GWEM Magazine Signals New Voice for ‘Female Empowerment’ – UBNow: News and Views for UB Faculty and Staff


Its founding publisher and creator calls it a “wild race”. A recent graduate who leveraged her participation in an entry-level journalist fellowship at one of the world’s leading digital newsrooms says she was “lost” before finding her calling to work there.

His mentor teacher describes him as a perfect example of the rarefied reward of experiential learning “generative impact”. The project continues to grow, attracting more students, taking off organically.

The UB community and beyond, meet GWEM magazine, an online publication and self-proclaimed “movement” focusing on women’s empowerment or, more specifically, global sustainability, collaboration and women’s health.

“A platform for changemakers and trailblazers,” Global Women’s Empowerment Magazine is part celebration of women’s innovation and achievement, and part landing pad for the 2022 version of a magazine. Created by Amanda Hart “in the middle of the night after two pots of coffee and me hunched over a whiteboard,” GWEM started two years ago as a UB experiential learning project and took off from there.

“I had created a digital magazine for an organization in Nigeria and was humbled by the added value it brought, even from afar,” says Hart, who graduated from UB in May 2021 with a degree in psychology. She remains the editor-in-chief of GWEM. “When I enrolled in another virtual study abroad course, I wanted to continue to be able to work on global communications and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

GWEM was what Hart called the “end result of this class,” a prototype of what experiential learning can accomplish. It was “a kind of quirky, organic mix of global communications, activism, and digital art that brings its own energy of possibilities,” she says.

Its content is a rambunctious, youthful mix of profiles (Tanzanian documentary filmmaker Rhobi Samwelly is one of them), advocacy (an editor urges her organization’s campaign to end the stigma of menstruation), one-page slogans “There’s no limit to what we as women can achieve. Michelle Obama,” it reads), book recommendations (“I Am Malala: The Girl Who Got Up for education and was shot down by the Taliban”) and bold artistic layouts.

Let GWEM speak for itself:

“GWEM aims to be a diverse platform that allows your dream of a better world to be showcased and shared in a variety of media,” states a message to readers on its site. “Our core mission of empowerment encompasses the quest to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive space to share cross-cultural stories and goals.”

Open to more GWEM times? Its “Dreamer Edition” includes an extensive interview with India Walton, candidate for mayor of Buffalo in 2021, an article on “Exploring Our Best Failures” and four “Take-aways”, including an article on how big business seek to hire more women.

Like other magazines launched generations ago, GWEM aims high. His goal is to change the world.

“The idea of ​​GWEM has the potential to effect real, lasting change and add value to the equality/humanitarian movement in a culturally competent way while creating a trusted and diverse media, while focusing about love and acceptance,” Hart says. “The platform we’re building is meant to be passed on to the next generation and to be open source.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Hart’s vision of GWEM has been infectious. Several GWEM staff found something so meaningful that they refused to leave, even after graduation.

Keana Fabian found GWEM through a communications course and quickly found a psychic home.

“Before I started my work with GWEM, I felt lost,” says Fabian. “I’ve always had an interest in journalism, but I really didn’t see it as something possible for me. GWEM exposed me to new opportunities that pushed me out of my comfort zone and ultimately helped me learn new skills and grow as a person.

After graduating in May, Fabian is working as a producer at Insider on a six-month fellowship program at one of the world’s leading digital newsrooms.

“I was able to get this job because GWEM helped me figure out the path I wanted to pursue after graduation and also gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams and apply for jobs I thought were out of reach. .”

“Even though I currently work full-time, I continue to volunteer for GWEM,” says Fabian. “GWEM’s empowerment mission has always aligned with me and my goals. I try to empower women every day.

As with Hart, GWEM taught Fabian effective virtual communication. This has helped her adapt better to her now completely remote job. She honors Hart and Mara Huber, associate dean for undergraduate research and experiential learning.

“They believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself,” says Fabian. “Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Like any magazine that captures the imagination of its contributors and readers, its future is a matter of debate. Hart spoke of how his generation is “hungry for meaningful connection right now.” She says students today face the greatest threat of adversity since the Great Depression.

“We need each other more than ever – and what once separated us by social circles, distance, illness, disability no longer applies.”

GWEM should play a small role in “peace work,” she says.

“Facilitating conversation in a safe and inclusive space is essential for difficult topics and discussions. By building bridges instead of trenches, we are able to create solutions to systematic problems.

“I had the honor of speaking with people around the world who are often unsung heroes for their tremendous efforts in their communities and their planet. I will continue to build on the idea of ​​GWEM. I hope it will bring something inspiring for humanity.


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