Her Story: #CSW63 – Dana Jean, Diocese of Dallas
During the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women’s 63rd session (CSW63), our Church is present through the voices of many Episcopalians. Over the next few weeks, our blog series “Her Story: #CSW63” will feature the individual voices and stories of these Episcopalians in their own words. In doing so, we not only amplify our own voices but join up with those in our wider ecumenical family through Ecumenical Women, a coalition of faith-based Christian organizations who are featuring the same theme. Follow our stories via the Episcopal Church and the UN blog, Facebook and Twitter platforms and hashtags #EpiscopalCSW, #EpiscopalUN, and #CSW63. Interested in guest blogging? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, we feature guest blogger Dana Jean from the Diocese of Dallas, a delegate with the Presiding Bishop’s delegation of The Episcopal Church.
When I was 19, I spent a semester abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico. One of my first and most powerful experiences was in a crowded downtown plaza. A young woman of certain privilege and inexperience, I sat with my roommate eating popcorn when a little waif of a girl with dirt on her face appeared in front of me, squeezing through the sea of legs to reach her hand out to me, pointing to the popcorn. I tried to gulp down the giant lump in my throat as I held out the bag to her, and then nearly died of heartbreak when she reached in and took one little piece – just one piece! – and disappeared back into the crowd. I, of course, had meant for her to take the whole bag! In that moment, though I didn’t recognize it till much later, serving women and girls on the margins grabbed hold of my heart, and it hasn’t let go. At one point, I even dreamed of serving at the United Nations to promote the empowerment of women around the globe!
With great excitement, I can tell you that dream is finally coming true! I have been invited by the Right Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding Bishop & Primate of the Episcopal Church, to represent him at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. It is a huge honor, and I am so humbled! I am thrilled to participate in such an event and help influence those with power to make decisions about how best to uplift and empower women and promote gender equality around the world. I believe the work of empowering women is of the utmost importance. This is a fantastic opportunity for our church to lead the way in building God’s kingdom here on earth by working for the well-being of women and girls, and this is work that I have been called to since a young age.
I hope you’ll pray for me, for the other 8 delegates of the Episcopal Church, for the Presiding Bishop and his staff, and for the Commission on the Status of Women.
Dana Jean, Diocese of Dallas (Province VII). After 25+ years of being – at best – a lukewarm Catholic, Dana heard God’s call after the earthquake in Haiti as she and her Haitian husband tried desperately to locate family. It transformed their faith, leading them to The Episcopal Church. She went from feeling she didn’t fit in church to knowing building God’s Kingdom is the only work she will ever do. After teaching in Mexico and the U.S., and building libraries in Haiti and Jamaica, she is now Outreach Director at St. Andrew’s in McKinney, Texas, leading their church in serving and advocating for the marginalized. She and her husband moved to Texas in 2011 with three now adult children.