25 Years in the United Nations working for Human Rights and Peace: Culture...

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If you have not used zoom before, come at 4:45 to learn how it works. You may have to download zoom.us before you are able to click the link https://zoom.us/j/5082456843. Bring paper and colored markers for doodling.

Virginia Swain work for the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace and United Nations Security Council 1325, advocating the role of women in peacebuilding, is a highlight of Virginia's 25 years in the United Nations. For a program she gave on the 10th anniversary of SC1325, click here.

As a member of the Coalition for Global Citizenship 2030, Human Right to Peace, Academy for Leaders, the National Coalition for Deliberation and Dialogue, International Women's Day, the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace, and the Global Compact through the Institute for Global Leadership she founded and directs, Virginia Swain will speak about her work as a pioneering women peacebuilder in the United Nations community over 25 years as written in her new memoir, My Soul's Journey to Redefine Leadership: A New Phoenix Rises from the Ashes of 9/11/ (Xlibris 2017)

Hear Virginia Swain's reflections and spiritual discoveries that, in a book she calls Phoenix, recount how she found meaning and and renewed purpose in the darkness of a traumatized New York City on 9/11/01, where she had been working in the United Nations community since 1991. During meditations afterward, Virginia felt called to redefine leadership so that peace could rise from those ashes. In this book, she shares how she has been working toward this mission.

Phoenix updates her first memoir, A Mantle of Roses: A Woman’s Journey Home to Peace (Xlibris 2004), chronicling work on five continents and the development of her inner voice leading her to work for global peace. Virginia’s master’s thesis project, Celebration of the Children of the World: A Model for Building Global Community, won the support of U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Lesley University 1993).

Virginia will discuss her book and her experience developing and training Reconciliation Leaders in the United Nations and the United States with the support of Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, who wrote the book’s foreword.

Virginia developed the Reconciliation Leadership program for the United Nations community. Reconciliation Leaders are vocationally-called emerging and seasoned leaders from all spiritual and religious traditions, trained to heal the historic cycle of violence in a safe, inclusive environment. Virginia and other Reconciliation Leaders she trained made a presentation at the UN Interagency Framework for Preventive Action on 31 May2012 at the United Nations Development Programme.

Through the Institute, Virginia is now re-purposing Reconciliation Leadership to address human rights issues for the United States. She founded the online America’s Soul Community.

Virginia has been an adjunct professor at seven local universities including Clark, Salve Regina and Lesley. Her programs are designed to empower people who are emerging and seasoned leaders, as well as peacebuilders and other professionals.

Virginia Swain calls herself “an ordinary woman with extraordinary experiences.” Once an overworked corporate executive secure in her rising career, a series of tragic events (including a decision not to see her brother on what turned out to be the eve of his death) brought Virginia a calling she couldn’t ignore: to find wholeness, balance and peace for herself and for others. It’s become her life’s work.

Grounded in her mission, she helps people claim their own mission and purpose—on a personal, interpersonal, team/group and global level—and see how surprisingly interrelated they are. Always bringing the spiritual to the practical, Virginia developed Reconciliation Leadership drawing on the resources of her business experience and offering a sensitive, responsive intervention for the challenges of our divided society.

Drawing on 40 years’ experience in commercial and nonprofits on five continents including Peace Corps teaching in Africa, the Institute for Global Leadership recognizes all people, institutions, nations and multilateral entities for their uniqueness, and need and capacity for transformation.

VirginiaSwain.com is a counselor, career and life direction coach, mediator, spiritual director and more. Visit VirginiaSwain.com, www.global-leader.org and Psychology Today Therapists for more information.


Virginia has served as a United Nations non-governmental organization representative and citizen diplomat since 1991. She gave seminars at both the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the Social and Economic Development Summits in Brazil and Denmark in addition to assisting in the preparations for the UN Beijing Women’s Summit, the United States Committee for the United Nations Habitat for Humanity Conference, and the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For four years, Virginia served on the Executive Committee of the Boston Coalition for a Strong United Nations and is the former co-chair of its International Business Task Force, which worked closely with the former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to start the UN Global Compact. Through the United Nations Economic and Social Council affiliated Center for Global Community and World Law she co-founded in 1993 and dissolved in 2018, Virginia presented her work.

Virginia highlights Culture of Peace and global citizenship to others in her television show, “Imagine Worcester and the World,” which debuted in 2007 and is still going strong. View a segment with the presentation of Institute for Global Leadership Life Leadership Service Awards in 2013 and an interview of Virginia by Dr. Joseph Baratta. View her blog at VirginiaSwain.com/blog.

Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations wrote the foreword for the book. Ambassador Chowdhury provided support at the United Nations for the Institute courses and programs, dedicating them to the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (2001-2010) and The Global Movement for a Culture of Peace (GMCoP)

For “Bringing intercultural understanding to Worcester, Massachusetts, and to the United Nations“, Virginia was awarded the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Third Goal Service Award. She has been funded by various foundations to support her leadership and peacebuilding work in the Philippines, with Rwandans and former Yugoslavians, her participation in the Hague Appeal for Peace, the UN NGO Millennium Forum, and lobbying states for peace and disarmament issues. She has been active in the United Nations Global Compact and the Academic Council for the United Nations, and has presented at conferences such as State of the World Forum, International Educators for Peace, the Comparative International Education Society, Global Education Associates, Global Structures Conference, and the United Nations Development Programme.

Virginia is committed to gathering and mobilizing like-minded people in a shared vision for sustainable peace and development. In recent years, her research and practice interest has included Security Council Resolution 1325: Women and Peace and Security, the Sudan Track II Peace Process and the Coalition for the Human Right to Peace. Learn more about this work in an interview on Imagine Worcester and the World, the television show Virginia created.

An adjunct faculty member at Clark University, Baypath College, Quinsigamond Community College, Lesley University, Salve Regina University, Middlesex Community College and Worcester State University, Virginia has taught courses on career development, leadership, cross-cultural conflict transformation, change management, managing in a global economy, and developed a customized leadership curriculum, Reconciliation Leadership, implemented in the United Nations.

Virginia earned an organization development master’s degree from Lesley University in Community Building in Organizations and International Peacebuilding building on her thesis project at the UN, Celebration of the Children of the World: A Model for Building Global Community. She has advanced certifications from the Academy for Leaders, the Summer Peacebuilding Institute at Eastern Mennonite University in Ethnic Identity Consultation, Skills for the Religious Peacebuilder, and Consulting in Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation. She also holds a certificate in leadership agility. Virginia is a member of the Academy for Leaders and American Counseling Association, and the Institute is a member of the United Nations Global Compact, National Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation, Spiritual Directors International, Transcend Network of Invited Peace Scholars and Practitioners, and the United Nations Association of America.

Virginia Swain and Professor Joseph Baratta founded the Center for Global Community and World Law in consultative status through the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (1993-2018).

All are nvited to the March 16 and 23 online America's Soul Community. RSVP here and to learn more.

For her program on International Women's Day 2019 https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Activity/13505/25-Years-in-the-United-Nations-An-international-Women-s-Day-Conversation-with-Virginia-Swain

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