Each year, Movement Day features speakers who come to inspire, challenge, and encourage conference participants. Learn more about the world-renowned speakers, topic experts and practitioners scheduled to share about global issues and key urban population groups at Movement Day Global Cities 2016.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we spoke with Letitia Ann Shelton, founder & CEO of City Women, an organization committed to making the city a better place for girls and women in Toowoomba, Australia.

What are some practical steps women can take to build unity?

For us here in the city of Toowoomba we have realized that the problems in our city are too big for any one church to deal with. We need each other. We can’t be in competition as churches. There is a battle going on for lives and it takes a city-wide church to win a city-wide battle. We have engaged in ministry together as women from so many different churches (City Women has some 250 volunteers from 40 different churches in our city). We have built great friendships based on an outward focus of helping the broken women and girls in our city, and great unity has been built through that.

How can we empower women to bring change to their community and become agents of city transformation?

This process is quite simple. I find the need in our city and then I look for the Christian women who have the passion, calling, and gifts that are required to meet that need. For example, when the first brothel opened in our city, I knew we needed a team who would go regularly and build friendship in a spirit of love with the prostitutes. I knew of a Christian woman in our city who has a passion to love prostitutes due to her own journey earlier in life. So I met with this woman and asked if she would lead a team into the brothel every two weeks. She has been leading this team for the past 6 months. I believe that all the resources needed to transform our communities can be found right within our communities. The resources are in the people. And as we release and support them, they come alive and experience God doing great things through them.

What do you hope to share with the leaders at MDGC this fall?

My passion is to see leaders in their city realize that the problems in our communities are our responsibility. We can’t sit back and expect the government to fix the issues. The city is the responsibility of the church. Although we need to work with our governments and other organizations in our cities, I believe that God has a solution to every problem right within our city; and it’s up to His people to seek Him for those solutions. We must not be afraid of stepping out in courage and taking risks.