Mater Dei Prep Global Leaders Institute Attend “Who Rules The World” Conference

On Thursday, October 25, 2018, the Mater Dei Prep Global Leaders Institute and students from St. Mary Elementary School in partnership with Pathways To Peace had the privilege of attending the “Who Rules The World” DPI/NGO conference at the United Nations in New York City.

The “Who Rules The World” DPI/NGO conference discussed how women and girls changed the world. The event highlighted the importance of empowering women and encouraged others to celebrate their leadership and achievements in business, education, politics and technology. A group of influential women leaders shared their personal stories of starting their own organizations in hopes of leading the way for future women.

“All of the speakers were brave enough to tell their stories and inspired everyone in attendance. Their stories taught us that being a woman does not limit us but makes us more capable in the world today. Every person left the conference motivated by the main message of not being afraid to have dreams and to not be afraid of reaching those dreams,” said Alessandra Fleming ‘MDP22.

The group of influential women leaders that presented at the conference included Ms. Elana Leopold - Founding Partner at Seneca Strategies, Ms. Mariama Camara - Designer, Advocate and Founder of Mariama Fashion Production, Ms. Laila Zemrani - Co-founder and CEO of FITNESCITY, Ms. Hamel Vyas - Associate Dean of International Personnel at Mount Sinai Health System, and Ms. Shabana Basij-Rasikh - Co-Founder and President of the School of Leadership Afghanistan.

The final speaker, Ms. Shabana Basij-Rasikh, made a lasting impact on Dominique Bryson ‘MDP20. “I will never forget Ms. Shabana Basij-Rasikh’s story”, said Donimique Bryson. “She was raised during the Taliban regime that prohibited women from working and criminalized women’s’ education. Her parents sent both of their children to a secret school risking the lives of their entire family. She grew up thinking that it was normal to get killed for trying to pursue her education. One hundred and thirty million girls currently do not attend school in Afghanistan and only six percent of women have a college education. It was very powerful to hear the obstacles Ms. Shabana Basij-Rasikh had to overcome to achieve her dreams and her story inspired me to make a difference in the world,” said Dominique Bryson.

“I feel very lucky to have been a part of the United Nations “Who Rules The World” Conference. I was presented with the opportunity to be in a room full of women who have been influencing and making a difference in the world since a young age. For example, Ms. Mariama Camara came to America with only one hundred dollars and a dream. She worked hard towards achieving her dream and is now the founder of Mariama Fashion Production and has been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine and New York Magazine. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to attend the conference and meet these strong and powerful women. They all make a difference in making the world a better place,” said Sarah Wickham ‘MDP21.

“This event reminds us that each individual in attendance serves as a ripple that can impact the world. When gathered together they create currents of change. It was such an inspiring day,” said Mr. George Anthony, Head of the Mater Dei Prep Global Leaders Institute.

The Mater Dei Prep Global Leaders Institute through their partnership with Pathways to Peace continues to lead the conversation on global peace and conflict resolution. For more information on the Mater Dei Prep Global Leaders Institute, please visit or register for the upcoming Mater Dei Prep Open House on Thursday, November 15th from 6:30-8:30 PM.

To view the recorded video of the “Who Rules The World” DPI/NGO conference,” please visit


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