I was honored to be the final speaker of the Women's March on the Air Capital Rally on January 20, 2018. Here's what I said:
Photo used by permission of Jon Pic of bad_jon. Productions
Look at all of us, sisters and allies, gathered here today! What an inspiration! We’re all here to celebrate owning our power, so let’s give ourselves a big WOO HOO!
I started the Finishing School in 2015 to help women own their power. As a business consultant, I’ve helped women open and grow their own businesses for years, and have found that, as women, we struggle with what the word “power” means.
When we think about power, we think of people who act controlling and aggressive. We’ve learned that women who exert their power, are labeled as “bitch” or worse, by men and women.
So, we try to be more polite; more apologetic; more accommodating. Because of this we allow ourselves to be less than who we are. Without even thinking we give our power away.
What I hope to help women discover at the Finishing School, is that power isn’t just something that’s given to you from the outside. It’s something that comes from within you. When others recognize you as having personal power, external power comes to you.
And we need to be in more positions of power. No one is going to give this power to us. We have to own it! We must work towards it, make our intentions known, and be willing to step into it and take on the work. Not because we don’t already have enough to do, but because it is too important not to do.
We must recognize our impact as role models and lead the way. I have been inspired to be who I am, because of the women that influenced my life. Women in Kansas politics, like Connie Peters, Joan Cole, Elma Broadfoot, Janet Miller, Kathleen Sibelius and Patsy Terrell. It is up to us to carry on. It’s up to us to do something!
Owning our power is not about competing. When one of us succeeds, we all succeed. Owning our power is about collaboration. We must come together, to help each other achieve more. When the elevator gets to the top, we need to send it down, to bring more women up with us!
The idea that women can’t work together is bullshit. That’s what we’ve been led to believe. It keeps us apart and easier to control, because when we come together - we are amazing!
Are we all going to agree on all the issues? No! We never will. But there are so many issues we can all agree on. Rather than looking at our differences, we must look at our similarities. And listen to each other. We are all on the same side. We must stand together. Look at how the conversation is changing, as women are standing by each other in the #metoo movement.
We are 51 percent of the population, yet we continue to be treated like second class citizens in how the law protects us; in how we’re paid; and how we’re treated when we do stand up for our rights as human beings. I went to the viewing of Equal Means Equal documentary last night, and I am more inspired than ever. These issues didn’t just come up with the current president. They’ve always been there. What he did do, is make us angry enough to do something! I thank him for that.
The most important action we can take is to vote! This is the best way to own our power. We have to VOTE! If you aren’t registered, do it today. Talk to friends and new friends, and help them register. Women in Alabama, especially Black women, where able to turn the vote. Now that’s powerful.
We can do this in Kansas too. It is our time! I AM WOMAN. HEAR OUR VOTE!
All photos used by permission from Jon Pic of bad_jon. Productions on Facebook as @badjonstudio, Check out more fantastic photos by Jon of the Women's March here.