Mainstreet Women: Unpacking Main Street #3

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Mainstreet Women Question #1: Tell me a little about where you live, your main street or what you consider main street to be. (Post 3 of 3)

Mainstreet Women I interviewed defined Main Street as place, people, and a philosophy. Women also described Main Street as a choice, a way to embrace diversity. And, women said its where passions, influence, and love join them together with others on this human journey. Whether hearing ourselves called Main Street initially puzzled, rankled or resonated, how about thinking of Main Street like this?

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home–so close and so small they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity.”  Eleanor Roosevelt, 1953

MAIN STREET = PLACE FOR FAMILIES & NEIGHBORS

I live in a neighborhood that feels like true Americana. For example, every 4th of July everyone pours out into the streets of our neighborhood for a big potluck. On Halloween, families are out everywhere. It is a place where raising kids is what’s important and everyone is working hard. (Rossell, CA)

My Main Street is the perfect little town as far as I’m concerned. It is little, quaint and is growing. There are lots of things to do, lots of things for families to do together. (Elizabeth, SC)

I live in rural town America, smack dab in the middle of the U.S. I’d never live in a city again – I like knowing my neighbors and we look out for each other and help each other. (Cyndi, NE)

I live in Pittsburgh and we’re coming up from the steel mill going, coming back from ruin. Our town is a blue collar town but we’re getting more tech here now, including Google. I love our sports teams! I’m a huge Steelers’ fan and love the Pirates even though they’re the ‘losingest’ baseball team ever. (Donna, PA)

MAIN STREET =  DIVERSITY

We chose our neighborhood, we feel at home here. We chose it really because it is a Main Street to us:  an established neighborhood of old homes, folks that have been here for decades and young people tearing down old houses and building new. It is a mixture of properties and a mixture of diverse people – old and young, different races and ethnicities.  (Michelle, CO)

I come from a vastly different place, India. Initially we lived in downtown Cleveland and there were fights, sirens and gunshots. Now we live in a suburban area where there is lots of diversity, young professionals, older people and families. (Raina, OH)

Jackson has very different classes; clearly, some haves and those who don’t have. It is more diverse than ever before. This is a different Main Street than I grew up on when we had segregation and federal authorities had to come in and enforce Civil Rights laws. It is very different than the Jackson of 40 or 50 years ago. (Beth, MS) 

My Main Street is University City, on Jackson Ave where we’ve lived for 40 years. It is a very diverse place within St. Louis with lots of different people. That’s why we moved here and decided to raise our kids here – for the diversity, for the diverse people. (Mary Dee, MO)

I live in Silver Springs, MD which is a 21st Century melting pot. I love it and embrace that diversity. We went downtown the other night and saw people from all across the world – that’s what I want my children to be part of. (Mary, MD)

Main Street is Oakland, CA. It is a blend, it feels dangerous but you can walk during the day around the beautiful lake. As someone from South Africa, and having lived in Israel just after the 6 Day War, I learned how to be aware and appreciate bustling China Town. (Penny, CA)

MAIN STREET = PASSIONS

My Main Street is intellectually based. I don’t feel like I have a home – home is where I am. I get very involved with my work and what I’m doing so home is wherever I am at the time. (Kathy, ID)

My Main Street is leadership in many different ways: leadership at home, leadership in my community, and leadership at work. (Luz, MA)

My Main Street is the nonprofit and public sector where I work as an organizational development consultant. I focus on community engagement and taking action. Most of my time is spent with public sector and nonprofit people across the country so they’re all really part of my Main Street. (Maggie, NC)

My Main Street? I guess my real work is the work of women – earning a living and raising families, focusing on embracing communities. (Lisa, DC)

MAIN STREET UNPACKED FOOTNOTE

How do people you know define Main Street? Ask them! Feel welcome to post on our Facebook page as we’d love to celebrate with, and be inspired by, YOU!

My every thanks for helping me understand Main Street, Jone

Posts to come:  Mainstreet Women define themselves:  bold, proud, what they really care about 

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