Students at Union Theological Seminary in New York will be celebrating International Women’s Day in chapel on Monday, March 9.

“Persist” is the name of the student caucus at Union organizing the prayer service. Their mission statement begins by saying, “As a student group, we are women and men who believe in the  affirming notion that dignity, equality and human rights belong to all people – male or female”

Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza wrote that “the roots and pillars of patriarchy are sexism, racism and militaristic colonialism.”  These seminarians are working to empower their local and global community with awareness of and skills to reform structures and systems of domination and control related to all three pillars.

In order to plant new roots, the co-chairs of Persist believe we must learn to act together with others to transform the societies in which we live. The horizon of freedom from patriarchy is hope. On Monday, seminarians at Union will gather to sing the songs of freedom for all women in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Below is a short video the caucus compiled for use during the candle lighting communion. “By incorporating the pictures of women from around the world,” the co-chairs of the caucus shared, “we acknowledge women’s voices which are most often ignored or silenced rather than celebrated.”