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We Want We Do — Violence Against Women is Everyone’s Business

#TakeAction podcast guests Chiara Costa-Virtanen and Shirlene Green are the founding members of +Collective taking a stand against gender based violence.

I had the pleasure of podcasting with Chiara and Shirlene about the upcoming event series We Want We Do as well as about the ever important topic, violence against women.

We Want to stop gender-based violence, We Do actively endorse its eradication

Listen the #takeaction podcast:

What is +Collective?

+Collective is a collective of individuals of different backgrounds, networks, and organizations living and operating in Finland. The shared goal is to support human rights and equality, promoting social change and inclusion.

Our collective was founded and is driven by a diverse and international group of women; this made us aware of the importance of upholding real and determined actions against gender-based violence and discrimination in all its forms.

We Encourage is also part of +Collective and the event series We Want, We Do in support of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women taking place 25 of November annually.

Through our We Want We Do program we are bringing awareness amongst the general public about gender-based violence in Finland and worldwide. At the same time, we are supporting the fights for the rights of women, binary or non-binary. Follow the + Collective facebook page to get notified for the events or attend through the event page!

Who is Shirlene Green?

An Afro-Indigenous woman from a small town on north Caribbean of Nicaragua. After graduating from her bachelor’s degree in Philology and Communication, Shirlene worked with several women organizations. She has also had a career as a TV producer for different local programmes.

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Shirlene’s work also grew by writing for several magazines such as La Boletina, Maailman Kuvalehti, Suomi Nicaragua Seura, The Shortcut blog, and national newspapers, La Prensa and Nuevo Diario.

For over 10 years, she coordinated a journalist project with the Finnish Foundation for Media Communication and Development (Vikes). Here along with her colleages, they produced short stories, reportages, and documentaries for radio and television.

She is also part of Women Network in Finland, a virtual and physical space that divulges and visualizes projects executed by Latinoamerican and Caribbean women living in Finland. They organize workshops, discussions; participate and coordinate protests, performance, and sit-ins. Shirlene content to continue with my activism because it allows me to interact and learn more.

Shirlene is also a founder of Women Wheel a community online that develops different women topics. Women Wheel covers Shirlene’s experiences and others based on sexuality, gender, violence, culture, climate change, literature, womanhood, feminism, and decolonization stories that will link us together regardless of where you live, age, and race.

Who is Chiara Costa-Virtanen?

An Italian based in Helsinki and cultural mediator. Chiara focuses on cultural differences among people, using the data for solving issues such as integration, unemployment and equality. Chiara is graduated in “Plurilinguism and multiculturalism” and at the moment, her main area of interest is the integration of foreigners inside the Finnish job market.

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Chiara’s mission during these years of work for the City of Helsinki and for Väestöliitto, is to create a bridge between these international talents and their Finnish future employers. Many years of experience as cultural mediator have shown her the importance of bringing attention to the job market as a tool for dismantling discrimination, xenophobia, and prejudice.

Chiara believes that the process of integration of foreigners can be simplified through formal and informal education of employers and workplaces, activism and involving the Finnish host community to play its part in the inclusion process. This is why she tries to be vocal and make the local community aware of the differences between the foreigners present on the territory.

We all have different stories, and this information is important in designing and customizing the programs offered to immigrants. Internationality comes with intersectionality!

Chiara’s activism also involves on being the Chairwoman of IWWOF — International Working Women of Finland, a community member of INKLUUSIV network and one of the founders of the +Collective.

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We Encourage is on a mission to empower women and girls under oppression. We act as a fundraising agent and build open source AI tool for victims of violence.

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