Mainstreet Women’s Stories: Learning to Speak Out, Stand Up

When I asked Mainstreet Women about speaking out and standing up it wasn't because I’d love to see us all running around unfiltered, saying everything that pops into our minds. Clearly, the world would be a noisier and (even) less civilized place to live in if we did. I expected women to tell me there had been times when they wished they’d spoken up, stood up – that’s human, that’s me too. But from our Main Street perches of tremendous (consumer and citizen) power, within our nation that takes great pride in “free speech,” we’re not satisfied. We see social injustices, we worry for future generations, we’re struggling because of longstanding pay inequity, living with unequal power and responsibility at work and often, at home. Inequality is a fact of life in the U.S. and so is this:  when women lead, the world improves. Yep, there’s scientific proof. Check out Dr. Amanda Nimon Peters’ stunning, short presentation that convincingly makes the case for women leading because families, companies, and countries benefit: Speaking out and standing up are integral to leading, to making this world a better place. And, research tells us … [Read more...]

Mainstreet Women: You Keep My Hope Alive

I love Alicia’s response to “what’s one thing you’re really proud of and wish every girl could experience too?” What I wish for all girls is that they give birth to something new. Whether it is a child, a book, or a business, that’s what we’re here to do. (Alicia, CA) The book I'm writing on real women, Mainstreet Women, is giving birth. It is my way of sharing what women across the nation care about, are proud of, stand for, want political leaders to know, and wish for our country. This blog is a part of the labor (of love) to keep connected while I work toward honoring Mainstreet Women’s voices, grit and glory, to the best of my ability. A STAND Hearing and sharing Mainstreet Women’s voices with the world is also taking a stand. As our nation’s leaders bicker, wars rage, poverty grows, inequities widen, and with the Sandy Hook tragedy fresh -- I look to women to make change happen -- to keep my hope alive. And, putting Mainstreet Women's voices out in the world is a call to action. No matter what side of the political spectrum you lean, my hope is that these voices change mindsets and catalyze actions – both on personal and the public levels. Mainstreet Women have … [Read more...]

Sandy Hook Tragedy: Mainstreet Women Heroines & Moms

I promised you a different blog post today, a breezy holiday piece. In the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, my heart’s not there. Sandy Hook, population 11,000, looks like many Main Streets in America. Friday's unthinkable tragedy changed that community, those families' lives, forever. Once again, we see images of terror and pain, sorrow and loss, in a town that feels so familiar. It is almost too much to bear, hearing 1st grade teacher Kaitlin Roig recall what the little ones in her class cried, 'I just want Christmas. I don't want to die, I just want Christmas.'  MAINSTREET WOMEN HEROINES We have now learned that Mainstreet Women acted with extraordinary bravery on Friday. Principal Dawn Hochsprung and School Psychologist Mary Sherlach charged the gunman, dying in the process. Teacher Victoria Soto shielded students with her own body and perished. Prayers and thoughts go out to all the families in Sandy Hook, a burrough of Newtown, CT, where the dead include:  12 girls, 8 boys and 6 women. Hearts also go out to the family of Adam Lanzan and his Mom, Nancy. MAINSTREET WOMEN: ON BEING “MOMS” Today, it feels right to share … [Read more...]

Mainstreet Women: What We’re Proud Of & Wish Every Girl in America Could Experience Too

I want girls to feel fearless and have hopes and dreams that they can change the world in any way they want to. Rather than self-loathing, I want them to have self-love. If so many girls hate themselves, feel fat, don’t like their noses – all those messages they get from the media – if girls could be self-accepting and have self-love as a core, girls could rule the world." Beth, MS As 2012 comes to a close, ask yourself:  What would happen if you made it a priority to share with girls one thing you’re really proud of and want them to experience too? How would you feel if you reflected on your accomplishments every week? (How about on a walk, in a bubble bath, or with female friends?)  Mainstreet Women don’t readily toot their own horns. Whether it is Main Street modesty or something more (cultural messages that it is NOT okay for us to shout out our accomplishments), voicing wishes for girls was easier. Because most women interviewed also said that girls need more positive role models, this is worth paying attention to. Are you the one role model who will make a difference in a girl's life? Here’s an appetizer of some of my favorite quotes from Mainstreet Women and the top … [Read more...]

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