A Monroe woman was recently elected to the board of directors of Soroptimist International of the Americas.
Vivian Walczesky, a member of Monroe County Soroptimist International for 19 years, will serve on the 15-member board from September. 1, 2022 to 2024.
I will serve with other members from Taiwan, USA, Japan, Brazil and other countries, Walczesky said.
This is Walczesky’s first term on board and the first time a Monroe County resident has served.
SIA is a global voluntary organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.
Walczesky was appointed by Laurie Sherman, president of the 35-member SI of Monroe County.
Voted 26 clubs in our Midwestern region. I continued to check the nomination and election page every day and finally the numbers were posted, Walczesky said.
As a board member, Walczesky will attend conferences of other clubs and attend regional conferences and board meetings, including one in Philadelphia.
Walczesky has held other leading roles in the SIA.
She has attended meetings at the United Nations as an SIA delegate for the past six years.
Meetings at the United Nations are held at the United Nations building in New York. “Soroptimist is a non-governmental organization and is part of the Conference on the Status of Women (CSW), where Soroptimist has the status of an NGO,” said Walczesky.
It is a meeting with great participation.
An attendance estimate is somewhere between 2,500 and 4,500 each March, but my understanding was that last year, when the meeting was held virtually, they had about 8,000 participants, Walczesky said.
She also served as SIA governor of the Midwest Region from 2016-2018. This region includes Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.
In addition to the SIA, Walczesky is involved in other Monroe County organizations.
She has been part of Monroe County CASA for 24 years.
I currently advocate as a CASA volunteer for abused and neglected children for the judicial system, Walczesky said.
She is also involved in the Coalition Against Human Trafficking in Monroe County and the American Association of University Women and is a member of the Monroe County Community College Board.
She serves with GROW Monroe (GivingRepresentsOurWomen), which works through the Monroe County Community Foundation to provide funding to organizations that help women and children in the area.
Walczesky, a graduate of the MCCC, holds a bachelor’s degree in Middle East and North Africa studies from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in illegal studies from the University of Detroit Mercy. She has an illegal certificate and has worked in the field of justice for 50 years.
For the past 25 years, she has worked with a lawyer.
My previous 25 years consisted of law firms in Michigan and Ohio, Walczesky said. My goals so far have been achieved, but the door is open for further advancement.
The Monroe County International Soroptimist meets on the third Wednesday of each month. For an application or for more information, email Membership Chair Anne Noland at[email protected].
Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai is the keynote speaker for the 2022 Virtual Convention of the Soroptimist International of America, scheduled for July 22-23. Yousafzai will speak on July 22, the SIA headquarters recently announced.
Early tickets will go on sale from February until April 30th.
The SIA board is looking at the cost for non-members to attend the Malala event, said Vivian Walczesky from Monroe County International Soroptimist.
Yousafzai is an activist for the education of women and girls. She opposed the Taliban when they banned girls from school. Through her public campaign, she helped Pakistani girls access free education.
She is the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner and author of “I’m Malala: How a Girl Got Up for Education and Changed the World” and other best-selling books.
Malala’s message about the importance of education for girls comes as the global pandemic has reinforced the growing need for access to education, “the SIA said.” Because of COVID-19, some 47 million women and other girls have fallen into extreme poverty. The Malala Fund reported that another 20 million high school-age girls may be out of school after the COVID-19 crisis is over. Malala has a powerful history to share and we look forward to delving into her history until and during our 2022 virtual congress.
Other speakers to be announced soon will also provide strategies to address current challenges in Soroptimists leadership sessions, personal development, and unified efforts to help half a million women and girls access education by 2031.
Thousands of people are expected to attend the virtual congress.
We are committed to helping women gain economic empowerment through education, said Lesha D. Brown, vice president of stakeholder engagement. Our 2022 convention will provide opportunities for action, including virtual training sessions, access to new resources, and powerful speakers like Malala.
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