D&E students raise funds to support Nicaraguan organization programs

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Davis and Elkins
Davis & Elkins College student Savannah Gregg prepares to mail a contribution to CEPAD, an organization that supports economic development and sustainability projects for women in Nicaragua. Gregg led the fundraising effort with assistance from Zeta Kappa Xi sorority and the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy.

ELKINS – A required reading for a political philosophy class sparked an interest for Davis & Elkins College students who wanted to share the message of the work with their peers and make a difference for women facing oppression.

Their efforts resulted in a contribution, generated through a recent fundraiser, to an organization that supports women’s empowerment.

Students in Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy Dr. Bryan Wagoner’s political and social philosophy class sponsored a community screening of the documentary based on the book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

In conjunction with the screening, students sponsored a fundraiser for CEPAD, a nonsectarian organization which focuses on sustainable community development and support of citizens of Nicaragua. Included in the organization’s efforts are women’s economic development, leadership development, food security and environmental care.

Spearheaded by student Savannah Gregg, with support from the Zeta Kappa Xi sorority and the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy, the fundraiser generated $415.

“The book and documentary ‘Half the Sky’ opened my eyes to the oppression women face around the world,” said Gregg, a psychology and criminology major from Spartanburg, South Carolina. “I wanted to do something that would help educate the community at D&E as well as back an organization focused around supporting women. CEPAD is an organization that Dr. Wagoner and students at D&E have worked with in the past which supports the economic development and sustainability of groups of women.

“Women’s oppression is something that is relevant to everyone, and something that everyone is affected by. I appreciated the encouragement and support from Dr. Wagoner and (D&E student) Whitney Minor throughout the showing of the documentary and the fundraiser. I am excited to see what events will take place here at D&E in the future surrounding human rights.”

Wagoner, along with Professor of English Emeritus Dr. Bob McCutcheon, led students on service learning projects to Nicaragua in 2014 and 2017.