All tagged women in leadership
I was invited to the inaugural cohort of LIPPI in 2011 as a brand new founder who had an idea of how to help community members and organizations move towards integration and mutual respect. Within two years I was tackling systemic barriers of race while working with public safety officials and community leaders. I needed affirmation, information, and support. And WFWM was offering this new leadership program fashioned after the White House Project… LIPPI is needed today more than ever.
For the most part among feminist thinkers, equity and justice resonates. We want systems that uphold these values. To work toward equity and justice, we have to be in relationship with ourselves first (knowing our personal values, goals, and aspirations) and pursue knowledge from those communities we see ourselves advocating for or call ourselves a member. Interpersonally, we have to work first and foremost on relationship: communication, working with, and sharing space of all kinds (labor, emotional, psychological, mental, and vision/aspiration). And at the institutional level, we must find our points of intersection, learn how to be in better relationship at those intersections, and learn to follow when it is time to fall back.
By working intentionally with high impact cohorts of women leaders and through trainings with organizations, I know we can shift the tide. People are ready for systems change. People are owning that our systems don’t work, owning all the “isms”. Now it’s just figuring out how to be brave enough to move through them. This is the time we’re in: people have to act, and there needs to be some guidance. Anybody doing anything positive and well-intentioned is better than nothing. Then we can get organized to do the really powerful work.
We are women living well above and well below the poverty line, women of African American heritage, women who are transgender, women who are of Latina heritage, women of the millennial generation, women of Muslim faith, women seeking refuge in our new country, women with disabilities, women of European descent, women who identify as survivors or in recovery. And all of our voices and collective wisdom are needed… We should speak whenever, however we can because now, more than ever, I am convinced women will save the world alongside our counterpart at board tables, in the workplace, right here in the State House as well as in our neighborhoods, churches, school committee meetings and town meetings and Chambers throughout the Commonwealth.
We have community organizers, non-profit leaders, business owners, social workers, and educators. We are native Berkshire families and “transplants”. We aim to ignite our networks and form a strong collaborative much like in the history of the origins of our commission. Our energy and focus comes from our collective personal and professional experience. We are a diverse group of women and strong group of activists, and we have a clear vision. We take seriously our job to represent the voices of the women and girls of Berkshire County, the real Western Massachusetts.