Back in August I wrote about an exchange my friend, Nikki of Global Alliance Solutions, and I had online about the upcoming Women’s Convention. The result was that Nikki and I decided that we would work together to create an alternative way for women - particularly those whom could not, or would not, attend the Convention - to come together to have some uncomfortable, but needed, conversations about how race, privilege, history, socioeconomics and biases have shaped the way women come together in community.
Or rather, shaped the way we don’t come together.
Nikki and I played phone tag for the better part of August trying to get some ideas together… and then the conversation stalled. It happens when you have two women who are doing their best to impact the world with only 24 hours in a day. I knew we’d get there eventually.
Enter Renee of Pastel in Plymouth...
“Hey,” she wrote to me in an email at the beginning of September. “Want to do something the weekend of the Women’s Convention? I can’t afford to go, but I still want to talk.” She included Megan and Ashleigh of Femology in Detroit the thread. I added Nikki. Soon thefive of us were talking.
Because women are fucking awesome like this.
Nikki, Renee, Ashleigh, Megan and I have spent the better part of the last month brainstorming about what we can do together as four small businesses dedicated to empowering women. We even had a few conversations with members of the local Women’s Convention committee along the way. It quickly became clear that no one wanted to compete with each other - we were more interested in complementing each other’s work.
And because women are also fucking awesome like this.
I am thrilled to share that the SheHive, along with Femology, Global Alliance Solutions and Pastel will be hosting a weekend-long series, the weekend after theWomen’s Convention.
Each experience in the Explore. Enlighten. Evolve. weekend will include a facilitated discussion and, more importantly, space to create a personal call-to-action detailing how we each can work to create more inclusive communities. You can attend any single event for as little as $10 or the whole weekend for $40. (The SheHive has a limited scholarship fund for women that want to attend, but cannot afford to do so. Just drop me an email.)
Explore.Our first night, Friday, November 3rd, we’ll meet at Femology in downtown Detroit to discuss and take action on how our history has shaped our relationships with each other.
I invite you to learn more about our weekend, to get involved, to sign up and to spread the word.
Visit http://womensactioncollective.com/ for more details. I look forward to having some inspiring conversations with you and, most importantly, working with you to create tangible ways in which we can all work together.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
I posted a link to information about The Women’s Convention coming to Detroit in October on Facebook earlier this week and asked if anyone was considering going. A friend of mine, Nikki - a woman of color - quickly responded.
“No ma'am. It is my opinion that this is an extension of the march in January. This movement seems not to be inclusive of women of color. So many women went to D.C. and committed to reaching across the table and being an ally and champion and help provide access to women of color, and I believe it fell flat. Marching and attending conventions such as these doesn't seem to be for equality at all, and the needle doesn't seem to be moving for my sisters and me. Therefore, I will sit this one out.”
I truly don’t understand why the Women’s March felt so non-welcoming to so many of our sisters of color. What I do know, however, is that as a white woman I will never know what it is like to travel a day in Nikki’s shoes and if she says it didn’t feel inclusive, it didn’t feel inclusive. I cannot argue or challenge her experience.
The Women’s March in DC was such an empowering experience for me and such a bonding experience for the group that went together from the SheHive. Hearing its criticisms after returning made me so sad. It was good, but it could have been SO much better. I felt foolish for being so unaware of how many women felt left out of the conversation. I questioned if I was complicit. I wondered if I would ever again be able to tell the story of marching through the streets with tens of thousands of women as far as I could see without feeling a sense of shame. And I’ll admit it… I even got a tad bit angry. Why does everything have to be so complex?
The answer, of course, is because our world is complex. And it’s getting more so by the day. Charlottesville brought it to light again. Nikki’s comment reminded me that Charlottesville was just one instance in a long string of events.
Talking about matters of race, of inclusion and exclusion, is scary as hell. But it is one of the most important conversations we can have right now.
We just can’t let threat of being uncomfortable - or a fear of appearing to be stupid or unenlightened - stop us from talking. I’ll probably get it wrong 1,000 more times before I get it right - if I ever get it truly right. Let’s be honest, I’ve probably written something in the last six paragraphs that has offended someone and I’m sure to be schooled again by theend of this day. It's okay. It's how we grow and learn.
Our sisters of color don't have the privilege of just turning away from this conversation, so neither can we. We must learn how be better friends and allies to them.
I don’t know how that happens yet, but I invite you to explore with me. Nikki runs an organization called The Pack that is dedicated to stewarding honest and vulnerable conversations about inclusion in safe spaces. It has long been my dream to bring a Pack event to the SheHive - and both Nikki and the Pack’s original founder, Jessica, have offered to do so. If you are interested in attending a Pack event at the SheHive, shoot me an email or drop a comment on the blog. I’m committed to making it happen.
I’m convinced that women can heal this world, but only if we invite all women into the conversation on how to do so. Are you with me?
With much love and gratitude,
FERNDALE, Mich. (WJBK) - Another massive protest is set for Saturday as hundreds of thousands of women plan to march on Washington DC.
The SheHive organization in Ferndale is making a last minute preparations to get on a bus later tonight and drive to Washington DC to take part in the anti-Trump Women's March on Washington.
Signs with "Love, not hate, makes America Great" the ladies are drawing up their signs and hope to get their message across.
Metro Detroit women gear up for march on Washington
The 200 women with SheHive will join others who have hopping on buses all day long departing from Metro Detroit for a non-stop trip.
"We will get there at 10 o'clock in the morning, we will rally at 10, march at 12," said Ursula Adams of SheHive. "Have dinner at five and hop back on the bus at seven and come back home."
FOX 2: ”Nonstop?"
"Nonstop," Adams said. "Actually these are the clothes I will be wearing for the next 48 hours."
"It is a huge moment in history and it's going to be powerful experience," said Aleah Adams.
As all women rightfully want, the SheHive is marching to fight for a 50/50 split at the table under the new Trump administration.
"I want my voice and other women's voices to be heard," Adams said. "I'm not saying we needed to take it all over. But what I'm saying is I want to be part of the conversation. I want to female voice in there. At least 50-50."
Also, the fight for Healthcare has a personal impact on this organization.
"One of our partners in this business, she's going through chemotherapy for about the sixth time now," Adams said. "She's on the Affordable Care Act, and if she loses that, she's dead. She's on an experimental treatment that's keeping her alive at this point and time."