In the Secret Life of Bees, the author Sue Monk Kidd writes about a beautiful wooden statue on the front of a boat called “The Lady of Chains” that symbolizes feminine strength and serves as a guiding force in the character’s lives. This symbolic statue stuck with me long after I finished the book.
“She was black as she could be, twisted like driftwood from being out in the weather, her face a map of all the storms and journeys she’d been through. Her right arm was raised, as if she was pointing the way, except, except her fingers were closed in a fist. She had a faded red heart painted on her breast and a yellow crescent moon…She was a mix of mighty and humble all in one.”
When I think about the past two years as part of the resistance, so many women come to my mind. Here are 9 of them that help lead the way for me and for others. I wanted to feature them publicly because they are truly a mix of mighty and humble.
• Melissa Shah: Not only is she a social justice advocate, she leads with love and shares her passion of yoga with the rest of us to keep us all on track and centered.
• Erika Wright: One of the smartest women I know and is a strong women’s health and rights advocate. She is also the founder of Nashville Science Club.
• Ruby Amanfu: Singer/Songwriter powerhouse and uses her gifts of songs and cooking to touch people’s souls… mine included.
• Cindy Berger: Applied linguist at Duolingo. She’s changing the world by empowering others to learn new languages at no cost. It’s accessible to everyone. She’s also a badass women’s marcher.
• Alanna Quinn-Broadus: Lead singer of Alanna Royale. She uses her platform to speak love and support towards the LBGTQIA community as well as additional social justice issues. Go to her shows and be mesmerized and empowered.
• Elizabeth Madeira: Strong voice for the oppressed, adoption advocate and speaker of truth. Her words are a force.
• Caitlin Mello: Leader of Southern Women for Civil Rights, art activist, and a voice for immigrants, refugees and all humans.
• Tara Bender: Has a heart bigger than the size of Texas. Storyteller and activists for refugees, those with developmental disabilities, the youth, gun control, and the list goes on and on. A true mix of mighty and humble.
• Mary Ellen Peden: Owner of Mothers Woodshop, manager of Portland Brew, and a voice for the oppressed, women’s rights, immigrants and refugees and is a person that gets. it. done.
I plan to do more features of the women I feel so lucky to know and who help illuminate the path for me and others. Stay tuned and thank you to these 9 incredible women. Keep going!