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For more than 20 years, the YWCA has set aside one week in October as a Week Without Violence – a global movement with YWCAs around the world to end violence against women and girls. From Oct. 14 to 18, YWCAs throughout the U.S. hold events, share information and stories, advocate, and more with a common goal in mind: ending gender-based violence.

The Sisters of St. Francis of Clinton, Iowa has a mission of active nonviolence and, through the Franciscan Peace Center, works to help bring awareness to the multi-faceted problem of gender-based violence and to advocate for systemic solutions.

One step in working towards the elimination of this violence is to promote the empowerment of women. Professor and Marriage and Family Therapist, Manijeh Daneshpour explains, “As women, we need to believe in ourselves and our abilities to contribute more. We need to look at the opportunities we have in life and use the multidimensional thinking that women have to change society for the better. We will all benefit from that.”

Through powerful conversations with over 100 women from different walks of life, “The Goddess Project” documentary gives an intimate look into the collective experience that women in the United States face today. Determined to empower the feminine voice, the two filmmakers packed their lives into a school bus and hit the road for what became the most transformative adventure of their lives.

Throughout their 6-month and 10,000-mile journey, they met women from all walks of life who bravely volunteered to bare their souls in front of the camera. They interviewed artists, mothers, healers, businesswomen and scholars about the life-changing experiences that shaped them to become who they are today. This feature-length film explores the process of finding and harnessing your own power from the perspectives of women across America.

The Franciscan Peace Center along with the YWCA Clinton Women’s Empowerment Committee is hosting a free screening of the “The Goddess Project” at 4 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Gateway Community Center, 1850 S. Bluff Blvd. in Clinton. All are welcome and reservations are not required. For more information, visit www.ClintonFranciscans.com or call 242-7611.

Laura Anderson,

Franciscan Peace Center, Sisters of St. Francis