Documentary filmmaker and human rights activist Leslee Udwin visits UWCSEA
UWCSEA East was delighted to welcome back acclaimed film director, producer and human rights activist Leslee Udwin on Thursday, 23 November for a discussion with High School students about Think Equal, the NGO she founded to educate young children worldwide about gender equality.
On this second visit, Leslee attended a working lunch with members of the UWCSEA East Because I Am Focus Group, which is a forum for students for discussion of contemporary gender issues in our world. Dana, an IB Diploma student in Grade 12 who was Chair of Because I Am last year (and is still a member), helped forge the initial link with Leslee and Think Equal. She reflected on yesterday’s visit, "Despite her insane schedule, Leslee remains gracious, warm and genuine to everyone she meets. To have her carve out time to come to East again and talk to this year's new batch of Because I Am members, as well as other students, shows her overwhelming generosity.”
Leslee's documentary 'India's Daughter' was screened at UWCSEA East last year, followed by a Q&A with the audience. Her work on the documentary sparked the establishment of Think Equal, an organisation that aims to add social and emotional learning as a compulsory component of education curricula around the world, by bringing an equality studies curriculum into schools. Brían Ó Maoileoin, Principal of the Junior School on Dover Campus, sits on the Advisory Board of the Common Ground Collaborative and has contributed to the project.
Think Equal’s goal of "Empowering Change Through Education" aligns closely with the UWC mission and educational goal. Guests such as Leslee inspire our students to look to create change in their own circle of influence. Grade 12 student Dana explains, “What distinguishes Leslee is that she doesn't come to give a speech from a podium about equality; she has an authentic conversation with you. She wants to hear your full opinions and she lives the mission of promoting equality to its fullest extent every single day. Leslee continues to inspire me and to be a reminder that gender inequality is an issue and conversation to be had by anyone and everyone - and that we have to involve boys and men in the conversation in order to move forward. Best wishes to Leslee on her continued travels!"
We are grateful to have had the opportunity to welcome Leslee to UWCSEA for a second time.
Think Equal’s mission is to work towards a world in which children of all genders, ethnicities, religions and other backgrounds have optimal opportunities to develop their full potential, have their views respected, respect one another, live free of discrimination and violence, become youth leaders, and active participants of a free and equal world. Learn more.