Erica Williams (Nigeria)


Erica Williams

Erica Williams (WOCON – Women’s Consortium of Nigeria): Erica worked at the Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program at Howard University, in Washington, where she organized material for the African Burial Ground Project. Between 1999 and 2001 Erica worked and studied in Venezuela, Brazil and South Africa. In South Africa, she conducted historical and ethnographic research at the University of Western Cape. Erica studied for her BA at New York University, where she received several travel and research scholarships and volunteered for several different organizations: Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER), WomenCare, Face to Face International, The Center for African Spiritual Culture, InI Performance Club, NYU, Golden Rose Awards Banquet Committee, NYU. She also served as Editorial Assistant, Academic Achievement Program Newsletter, NYU. At the time of her fellowship, Erica was studying for a Master's degree in African Studies at Yale University and preparing to start a Ph.D. in Cultural and Social Anthropology at Stanford University. Erica asked many probing questions of AP’s new fellowship program, in person and through her final evaluation: “At the orientation, I noticed the beginning of a possible conflict of interest when I learned that interns were expected to engage in capacity-building at their organizations. But I questioned my ability as a 23 year-old student to tell a 50 year-old experienced, renowned human rights lawyer and activist how to run her organization. Perhaps this is the cultural anthropologist in me, but AP, myself, and future interns must recognize their position as outsiders to Nigeria and to WOCON. Being in that tenuous position creates a dynamic where it is difficult to tell people what they should do, because as outsiders we’re not even accustomed to living in their environment." “For instance, with my office experience in the U.S., I’m used to organizing files in labeled manila folders and hanging file folders in file cabinets. Thus, I found WOCON’s filing system of long folders in a multi-shelved closet impossible to understand. But it works for them. My work experience in the U.S. has also trained me to write out my daily activities, allot a specified amount of time to tasks, and rely heavily on the computer. This is an unattainable goal in Lagos because of the constant unexpected power outages and the fact that sending two emails can take you upwards of two hours. Future interns should be fully aware of the challenges they will face in Nigeria, and even then they may still have trouble adapting to the environment.” Erica also found Lagos to be hard work: “The daily struggles of life in Lagos were another challenge. Constant power outages, traffic jams, torrential rains and floods, painfully slow internet service, and the week-long fuel strike all conspired to make my work more difficult.”



09 Apr

Adventures in Transportation

Who would have thought that I would be attending a party at the Oba’s (King)

Posted By Admin

Posted Apr 09, 2007

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09 Apr

What to do When the Global Outweighs the Local?

My first introduction to the phenomenon of trafficking in women and children was from a

Posted By Admin

Posted Apr 09, 2007

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09 Apr

On Being White in the ‘Motherland’

I promise, I had no Afrocentric notions of Nigeria as “the Motherland.” I knew full

Posted By Admin

Posted Apr 09, 2007

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09 Apr

Ko ni suuru (Have Patience)

After years of living in the hustle and bustle of rush-rush New York City, I

Posted By Admin

Posted Apr 09, 2007

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09 Apr

Girls’ Power Initiative, Benin City

When I arrived in Benin City, I wasn’t able to make calls with my mobile

Posted By Admin

Posted Apr 09, 2007

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09 Apr

NGOs Fight Trafficking in Benin

After a four-hour bus ride through the bumpy roads of Ogun and Ondo states, I

Posted By Admin

Posted Apr 09, 2007

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01 Aug

WOCON Sensitizes Rural Community to Prevent Child Trafficking

On 30 July 2003, WOCON, with the support of ECPAT International, conducted a sensitization program

Posted By Admin

Posted Aug 01, 2003

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17 Jul

Simbo Elected as ECPAT Youth Representative for Africa

This week WOCON received news that their Youth Director, Miss Olasimbo Olateru-Olagbegi, has been elected

Posted By Admin

Posted Jul 17, 2003

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07 Jul

STRIKE!

A national strike over the hike in fuel prices began last week, and it is

Posted By Admin

Posted Jul 07, 2003

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27 Jun

A Great Way to End Sexism

From June 23 to 27, Mrs. Bisi Olateru-Olagbegi organized a week-long gender sensitization training for

Posted By Admin

Posted Jun 27, 2003

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17 Jun

Lagos Poem

Lagos Narrow roads with potholes, ditches, and floods Traffic jams turn a 20 minute trip

Posted By Admin

Posted Jun 17, 2003

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11 Jun

Musings on African Feminism(s)

On Monday, June 9, I attended a workshop entitled “Mainstreaming Women’s Rights Issues in the

Posted By Admin

Posted Jun 11, 2003

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06 Jun

The Beginning

After two 6-hour flights and a long wait in London’s Heathrow airport, I finally arrived

Posted By Admin

Posted Jun 06, 2003

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