We are WAW
Bringing you the voices of the WAW community -- from New York, Afghanistan and beyond! Writing by WAW staff, board, volunteers, clients and supporters on our work on the ground and the issues at stake.
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Sunita Viswanath is co-founder and board member of Women for Afghan Women and editor of Women for Afghan Women: Shattering Myths and Claiming the Future, Palgrave/St. Martins Press (October 2002). Sunita worked for many years as director of grants and programs at The Sister Fund, where WAW was founded and incubated. From 2006 to 2009, Sunita was executive director of Funders Concerned About AIDS. Sunita now volunteers full-time for WAW. Sunita was a 2011 recipient of the Feminist Majority Foundation's Global Women's Rights Award for her work with WAW. In 2011, she cofounded another grassroots organization, Sadhana: Coaliton of Progressive Hindus. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband Stephan Shaw and their three sons: Gautama, Akash, and Satya.
Susan Schneider is a writer and editor living in New York City. Women's empowerment issues have always been paramount for her, and she started volunteering at WAW out of a desire to have an impact on the lives of women from other traditions. She sees teaching English as a way to communicate common experience and to establish meaningful bonds. Writing about the students in a personal way is a means for her to process what she is learning and to share that with other people. Compassion, understanding, and communication give us all a sense of hope.
Jeff is the husband of Development Manager, Vanessa Dubyn. He is excited to join the WAW family and looks forward to becoming a long-term volunteer and supporter.
Rachel Giuliani started her career in politics as a campaign researcher, and moved to program support and development for nonprofits in New York, including Funders Concerned About AIDS and MADRE. She currently lives in Portland, OR, where she is the Community Manager at Simple, an innovative online banking service. Rachel has volunteered for Women for Afghan Women in recent years, and was responsible for designing and launching our enewsletter.
Jennifer Membreno is a makeup artist, beauty writer and founder of Almond Cosmetics. She has also spent much of her career as a nonprofit fundraiser, currently serving as the assistant director of development at the Samuel Field YM-YWHA. Previously, she was the associate director of special projects at the Council on Foreign Relations and has also worked in fundraising for the Asia Society and Amnesty International, USA. If you would like to contact Jennifer you may do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Almond Cosmetics, please visit www.almondcosmetics.com.
Leslie Knott is a Canadian photographer and filmmaker who has spent the last 12 years telling stories from around the world, with a special focus on Afghanistan. Leslie is currently in Kabul, filming and photographing WAW's facilities, staff and clients and the result of her work will be a short film about WAW's frontine work in Afghanistan which will be featured at our next gala event in May 2013 in NYC.
Sarah Lebeck-Jobe is an Associate Marriage & Family Therapist at Madison Marriage & Family Therapy in Midtown Manhattan. She enjoys working with individuals and couples and facilitating groups to heal relationships. For more information, please visit http://sarah.lebeckjobe.com.
Nawa Arsala is an Afghan-American activist from Washington D.C. She holds a Bachelor's degree from the George Washington University in International Affairs and Islamic Studies. She will begin law school in the fall.
Marzia Nawrozi is WAW's Advocacy Intern in DC. She came to the U.S. through the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women’s program and graduated from Meredith College in May 2013. She is committed to the protection of women’s rights and women's empowerment. She also is a contributing writer for the Ms. Magazine Blog and the Afghan Women’s Writing Project.
A semi-retired event planner and decorator/artist, Maureen Lejbak lives in Kelowna, British Columbia with her husband of forty-three years, a semi-retired school psychologist. The couple have a son, a hydrologist who also lives in Kelowna. They are fortunate in that they have a large extended family and friends to share in their lives.