Today is not just International Women’s Day, it’s also A Day Without Women. Today we show our impact as women in the workforce (in any field) by not participating in any paid or non-paid work (or if unable, wearing red to stand in solidarity) as well as only purchasing goods from women or minority owned small businesses. We also celebrate women that are making a difference by spending their time and efforts to making our world and our communities a little bit of a better place. We celebrate the women that truly take progressive action to encourage change. The first women I think of are the ones that march, that make signs, that donate their time and money to a better cause and use their platform to speak up about the things that we can’t condone. These women are fearless and persistent. They aren’t afraid to speak up and show up. These are women that fight. I’m sure everyone has their own definition of what it means, but as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?'” and I feel the 4 women below exemplify that and empower others daily.
Yara is only 17 years old but this young woman has already made her impact in the youth community. I’ve had the pleasure of being in her presence a few times, and each time I’m just in awe of her dedication and willingness to want to fight for equality and human rights. Along with BFF Rowan Blanchard, these girls actively use their platform’s to raise awareness surrounding the social injustices that women and minorities face. To know that our youth is passionate about these causes really inspires me. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she’s also from Minnesota 🙂
You may know her from Jane The Virgin, a show that just knows how to pull at the heartstrings but Gina is dedicated to being an advocate for change in regards to the perception of Latino’s in Hollywood. She often voices her thoughts on Twitter surrounding the lack of diversity as well as limited-to-no roles or stories being shown in a non-stereotypical context in film and tv. She even takes the time to discuss these issues by replying to her fans, something of which not many celebs do. Gina began #MovementMondays on Instagram to recognize minorities for their accomplishments in their fields. She especially highlights those that would not normally be recognized in an effort to shed light on others achievements. She definitely makes me feel like I can, and I will.
My dear friend Monique is a women that is a force to be reckoned with. When I met her, we instantly clicked. I don’t have a sister, so in a way, it’s almost like she’s the big sister I should’ve had. Monique is an actress, but she is most passionate about being a Global Youth Ambassador that advocates for the youth community by raising awareness surrounding the most pressing issues that youth face today. She actively participates in the WE movement, an organization that empowers change and creates opportunities around the world. On top of that, she is one of the most selfless people I know that continuously gives – whether it’s a word of encouragement or some advice.
America does not stand for social injustice in America. And she’s not afraid to let you know that. An actress, a triatholon athlete and activist – naturally, she is definitely one of my biggest inspirations. Along with her husband, Ryan Williams and fellow actor Wilmer Valderrama, they started the organization Harness. The organization began largely in response to the 2016 Election results. America began the #30DaysofAction campaign to encourage others who want to take a stand, but don’t know how. For the past 30 days, she has posted #IWillHarness memo’s to educate on important topics and give others the resources to do their part. Her and Gina are excellent examples of the Latina community, a community that is often overlooked.
While most may think that a march or speaking up doesn’t have an impact, I can argue that it certainly does. It’s about taking action and inspiring others around you to stand up for what is right. Even if others don’t believe in you or if they don’t like what you say, it should never be a reason that you stay silent. Nothing will change if we are not consistent about voicing what needs to be changed.
This pretty much sums up how I feel about International Women’s Day. Would love to know what others are doing in their communities to contribute to change! What women do you find inspiring?