Yesterday I spent the morning with the students of the Kingswood-Oxford School in Connecticut. I was invited by Yom Odamtten, a beloved English and History teacher there, and hosted by the Head of School Dennis Bisgaard and his wife Monica Bisgaard. I spoke about identity, what it is, where we get it, and when and how we can change it. Then students in Yom's literature class asked me tough questions about Black, White, and Jewish. I enjoyed my time there, and am so glad to have K-O on the mental map I carry with me everywhere. Wonderful place.
Today I participated in an incredibly powerful women's conference in Charlotte. I did a talk on the New Face of Feminism and afterwards had the opportunity to spend some time with former President of Mexico Vicente Fox and his brilliant and passionate wife, Marta Sahagun de Fox. Together, they spoke about the tremendous social reforms they are working on through their new Presidential Library. One of the four items on their agenda: Gender Equality.
It was a delight to hear President Fox talking about his deep love and admiration for his wife, and how together they believe that the 21st Century is destined to be led by women, who have the compassion, love, and efficacy the future demands. They were deeply inspiring. Having grown up part-time in Mexico, I feel a particularly strong bond with the couple responsible for bringing greater transparency to the Mexican government, at least attempting to resolve the stand-off in Chiapas, and more attention to education and health care in the country.
Also, I'm usually not one to gush over corporate sponsors, but the conference was sponsored by Wachovia, an extremely woman and mother-friendly company. After spending some time with Shannon MacFayden, head of Human Resources for Wachovia and her co-workers, I'm thinking of switching banks! Also, Marie and the rest of the folks at the Tribble Group did an AMAZING job of making it all flawless.
More news from the next stop: Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. I'm looking forward to the sunshine.
Hope you're happy where you are.
Peace and love,
When I was growing up, my mother spoke reverently of Fannie Lou Hamer and her critical role in the civil rights movement. We had a photograph of her in our home, and every time I sang the spiritual "This Little Light of Mine" I imagined myself singing alongside Fannie Lou Hamer at the Democratic National Convention of 1964.
I was happy to come across this entry on her life and work, and wanted to share it with you.
Long live the Fannie Lou Hamer in us all.
Ka'iulani: The Highest Point of Heaven
Since I've been living in Hawaii, I have become even more aware of the struggles of Hawaiian people in the face of "statehood." I have been particularly inspired by the half Hawaiian and half Scottish Princess Ka'iulani, heir apparent to the Hawaiian throne when the US declared Hawaii a protectorate.
The video is very moving and provides, in just eight minutes, a very good overview of the final years of Hawaiian independence. For even more info (and an image of one of Princess Ka'iulani's beautiful paintings), read her story on Wikipedia.
Here is one of my favorite Third Wave or "young feminist" sites: the Imagining Ourselves Project. They are having an on-line film festival, one film for each day of the month.
There are so many great, inspiring films. Check this one out about a women's trekking company in Nepal.
IMOW - Trailblazing: The Women of Nepal's Trekking Industry (24 min)