I was in Arizona last week, and who knew that a national radio program I’d been asked to do emanated from just across the valley from my Scottsdale home, in Youngtown AZ?
Youngtown being a euphemism for older folks, which Baby Boomers are quickly becoming in the millions—a very important segment of America. It was great to talk with Pete and Debra who are “Boomer and the Babe”
Listen to the interview right here and chime in with your thoughts in comments.
Open the podcast in a separate window here or listen now by clicking the PLAY arrow above.
I’m a little biased about Jamia Wilson having had the pleasure of knowing her and working with her as we both went through several career transitions during the last decade.
She’s an inspiration to me because of her seamless commitment to social justice and her positive way of putting her ideas into action.
Her responses to my questions continue the series in which I ask people I interviewed for No Excuses what they’ve learned since then. You can connect with Jamia on Facebook and Twitter.
Gloria Feldt: In No Excuses, I asked, “When did you know you had the power to _____?” What have you learned about your power to _____ during the past year or so?
Jamia Wilson: In the past year or so, I have learned so much about faith and perseverance. I have faced many triumphs and challenges during a transitional time in my life and have learned so much.
The rough edges and moments where I stared fear in the face taught me about the importance of courage and authenticity above all else. I have learned that I have the power to choose to be who I am authentically without apology and let that guide me towards realizing my dreams and my highest power.
As Janis Joplin said, “Don’t compromise yourself, you’re all you’ve got”. 2010-2011’s greatest gift to me was an appreciation for my own resilience and that to me is one of my most sacred superpowers.
GF: Was there a moment when you felt very powerful recently?
Big thanks and kudos to Catherine Engh for contributing some terrific posts this Women’s History Month. As we end WHM for 2012, here’s one more from Catherine that I know you’ll enjoy, and I hope you’ll think about and take a moment to share your comments. I’ve written a different take on Slutwalk but Catherine has almost persuaded me…
This last year, women around the world made history, protesting victim-blaming online as well as on foot. The Slutwalk movement began after a Toronto police officer told a group of college women that if they hoped to escape sexual assault, they should avoid dressing like “sluts.”
Victim-blaming last year was by no means isolated to this public incident. A young woman who pressed rape charges against two New York City police officers could not be believed, in part, because she was drunk. When an 11-year-old Texas girl was allegedly gang-raped by 19 men, The New York Times ran a story quoting neighbors saying that she habitually wore makeup and dressed in clothes more appropriate for a 20-year-old. The maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of rape has been discredited for being a liar, and The New York Post claimed she was a prostitute.
The women and men who marched in Slutwalks in more than 70 cities around the world last year were fed up with this kind of symbolic violence. The Slutwalk movement was organized around one central message:
Continuing the series of asking women I interviewed when I was writing No Excuses “What have you learned about your relationship with power since we talked?” here is a beautiful essay from Kristal Brent Zook explaining her answer about a very personal choice.
How Gloria Feldt’s No Excuses Reminded Me of My Power
Not long ago, my friend Gloria Feldt, author of No Excuses, asked me to take another look at her 9 ways women can embrace power to see if any of the strategies had resonated lately, in the year or so since the initial release of her book.
Since we all know how political the personal will always be, I thought immediately about the upheavals of the past year in my home life.
Last February, my husband and I decided—on a whim, really—to relocate from Manhattan to the suburbs of Long Island.
“Why not leave the city?” we asked ourselves. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Get some fresh air. A yard. A real house. It would shorten my commute to Hofstra University; and of course, we would be saving all that money.
A charming, two-story 1923 Colonial about 30 miles east of the city caught our eye: it was more than 5,000 square feet, with two sun rooms and front and back yards. The rent was $1,200 less than our midtown high-rise, and ditching New York City taxes meant another $1,000 a month in savings.
“Let’s do it!” we agreed excitedly, handing over a check for the first month’s rent.
“What do you want to be?” we ask our daughters and sons when they are growing up.
It seems only right that as Women’s History Month draws to a close, we don’t just look backward but that we also focus forward to ask what we as women want to be and what women of the future might or should become.
This article on Canadian women’s economic power indicates economic parity is on the way. A new study published in the Harvard Business Review says women are better leaders than men on almost every measure of leadership. But does that translate to women moving from the current 18% to parity in top leadership positions?
Since the power to define the woman of tomorrow is to a large extent in our hands (See Power Tool #3) and based upon the history we make today (see power tool #1), I’m asking what you think:
“I’ve just insisted – insisted! – upon being called a black woman novelist…And I decided what that meant, because I have claimed it. As a black and a woman, I have had access to a range of emotions and perceptions that were unavailable to people who were neither.”
It’s Women’s History Month and I can’t resist profiling Toni Morrison, a prolific writer who has worked to represent through fiction the experience of black people—particularly women–in America. Ms. Morrison’s novels focus on marginalized characters struggling to find their place in a society built upon the legacy of slavery and the violence of racial prejudice. Most known for her imaginative fiction, Morrison has also written essays, non-fiction, plays, a libretti, and children’s books.
Ms. Morrison developed her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970), while raising two children and teaching at Howard University. She later took a job as an editor at Random House, where she played a vital role in bringing black literature into the mainstream, editing books by authors such as Toni Cade Bambara, Angela Davis, and Gayl Jones.
Commercially successful and critically acclaimed, her 1987 Pulitzer Prize winning novel “Beloved” was chosen by a New York Times survey of prominent writers to be the best work of American fiction of the previous 25 years. In “Beloved”, Morrison imagines what it would have felt like to be Margaret Garner, a fugitive slave woman who chose to kill her infant daughter rather than see her grow up in slavery.
In an interview with the Paris Review, Morrison says about Margaret Garner:
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!