This past week I had the privilege of hosting a conversation with Teresa Samaniego, Vice President of Diversity and Community Engagement with ABC7 to closeout Women History Month. We had six amazing women that served on the panel sharing wisdom to help other women navigate successfully through the pandemic, social unrest, and uncertainty around the vaccine. The wisdom shared and imparted both educated and illuminated. I want to thank each of the panelists for volunteering their time to speak into the lives of women everywhere.
· Lisa Baxter, Director of Major Gifts, MLK Community Health Foundation
· Captain Elaine Morales, Commanding Officer, Security Services Division
· Hyepin Im, President and CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment
· Constance Anderson, President, The Center by Lendistry
· Cheri Thomas, Quinault Indian Nation, LA City-County Native American Indian Commission and Self Governance Board
· Stephanie Walton, Founder Passion Architect Services, Coach, Author and Speaker
Each panelist was given a specific question to answer, and they were asked to share their experiences that would inspire, empower, and encourage others to press forward. I am proud to say they all showed up and showed out and did an amazing job. One quote that was shared by Lisa Baxter from an article she read called, “When Black Women Go From Office Pet, to Office Threat.” I had never heard that term, but it sent me on an expedition to learn more. It is rooted in racist behavior towards women of color, specifically Black women. The study showed how Black women are often seen or treated as a pet (project) instead of a serious professional. When we no longer accept or tolerate this treatment, we are then considered a threat (to the organization). This concept is humiliating and demeaning.
All the women shared opportunities they could provide (thank you Constance Anderson) or experiences they navigated through (thank you Cheri Thomas) that made us think and reflect on where we are and what we need to do. Whether we are working through issues around overcoming hate crimes (thank you Hyepin Im), safety for our loved ones or how we are going to pay the bills and put food on our tables, we learned that it is important to always take care of ourselves (thank you Stephanie Walton) and respect other women (thank you Captain Elaine Morales). Although we have finished celebrating Women History Month, we are never finished uplifting the women in our lives and thanking them for all they do. Remember, we all must make sure that we lift others as we climb in life.
As the founder of Forgiving For Living, Inc., a nonprofit that is committed to uplifting young girls and making sure they have positive role models, I am thankful for the type of women we had on our panel that are committed to giving back, making a difference and becoming the change we need today. The environment we live in today we must remember that we are no one’s pet and if they take our education, confidence, and ability as a threat, so be it. As women we must be willing to be bold and strong and take our place in society and open doors for the next generation. Each one reach one.
Healing Without Hate: It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!
Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker. You can hear her every Wednesday on Instagram Live at 12 noon PST.