Suffolk University’s Center for Women's Health and Human Rights will offer experience in the art of advocacy at the United Nations through sessions to be held in conjunction with the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and the meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Each practicum offers an opportunity to observe how the United Nations, as an international institution, works to address issues requiring multilateral engagement and coordinated action.

The 20 participants chosen for each session will gain temporary delegate status, attend official and non-government organization (NGO) sessions, and contribute to the official documentation of both official and NGO meetings at the United Nations in New York.

The programs are competitive, with women across the nation applying for the 20 spaces in each practicum. The Commission on the Status of Women, or CSW, practicum is open to college students at any level while the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review, or NPT, practicum will be open to women of all ages.

In addition to learning about negotiation, advocacy points and networking, practicum participants complete several assignments, the most important of which is to create an advocacy project when they return to their home campuses.

“We teach the women how important citizen engagement is,” said Laura Roskos, activist in residence at the Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights. “They figure out the ropes, learn how to network with NGOs, meet government officials and participate in turning specific proposals into documents that can be adopted by U.N. bodies. This success empowers them to engage in successful civic campaigns in their home environments.”

Roskos and Amy Agigian, the Center’s founding director, serve as faculty.

The practicum on the Commission on the Status of Women, co-sponsored with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the National Women's Studies Association, will take place Feb. 26-March 6, 2010.

The practicum on the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, co-sponsored with Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Women in International Security, Peace and Justice Studies Association, and Reaching Critical Will, will be held April 30-May 8, 2010.