World Trust

She-roes: So Many Her-stories to Celebrate

Posted by World Trust Team on March 31, 2015

At World Trust we celebrate she-ros, such as the everyday she-ros featured in our film, The Way Home: Women Talk About Race in America.  In celebration of March being Women's Her-story Month, each of our staff picked one of their own she-ros to share with you. Read on for some deep inspiration:

ellabakerFounder, Shakti Butler's she-ro: Ella Baker

Ella Baker is one of my She-roes. She was tireless in her resistance to injustice and fearless in terms of putting her life on the line for what she believed.  As an organizer, Baker was a staunch believer in helping ordinary people to work together and lead themselves, and she objected to centralized authority. In her worldview, “strong people don’t need strong leaders.”  Her words live on in “Ella’s Song,” sung by Sweet Honey in the Rock: “We who believe in freedom cannot rest.”

carolmosleybraunDirector of Curriculum, Dia Penning's she-ro: Carol Mosley Braun
Carol Mosley Braun was the first female African America senator (Illinois) and my idol all through college. She campaigned for senate because she was angry that the incumbent (Dixon) had confirmed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. I had a picture of her in my dorm room wall to remind me that there were still barriers to break and work to be done, and that anger could be a very healthy catalyst. 

yuri-kochiyama_posterAdministrative Coordinator, Rhummanee Hang's she-ro: Yuri Kochiyama
Because you are young and have dreams and want to do something meaningful, that in itself, makes you our future and our hope. Keep expanding your horizon, decolonize your mind, and cross borders." Yuri Kochiyama. She was a human rights woman warrior and a beautiful spirit. Her socio-political consciousness started with Japanese internment as a young woman where she went on to become instrumental in the Black Power and Asian American liberation movements. She has dispelled stereotypical portrayals of Asian American women, provided me with an example of someone who has lead fearlessly, and has given me a lifetime of inspiration. Rest in power, Yuri.

bellaabzugOutreach Manager, Ginny Berson's she-ro: Bella Abzug
Abzug was an attorney who took on civil rights and labor cases starting in the 1940's.  She was an outspoken advocate for women's rights and an early opponent of the Vietnam War. She was a co-founder of Women's Strike for Peace.  She was elected to Congress in 1970 and was one of the first members to support gay rights.  She made the Richard Nixon's enemies list.  Her whole life was spent working for and fighting for social justice.  

211Operations, Aimee Reeder's she-ro: Rev Sandra Forrester Dufresne
Rev Dufresne, my recently deceased mother, spent her life fighting injustice in the United Methodist Church.  Nine months pregnant with me she was at pro-choice rallies.  Mid-life her career was dominated by combating racists trying to shut down one of the only Spanish-speaking churches in rural PA (it is thriving today!) On her acual deathbed she was getting in deep trouble with Methodist authorities for supporting same sex marriage.  In both private and public ways, her life was spent trying to make the world a more equitable place. 

mariannewilliamsonSocial Media Consultant, Kelley Nayo's she-ro: Marianne Williamson
Williamson has redefined herself multiple times and celebrates her capacity to do so.  She delivers inspiring and moving messages to wide ranges of audiences on any number of topics.  She carries herself with beauty and grace.  She inspires other women to be exactly who they are, and to support one another in our quest to do so.  One of her most famous quotes was taken from notes she took on the life changing A Course in Miracles.   " . . . as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
audre_lordeDevelopment Consultant, Krista Alderson's she-ro: Audre Lorde
I started reading Zami in college and it changed me. She was a feminist, lesbian, mother, poet and in her own words, a warrior. In Sister Outsider, Audre called out the insidious nature of white supremacy within the feminist movement. Her writings helped me see my own internalized privilege and begin a lifelong journey to transform this. Her book The Cancer Journals is among my favorites, it's so courageous, generous and revolutionary. 

The list of she-roes goes on and on.  Thanks for celebrating some of our she-ros with us and Happy Women's History Month from The World Trust Team!

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Topics: Diversity Training Film Selection, Film: The Way Home