Women’s Votes and Voices Help Drive Positive Change
After another glorious Women’s March on January 20, I’m thinking about getting out women’s votes. Our program next month will focus on candidates and I want to remember that when women vote, we change the conversation. So many countries have more equal representation for women in their governments and I know that we can achieve that in our country. One of our members, Kate Wanamaker, has been accepted into the Emerge program, which helps train women interested in running for office. I am so proud of her and I have been so impressed with the work of the program in preparing women for candidacy. In our own county, we have many opportunities for service in appointed committee positions as well as elected offices. Those of us who do not feel brave enough to run can help others in their campaigns and contribute funds or time or services to candidates.
According to the Center for American Women and Politics, since 1986, the proportion of eligible female adults who voted has exceeded the proportion of eligible male adults who voted, reversing the historical pattern of higher turnout rates for men than for women. It is our time to make a difference.
Recently, I was able to hear Marilyn Nyborg, one of the founders of Indivisible Women and Gather the Women, share some of her wisdom from her new book, A Women’s Guide to Sacred Activism: How Do We Move Forward? She reminded me that we need to focus on the positive aspects of what we intend to accomplish with our activism rather than getting caught up in fighting against what we don’t want.
Activist Frances Lee posted an article recently about the toxic social justice arena in these times. She cited black public theologian Christena Cleveland, who practices envisioning the humanity in those who challenge and attack her. According to her, training herself to cultivate love for her enemies makes it more effective for her to communicate and speak her truth into their hearts. She is as concerned about her well-being as she is about transforming antagonistic people in her life into “liberated oppressors.”
Black elder activist Ruby Sales firmly tells her oppressors, with unyielding love in her voice: “You can’t make me hate you.” I intend to change the world for the better for all people and I want my thoughts and actions to be in alignment with that goal. Join me as we work together to strive toward a better world.