welcome the 2021 cohort and excited to share their work with you in the coming months.

The Sister to Sister Mentorship program is funded in part by KBF Foundation CANADA