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What is this podcast and why am I doing it?

ILANA LANDSBERG-LEWIS

Ilana Landsberg-Lewis has spent her entire adult life engaged in the struggle for the rights of women and girls.  From her early days as a human rights and labour lawyer to her years at United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), Ilana has worked with women’s groups around the world and has learned that no amount of so-called expertise can replace that of women at the frontlines of their own struggle for justice.  Ilana was the Executive Director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF), with she co-founded with her father, Stephen Lewis, from its inception in March, 2003-February, 2019. Ilana has been deeply honoured and grateful to learn from indomitable grandmothers the world over.

PODCASTER

I have spent most of my professional life thinking about how to open up spaces for women, in particular, to talk about the issues that most deeply affect them as the experts they are.  I am not a grandmother yet, but in my work at the Stephen Lewis Foundation, I had the privilege to be involved with the SLF’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign – an initiative that – over the course of a decade – brought together 10,000 grandmothers across Canada, and then Australia and the U.K. to support African grandmothers who lost their adult children to AIDS and are raising their orphaned grandchildren with tenacity, tireless leadership and dignity.  In the course of my work with this astonishing array of grandmothers, I have been deeply affected by their individual stories of triumph over adversity, no matter where they live in so many different ways.  And at the same time, I have become bewildered by the way in which the significant contributions that grandmothers and older women are making at every level of our lives, personal and public, is pretty much invisible.  I think that podcasting is a powerful way to amplify these grandmothers’ voices, experience and expertise.  We have a lot to learn from them but, more than that, my hope is that a growing awareness of the vital contributions of a whole generation of older women and grandmothers will emerge.  I guess I could have written a book or an article but I have literally thousands of grandmothers voices and stories in my head, and I know that these are their stories and insights to tell. Nothing is more inspiring and even life-altering than hearing directly from them in their own words.

To apply to be a guest on the “Grandmothers On The Move” podcast, click here.

PUBLIC SPEAKER

For speaking engagements and podcast interviews, Ilana can be booked at click here.

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