Erin Morey's Story
[The Episcopal Church Women and the Episcopal Women’s Caucus have announced a joint initiative to financially support our Episcopal delegates to the UN Commission on the Status of Women to be held March 14-24, 2016. We also promised to post stories from previous delegates to the UNCSW and the stories of our delegates this year.]
ERIN: In her own words
"I represented a lot of people during my time as a criminal defense attorney in the Office of the Public Defender in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, but I was most moved by the women I represented. They told me about their lives, the violence they had suffered, their love for their children. When I left the office, I knew I wanted to work with women who were surviving trauma. I started representing women seeking court orders to help them stay safe from abusive partners. Eventually, I started working directly with survivors outside of the courtroom. I now serve as a hotline advocate for Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR), and the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), groups that serve survivors of sexual violence. I also serve as a shelter and hotline advocate and support group facilitator for the Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, which serves survivors of intimate partner violence.
"Last year, I had the honor of being selected by Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to serve as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, to be a member of the Church's inaugural delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Having spent so much time working one-on-one with people in Pittsburgh, I was honored to have been selected to amplify the voices of women in global advocacy. I was also honored to be representing the Church, because my faith deeply informs the work I do, and helps me find the grace to persevere in times of challenge.
"Serving as a delegate was a profoundly transformative experience. Our delegation represented a diversity of people doing great work from all over the Church, and we joyfully, prayerfully bonded together. We watched presentations from a broad array of human rights experts and grassroots activists from all over the world. We met with leaders, to talk about our hopes for the world, and find out how the Church could support ongoing efforts to help women and girls.
"Upon returning home, I continued to serve survivors directly, but also began to engage in advocacy to change systems and institutions. I serve on the vestry of my parish, St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and we worked to create a new Social Justice Committee. The committee works to help parishioners learn about issues of concern, and how they can help. Recently, we joined the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network, and are working with other congregations to organize our community and advocate for an even better world. I engaged in legislative advocacy with local elected officials, and continued to seek out advocacy training opportunities.
"I am very excited to be returning to UNCSW on behalf of the Church in 2016. Each year, the session focuses on particular themes, and one of this year's themes is ending violence against women. I cannot wait to attend and learn from other women working with survivors all around the world. Most of all, I can't wait to meet my fellow delegates and work to share Christ's peace with everyone on Earth."
Seven of the 18 delegates have responded to our invitation to assist them in raising the $4,000 needed to attend the gathering in New York City. Any amount you can give will help. We invite you to send donations via the EWC “Margo Fund," by clicking here, www.episcopalwomenscaucus.org/join.htm.