Julia Bolz is a women’s rights activist providing social guidance to countries in the Middle East, Africa, Central America, and Central Asia. She founded the Journey with an Afghan School program after 9/11 to help bridge the cultural divide between the U.S. and Afghanistan particularly by increasing the educational opportunities afforded to young women. Before joining the grassroots movement for gender equality, she worked at one of Seattle’s most prestigious law firms, Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland. She received Seattle’s Tom C. Wales Citizenship Award for her combined humanitarian efforts. Bolz graduated from Smith College.
Julia Bolz: Right now, I am waiting for this age to pass somewhat because of the current administration [i.e. the George W. Bush admininistration] that we have. And I feel that from an international standpoint, we are a little bit at a standstill.
The plans have already been made for the upcoming years. There has not been a change in the international foreign policy and the way that we [USA] engage countries, the way that we put money into education. And so to me it requires us to have a change in the president.
But what it also means is that I believe that the winds of change are actually occurring right now.
Reverend Jim ________ once gave a wonderful analogy. He raised his finger, and he licked it, and he said, “What happens in Washington, D.C. is that the senators, they always look to see which direction the wind is blowing.”
Well we can continue to elect people that are always going to test the wind. What we need to do as individuals is change the direction of the wind. So my hope right now and my optimism is that that wind is changing. And I think that people from around the world are now understanding that we are a part of this bigger world. And we see this momentum – especially against poverty – occurring all over the place thanks to the help of Bono, the Gates Foundation and folks like that.
July 4, 2007