Women’s History Month Home

   Carrie Crawford, Esq.
   Theresa Flores
   Ivan Coyote
   Dr. Brittney Cooper


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Women’s and Gender Studies Department

Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197

University Information:
(734) 487-1849

Carrie Crawford is a founding member and is the current Chair of the Friends of the Congo.  For more information about this organization, check out their website,

Ms. Crawford has over fifteen years of experience in legal representation. Her experiences include advocating in all aspects of immigration law, giving representation for numerous human rights issues of law and conflict resolution, and undertaking significant amounts of public relations and liaison activities with government, business and community. 

In addition to working in private practice, Ms. Crawford has worked with the Institute for African Affairs, where she handled all legal matters pertaining to the development and implementation of non-profit institute programs including government contract and grant requirements. At JurisAID, she advised on legal matters involving the implementation of non-profit institute legal programs pertaining to the protection of human and civil rights of individuals living with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable populations. 

Ms. Crawford received a JD in 1989 from the University of Maryland School of Law with an emphasis in International Affairs and a BS in Psychology and Political Science from Morgan State University in 1978.

Friends of the Congo understands that central to change in the Congo is the role that women play in bringing an end to the unfathomable suffering as a direct consequence of the conflict and transforming Congolese society. We are fully engaged in this regard.

Friends of the Congo worked with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom to advocate at the United Nations for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. While advocating, we arranged a private meeting between the Congolese women and Melanie Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for the Global Women's Issues under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s administration so that they could share directly with her how the United States can best be engaged in addressing the challenges of the Congolese women.

Followed by the meeting with Ambassador Verveer at the United Nations, Friends of the Congo collaborated with University students to send post cards to Secretary of State Clinton to address the situation of women in the Congo. Senator Eve Bazaiba who met with Ambassador Verveer at the United Nations, sent a letter of support from the Congo to the students in advance of their meeting at the State Department.

We do not limit the platforms we provide for Congolese women to the United Nations and the United States Congress; but we have also worked with the Pulitzer Prize winning play Ruined off Broadway. In our efforts to enhance the play, we engaged Congolese women already working to address women’s issues presented in the play. See picture of women on stage and the Manhattan Theatre club in a post play discussion to a capacity audience.

Friends of the Congo utilizes every conceivable avenue to speak to the issue of Congolese women and their quest for peace, stability and inclusion in Congolese society. At our annual Congo in Harlem Film and Performance series, not only do we feature the work of Congolese women filmmakers, but we also engaged high profile American women to lend their voice to the struggle of Congolese women. Gloria Steinem served as member of our Honorary Committee and sent a wonderful message of solidarity.

Friends of the Congo organizes events each International Women’s Month to elevate the profile of the women of Congo. We were honored to have world-renowned author and Pulitzer Prize recipient Alice Walker join us in raising the issues of Congolese women on International Women's Day. See Alice Walker’s message of support at

We have shared the above to not only demonstrate our deep involvement with Congolese women issues; but also to share that as an organization, all of our Speakers are equipped to address the entire spectrum of women’s issues in the Congo. Also, we marry our scholarly presentations with action so that our efforts are not merely an intellectual exercise, but also a call to conscience and action.

We are in the process of developing an anthology of Congolese women voices so that the world can be more exposed to their voices, thoughts and prescriptions for the challenges they face.