I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I meet the most fascinating people when I speak to groups! Lifestyle brand maven Claudia Chan [LINK] invited me to be part of a panel at Anheuser Busch Women in Beer [LINK to event post] in (of course) St. Louis. There, I met this amazing woman who went from being an abandoned child in South Korea to running her own construction company in. I’m inspired and think you will be too!
GF: The first question because I am fascinated with women’s relationship with power is this: When did you know you had the power to_____? You fill in the blank.
Describe the moment or series of events that let you know you had the power to_____. What did it feel like?
NSB: Assert myself.
I realized I had this “power” when I was around 16 years old and very active in 4-H on a state level. I decided to run for state treasurer which meant, I was to give a campaign speech to an audience of about 500 in the Jesse Auditorium of the University of Missouri campus. When I started speaking, it was the first time I could hear myself outside of my own ears. I did not recognize the voice, the tone, and especially the confidence I heard. In case you are wondering, I did win!1990 4-H State Council Jesse Auditorium of the University of Missouri campus.
GF: Tell a little about your background, your family and how you grew up, and what led you to your current work.
Why? Let’s face it—history has largely been defined through the male lens, recorded by male pens, with men as the main protagonists, and women, if noticed at all, in supporting roles. As the saying goes, you can’t be what you can’t see.
The converse—you can aspire to that which you can imagine—is why I created six new speeches for Women’s History Month, March 2013. I had fun cooking up these new ideas to make women’s history interesting, relevant, and inspiring to corporate, professional, civic, college, and nonprofit groups of all kinds:
—“The Power of Sheroes: Why Women Want Role Models, Mentors, and Sponsors, and How to Get Them”
—“Remember the Ladies: 3 Surprising Mistakes of the Women’s Movement and the Leadership Lessons They Can Teach Us”
—“On the Waves: Celebrating Top 10 Highlights of Women’s Advancement – and Envisioning the Journey Still Ahead”
—“Is This the End of Men or the Beginning of Women?”
—“What Will It Take for Women to Reach Parity in Leadership?”
—“Seriously, Henry Higgins? Must a Woman Be More Like a Man to Succeed?”
Last fall, I taught my Arizona Sate University course “Women, Power, and Leadership” online for the first time. I had a chance to learn webinar skills. If you are interested in exploring a digital version of one of these speeches, we can talk about that option.
Come if you can, and if you do, please stop by and say “hello.” Even if you can’t, consider this Power Tools Worksheet my gift of intention to you for your “power to” do whatever you want to achieve.) Bookmark it so you can reuse it any time you need to think through a problem or plan to achieve a goal. And if you need a quick refresher on the 9 Ways Power Tools, here’s a one-page summary.
The next great leap for women is money and wealth building. If we understand its power. I’m excited to be joining Now Street and its fabulous founder Dara Albright plus a stellar lineup of speakers for this December 11 symposium, “Women Transforming Our Financial Markets.” It might be cold outside, gut I guarantee the wisdom in this room will be hot. Here are the full details.
NowStreet Media, leader in financial markets’ reform, is pleased to announce the agenda for its much anticipated “Women Transforming Our Financial Markets Symposium” being held on Tuesday, December 11th at Chadbourne & Parke’s conference center at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.
Presentations, workshops and panel discussions during an extensive full day program will address how new legislation, including the legalization of crowdfund investing and general solicitation, is transforming the financial markets and creating the optimum climate for America’s women to launch new businesses and maximize investment returns.
Amy-Willard Cross knew her historic mission and found her power to achieve it was right there, within her. She tells 9 Ways how and she founded the media company Vitamin W, “100% Kardashian-free.”
Knowing her personal history enabled Amy-Willard to create the future of her choice. How’s that for using the old Power Tool #1?
Read and be energized…then sign up right here for Vitamin W’s free newsletter and they’ll donate $1 to one of five fabulous women’s charities. Here’s Amy-Willard:
Gloria Feldt: When did you know you had the power to start a woman-owned media company? What did it feel like?
Amy-Willard Cross: I tried to start a magazine—a Pariscope kind of guide for LA. I was just out of college and had never worked at a magazine, so I got a partner. Soon, though, I gave up and took a regular starter job which turned into decades of working in magazines.
Fast forward to the mid-aughts. I started a site of women’s oped—thinking that, like Dooce, I’d put something up and the world and advertisers would flock to me…but I missed that boat by a few years.
After a few years of watching the not-for-profit feminist blogosphere, I determined that the world needed a woman-owned media property that would promote women in every respect—our businesses, our nonprofits, ALL our stories—and gather together the 11 million women who support women’s organizations into a powerful audience.
My definition of leadership is someone who gets something done. Read on for the inspiring story of Ashley Riley who saw something that needed to get done and did it in her Silicon Valley community. And watch, I think Fit Kids will be coming to a schoolyard near you soon-maybe because you’ll be the leader to make it happen.
As we all prepare to overeat those Thanksgiving goodies, what better time to promote kids’ fitness?
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to pay homage and give thanks to Ashley Riley, one woman, a busy mom of four children under 11(!), who is “doing it” – that is, creating a movement to bring health and fitness through active play to all kids.
I met Ashley in late August of this year. It was kismet – my good fortune. I had decided to look for part-time “community organizer” work, and she was looking for someone to help with her 5th child, her precious baby, Fit Kids.
Ashley founded Fit Kids in January of 2011 based on a simple premise that healthy activity and food should not just be for the affluent kids on the west side of the Peninsula but a right of all kids – regardless of ethnicity and socioeconomic or immigration status.
“Why?” Ashley pondered, “should a child born on this side of Highway 101 have different access to healthy activity and nutrition than their brothers and sisters in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park (aka Belle Haven)?
The post-election buzz is all about how 2012 was a pivotal year, the demographic shift toward non-white voters and millennials finally kicked in, women finally exercised their electoral power, and yada yada. This is true, and we deserve to celebrate for a few minutes.
But elections come and go, pendulums swing, and no shift happens by itself—people have to make it happen.
That’s why social movements are forever, if they remain relevant and keep them. I was honored to be interviewed by NYU’s Margaret Sanger Papers Project regarding my views of the woman who started the American Birth Control Movement and the organization that would become Planned Parenthood, her work, and what I learned from her leadership. Here you go—let me know what you think.
Margaret Sanger Papers Project:Many years ago, you were a teenage mother living in Texas. Can you describe that experience and how it has contributed to your personal and professional life?
Gloria Feldt: I relate to the hardships of young parents. I have been driven by a passion that my daughters and all future generations of women should have the information, aspiration, and access to birth control and abortion services that give them the ability to determine the course of their own lives. Like Margaret Sanger, I believe biology should not be destiny and no woman can call herself free till she can own and control her own body. The birth control pill represented that liberation for me. It enabled me to start college and build a career. And to become financially independent–economic justice is the second factor, after reproductive rights, women must have to be full and equal citizens, but you can’t have that unless you can make your own sexual and childbearing decisions.
Raise your hand if you were a Girl Scout. Give the Girl Scout Sign if you ever sold Girl Scout cookies. Say “Yum!” if you have ever eaten a Girl Scout cookie.
Many of us have fond memories of Scouting, and I recall the year my father chaired the local cookie drive and stuffed our freezer with twelve dozen boxes. But I’ll bet every one of you said “Yum!” And you have your favorite. I love to curl up with a box of shortbreads, a cup of tea, and a good book.
But who knew these delicious morsels carried within them an unexpected ingredient: death to one of the most adorable animals on Earth, orangutans? Until these two courageous young women, Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, took the issue of unsustainably harvested palm oil head on. Read their inspiring story:
Gloria Feldt: When did you know you had the power to_____? Describe the moment or series of events that let you know you had the power to_____. What did it feel like?
Madison: I knew that I had the power to change Girl Scouts USA’s palm oil policy as soon as I made the connection that unsustainable palm oil which results in deforestation, the endangerment of thousands of species and human rights abuses was an ingredient in the Girl Scout cookies I had sold since childhood. At eleven years old, I didn’t know how I would accomplish this goal, but my passion and conviction led to unrelenting action.
I met Juliet Asante through a most remarkable friend, Eva Haller. Eva can always be counted on to be surrounded by people who are doing amazing, significant things for others in this world, and Juliet is no exception. So I was thrilled when this media entrepreneur and activist, the founder of Eagle Productions Ltd, (an events and communications company; developing and aggregating content for multiple platforms; with operations in a number of African countries), agreed to answer a few questions.
I think you’ll be inspired and agree that Juliet is definitely a woman who is Doing It!
Gloria Feldt:When did you know you had the power to_____?
Juliet Asante: I knew I had the power to change my world and make a difference when I, (as an African girl, at a time when not many people dared) was able to raise money to start my first television show; having started out with only a cell phone and absolutely no money or guidance.
GF:Describe the moment or series of events that let you know you had the power to:
JA: My first major event on my path was getting the part in an HBO movie that starred Omar Epps. “Deadly Voyage,” a true story based in Africa, was auditioned for by the ‘best’ in the industry… and I got the role I auditioned for. This gave me the confirmation and credibility I needed at the time to explore my talents.
The second event I remember, was winning the writing competition to produce a road show for a product to Unilever, and producing this while in my final year of University in another city. I commuted for 8 hours between two cities in every 24 hours for my entire final year at school.
I felt powerful. I felt my mental limitations drop away. I remember feeling like I could do it and I could see the world opening up to me. I also felt that my path was going to be a one of resistance, as I had already begun to see that in many ways, but I knew I’d find the strength to move on. I just knew….
GF: Tell a little about your background, your family and how you grew up, and what led you to your current work.
Wednesday, Oct. 2-Nov. 13, 2013Gloria will teach a 6-week online course "9 Practical Leadership Power Tools to Advance Your Career".This is a Take The Lead event in partnership with Arizona State University Online. Participants will receive a certificate to enhance their resumes along with practical skills and understanding of power dynamics in the workplace. Don't miss this opportunity and register today!