YWCA Cabaret Gala – Why I think women ROCK!
This weekend, I will be honored by the YWCA of Boulder County next to some pretty remarkable people. This week, I am using my platform to reflect on what it means to be a black woman striving to uphold the tenants of the YWCA of eliminating racism and empowering women. Today, I will answer a second question posed by the YWCA.
What makes you passionate about women and describe some of the ways you’ve fostered female leadership within your work life?
I honestly believe the best way to answer this question is to link to Beyoncé’s entire video collection. If you’re not passionate about the power of women after watching Run The World (Girls), well, I have no words for you.
My father taught me how to be a strong woman. He gave me thick skin and a strong constitution. He taught me how to think like a man but be a feminine woman. He told me I could be anything from an astronaut (shout out to Dr. Mae Jamison) to the President while simultaneously encouraging me to bake killer pecan pies with the crust made from scratch.
My female friends at Notre Dame taught me female solidarity. When I was an undergrad, all the minority kids stuck together. If you had a drop of melanin, you were accepted. But the female solidarity was even more powerful. We supported each other as women because we were double minorities. We were brilliant and beautiful and when ‘they’ (as DJ Khaled says) wanted to hold us down, we held each other up. I also love my ND sisters because our diversity just made us stronger. The black girls would walk in the fashion show sponsored by the Filipino girls, the hispanic girls joined the traditionally black step team, the white girls respected our cultures and were supportive allies.
I have so many real life female role models who have taught me how to be a fierce and respected negotiator, how to be a strong partner if marriage comes, and still be the boss if it doesn’t come. They’ve taught me to love my body in all of its perfection. They’ve taught me to demand respect. They’ve taught me that mothers are wonderful, and those who aren’t are equally as wonderful. They’ve taught me how to love a man and stay away from busters. They’ve taught me that being a black woman is not a singular definition. I can be loud AND quiet, listen to Erykah Badu AND Nicki Minaj, rock multicolored weave AND my natural hair. We black women are not Jezebels or Sapphires or Mammys. We are nerds, geeks, entrepreneurs, adventurers, wallflowers, exercise fanatics, corporate leaders, activists, scientists, and on most days, we’re a combination of all of these things. I foster female leadership by sitting down one-on-one with the ladies in my life and making sure they know their worth and their possibilities. And maybe most importantly, that they are loved. I try to be the biggest cheerleader for the women in my life just as women before me have been my cheerleaders!
I’m passionate about women because we ROCK! We’re soft and sensitive and boss and bold and sweet and kind. We smell nice. We look GOOD! Our bodies come in beautiful shapes, sizes and colors. We’re intelligent, we’re goofy, we’re funny….like really funny. We can do anything. Anything.
Thank you again to the women and allies who nominated me for this honor. I can’t thank y’all enough!