NEW YORK (PNS) — While many 21-year olds are escaping the pressure of college courses on a beach during spring break, Kathryn Urban decided to head for the United Nations and the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) as part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) delegation. During the day she is learning about the challenges women face around the world and she’s spending her nights in a hostel several blocks away.
Urban, a junior at George Washington University studying International Affairs and Security Policy, is no stranger to world politics. She spent part of semester in Rwanda researching Chinese investment there. While researching, she would experience intimidation tactics like being followed or getting middle of the night phone calls from unknown callers who knew her name. But Urban’s passion for politics and policy remains undeterred as she imagines how big ideas can be translated to the local level.
Despite her age, Urban is typical of many of the national and international CSW participants. They are passionate, accomplished, eager to learn more and plan take what they learn home to change their worlds.
Urban is looking forward to using her experiences at CSW to inform the work she does with youth at the Western Presbyterian Church in Washington DC. She’s planning to create an all-ages Sunday school curriculum based on the women of the Bible — a curriculum that will be influenced by the stories that she’s heard from other women. She also hopes to create a retreat for young adults on women’s issues.
“The kids in the DC area already have a global perspective since most of their parents work for the Department of State or work on the Hill,” Urban said. “But the first-person international stories here are more powerful because they aren’t filtered through the lens of U.S. policy.”